[You may recognize this as a note I posted on my Facebook page some time back]
When I worship God through music and song, a wonderful ‘coming together’ of body, soul and spirit, of mind, will, and emotion occurs. Although music has certain ’emotive’ and ‘entertainment’ value, I find that in times of worship much more is going on than just ‘good feelings’ and a good time. When I turn my attention and focus towards God in this way (in music and song), and as He responds in grace to me, I am not just stirred emotionally, but I am encouraged, motivated, impassioned, to pursue Him beyond said expression. It actually serves to catapult me into love based obedience and service to Him, for Him. I find this to be true whether it be in the congregational setting, or when I’m listening to worship music in the car alone; something happens, something is stirred, something is imparted that propels me to love God in action beyond the singing of songs.
I know that it is often said that “worship is for God,” and this is most certainly true. But I have observed, both from examples in Scripture and from my own experiences, that worship can be described as ‘reciprocal.’ Certainly it is initiated by God, for we would not come to Him if he did not call. But then there is this beautiful ‘dance’ between God and His people: He calls; we respond in love to Him; He delights and receives our worship, and responds in grace towards us; we are overwhelmed by His kindness and offer back our awe and gratitude… and so it goes on. Worship through music and song is only one expression of that interchange, but it is a very powerful interchange.
I’ve heard it said that worship is “the most selfless selfish thing we can do.” It is certainly not about us, as we are not ‘the point’, the ‘object’ or the ‘subject’ of worship. But it cannot be denied that we most certainly benefit greatly when we offer ourselves in worship to God.
I share this because I wanted to encourage you in your expressions of worship, whether in music and song, or in the living of life beyond the song. Allow God to bring you to a place where you engage with Him, where He can empower you to live with Him, through Him, for Him and His Kingdom. And as far as music and song goes, with understanding, with intention, and with passion, offer yourselves up to the one Who is even more passionate than we are! Let worship carry you beyond the moment and into a life walking with God!
(copyright 2012, Lemuel C. Dees)