Ever since I was a young boy I have had a passion for singing out my affections for the God who created me. I would spend hours out in the back shed with my guitar just praising God. I didn’t know then that someday I would have the privilege of leading others in worship and praise.
Through years of growing and wrestling with what it means to be a worshipper I often got it wrong. Sometimes I focused more on music and how it made me feel rather than focusing on the God for whom the music was written. At one point I fell in love with the act of praising and singing rather than God Himself to whom I was singing. Sometimes I focused more on my gifts or talents rather than the God who gave the gifts and talents.
It can be easy to let ourselves get in the way of being true worshippers. We can make worship more about us, our preferences and how we feel rather than it being our whole life response to our Creator. Something that always gets me refocused is the simple truth from John 3:30. “He must increase, but we must decrease.” William temple (Archbishop of Canterbury 1940’s) has a great definition of worship and He sums this whole idea up beautifully:
“Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His Beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose – and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.”
Living a life of worship in response to God comes from a place of saying “I want more of you Lord and less of me in every area of my life!” I encourage us all to ask God what the areas are in our lives that we have made more about us and less about Him!