Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; Psalms 95:1-6 NIV
Richard Foster stressed the importance of worship in his classic book, The Celebration of Discipline. Many believers, including me, believe this is one of the best books on Christian spirituality. The Celebration of Discipline explores the "classic Disciplines," or central spiritual practices, of Christ followers. Foster correctly focused on praising the Triune God: Father, Son, and Spirit.
Foster wrote: “The Priority of Worship”
If the Lord is to be Lord, worship must have priority in our lives. The first commandment of Jesus is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).
The divine priority is worship first, service second. Our lives are to be punctuated with praise, thanksgiving, and adoration. Service flows out of worship. Service as a substitute for worship is idolatry. Activity is the enemy of adoration.
The primary function of the Levitical priests was to “come near to me to minister to me” (Ezekiel. 44:15). For the Old Testament priesthood, ministry to God was to precede all other work. And that is no less true of the universal priesthood of the New Testament.
One grave temptation we all face is to run around answering calls to service without ministering to the Lord himself. Today God is calling his Church back to worship. This can be seen in high church circles where there is a renewed interest in intimacy with God. It can be seen in low church circles where there is a renewed interest in liturgy.
It can be seen everywhere in between these two. It is as if God is saying, “I want the hearts of my people back!” And if we long to go where God is going and do what God is doing, we will move into deeper, more authentic worship.”
It is one of the greatest privileges in the history of the universe: the King of Kings and Lord of Lords desires a relationship with us.
Ginger Harrington provided us with practical insights on praising God.
“Rejoice with exceedingly great joy. Ask God to fill your heart with joy of His Spirit, joy that is energized by appreciating the wonder of Christ.
Choose to worship instead of worry. Instead of fearful or anxious thoughts, choose to rejoice because Christ is Immanuel, God with us. Remember that He is with you in everything that you do today. Enjoy His presence by faith.”
Love God; Love People;