by Tobin Perry
As you’ll discover as you read through Rick Warren’s, The Purpose Driven Life, worship through music is only a small portion of what true, biblical worship is all about. Worship is the process of surrendering your entire life into God’s hands. Everything you do can – and should -- be an act of worship. God designed us to worship Him with our whole lives, and there are actually spiritual habits that we can build into our lives that help us worship God more deeply?
Here are ten habits than will build worship into your life on a daily basis.
1. Worship through prayer. We often miss this important component of our prayer life. Think about the issues you usually pray about. How much of your prayer life is about you and how much of it is about God? Without a doubt God wants us to be able to share everything that is going on in our life. But he also wants us to get to know Him better. When we affirm who God is through our prayers, we put our prayer life in proper perspective. That’s exactly how Jesus taught us to pray. Look at the Lord’s Prayer in the Gospel of Mathew (6: 9-13); Jesus starts the prayer off by saying “Our Father who is in Heaven, May Your name be honored.” (NLT) Jesus teaches us an important lesson with this prayer. Prayer starts with God. Consider including in your prayers a time of focused attention on who God is.
2. Get in a regular habit of reading the Bible. The Bible says that we worship God in “spirit and in truth.” How can we ever worship God without a clear understanding of who He is? The truth about God is essential to worship. Pay special attention to the book of Psalms. No book in the Bible spends as much time carefully describing who God is.
3. Obey God. Rick Warren mentions in The Purpose Driven Life that we worship God when we obey Him. We all need to build the habit of obedience into our lives. Take practical steps to see that this is a part of your life. Whenever you sense God is speaking to you, make it a regular practice to respond immediately. Don’t let procrastination weigh you down. If you can’t do it immediately, write down whatever God has been putting on your heart, so that you can do it SOON!
4. Tithe. If you want to know what in your life you worship, look at your checkbook register. The Bible teaches us this important lesson: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mathew 6:21 NIV) God wants us to surrender our entire being to Him. One way to show that is by making Him Lord of our pocketbook. If you are already a committed tither, consider raising the percentage you are willing to give.
5. Build deep relationships with other Christians. The Bible teaches that God designed us to live in community with other Christians. We bring God pleasure by getting to know others and being known by them. At Saddleback, the primary way we do this is through small groups.
6. Share your faith. John Piper made many of us re-look at why we share our faith when he wrote a few years ago: “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” God wants every person on the planet to worship him, not because He is an egomaniac who needs our praise, but because worship is how we are designed by God. He wants the best for us.
Take time this week to share your spiritual journey with someone else. Tell them how you came to faith in Christ. Don’t worry about their response. Relax in the knowledge that you are playing a part in expanding God’s world-wide worship.
7. Serve others. Jesus tells us that “when you did it to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did to me!” (Matt. 25:40 NLT) When we serve one another, Jesus tells us we are really serving Him. If you don’t think you have any gifts that are useful to serve, you are wrong. God made you with talents and gifts that He specifically gave you to serve others.
8. Build into your life the attitude of thankfulness. This requires looking at the world through a different set of eyes. When we look through the lens of thankfulness, we see our lives – and everything in it – as all gifts from God. Develop your own spiritual exercise each morning that demonstrates that you are putting on your lens of thankfulness. Then begin to thank God for all of the good things in your life.
9. Begin turning over to God areas of your life that you have never committed to Him. This is the heart of worship – surrender. God won’t settle for 90 percent of your life; He wants all of it. You might have been a follower of Jesus for years, but you still have areas of your life that you are holding back from Him. What are those areas? Only you know that. Two good places to look are your checkbook and your planner. Look at the areas of your life where you spend the most money and the most time. Do they honor God?
If you are human, you have sin in your life that you need to surrender. Think back over the past month and write down all of the times you remember disobeying clear teaching from God. Then look for patterns. If you find patterns of sin in your life, these are areas of your life you need to surrender to God. Right at the moment, start praying for God to help you overcome that sin. Ask your small group to pray for you.
10. Live a life of purpose. God has a reason for your existence. In fact, He has five: fellowship, discipleship, ministry, evangelism and worship. You please God when you live in step with His purposes. God doesn’t want you to waste your life.
You were designed for God’s pleasure. The purpose of worship is the foundation of the other four purposes. Fellowship without the spirit of worship is just “hanging out.” Discipleship without worship is nothing but a fruitless mental exercise. Ministry without worship is called “spinning your wheels.” Evangelism without worship is a misplaced sales pitch.
Worship isn’t simply one area of your life; it is your life. Start right this moment by surrendering your life to God. Then spend the rest of your life learning to worship Him more fully.
Tobin Perry is the staff writer at Saddleback Church.
©Copyright 2003. Used by permission. All rights reserved.