Hey Family! Its been a bit and some change since we last spoke about worship, hasn’t it? The last time we spoke about worship, we spoke about the foundation of our worship and broke it down to the nature of our hearts. Before I get back to The Foundation of our worship series, I want to go off on a bit of a necessary tangent that has been on my heart since early May. Let’s talk about how Worship is personal.
I don’t mean this in the way people loosely use the phrase ‘Salvation is personal’. I mean it in the most intimate way possible.
What triggered this thought that later evolved into a realisation, and then a string of personal experiences was a conversation I was having with a brother in the faith post Part 1 of The Foundation of our worship.
What he said then touched me deeply, then gradually faded to the back of my mind as life happened over the last few months. However, I’ve been reminded of it again almost everyday in the last 2 weeks.
He said: “When we talk about the foundation of worship being Jesus, that is a universal worship [we speak of]. I say it is a universal one because anyone can actually do it. But the depth of Jesus that will determine your type of worship, your kind of worship, the size of your worship and the quality of your worship is [and always will be] based on your personal experience of God.”
There is so much depth to John 4:23 (AMP) which says ‘But a time is coming and is already here when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit [from the heart, the inner self] and in truth; for the Father seeks such people to be His worshipers.’
We were created to worship God, to be His worshippers. Thus, we are called to worship in Spirit and in truth.
John 17:17 says that God’s word is truth.
The word of the Lord speaks on the truth of who He is. There is an element of our worship that is about who His word says He is. For example: 1 Timothy 6:15 calls Him the King of kings. Zechariah 1:3 calls Him the Lord of hosts. John 10:27 paints the image of Him as a shepherd and in Genesis 45:11 God calls himself a provider . In what we can dub the “universal” worship, these hold true. Absolutely.
Remember, however, that the worship the Father seeks is both in spirit and in truth.
Worshipping in spirit.
Amongst a few other things, your personal experience of God makes up the aspect of worshipping the Father in spirit. The scripture says “…in spirit [from the heart, the inner self]…” Who you know God to be to You, to your heart, your life, your experiences, your challenges, your trials and tribulations. That is your personal worship.
The woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5, and Jairus’ daughter who Jesus raises from the dead both know Jesus to be a restorer. A restorer of life, but in different ways. One had her health restored and consequentially a better quality of life. The other literally had her life restored, in that she was dead. But Christ who is life itself raised her from the dead. Because of the difference in their experiences of Him, even on the same day, their worship can & will never be the same.
When I think of God as a provider, I think back to 4/5 year old me. Living in an apartment with my mom, with financial challenges resulting in rent not being paid for a full year. Yet in that year, not once did I go to bed hungry. Every night, the caretaker of the building would turn the power on for us so we could cook as well as heat up enough water. The water was so mom and I could take a warm bath the next morning.
Everyday, for a full year.
Where the food came from, or the clothes on my back, or the compassion in the caretaker’s heart. All this and more can only be from one source: God.
Thus, when I worship Him as provider, the experience I attach to the name is different from yours. From the times and seasons God has come through for you. Provided for you.
When I worship the Father as my comfort and my peace, seasons of feeling as though I’m in a wilderness come to mind. Times of feeling alone in a room full of people. Days when I was ready to give up on life because of the weight of the challenge in that moment.
He is a promise keeper to me because no matter how much the enemy may try throw my way, His promise of always working things out for my good has always proved true. Even outside of my plans.
I have a personal experience of God in my life. Which is why my worship is personal. I know who He says He is in His word, and I have experienced different titles in different ways.
Your worship is not meant to look or sound like anyone else’s. Not when God has laid it out in His word that He seeks a personal relationship with you. Your worship of the father is Yours. Unique to you. Shaped by your encounter(s) with Him, and your experiences of Him, His power, His grace, His mercy, His righteous hand.
If I may, let me ask you this. What comes to mind when I say God is a way maker, a miracle worker and a promise keeper? When I call God a sustainer, what season of your life do you think of? And when I refer to Him as a defender, what trouble has He defended you from?
You see, just like the Psalmist, the beauty and the purity of our worship lies in who we know God to be for ourselves. We may relate to moments in the lives of others, but the worship he seeks is the one from our hearts.
Phil Thompson has a beautiful song called My Worship. A part of it says “You are worthy, and no one can worship You for me”. No one can worship God for you. No one can worship God like you.
Today, I leave you with a song titled Lost for words by Victoria Tunde ft Osby Berry. I’ll let the words of the song speak for itself.
Grace & Peace to you & yours
– Xo, Jo 🌺