A Genuine Expression of Worship

“Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.”Luke 24:50-53 NLT
 
When I read this portion of the ascension story of Jesus, it engages a part of my heart that longs to know what it was like having someone that was a mentor and a best friend leave. Jesus chose to impart a blessing to the disciples as his last act with them on Earth. It just makes me think of times when I’ve had friends move on from Wesley, all of them to better places, but in my heart, I was still sad that they would not be in my life the way they had been previously. Just because people are moving on to something better doesn’t mean you can’t be sad to see them go. With those feelings in the background, I think of the power behind this blessing, the last time Jesus would see these people in the flesh. As all the disciples emotions are running high, they chose to praise. They chose to engage with a heart of worship first.
 
I believe the natural response to meeting with God face to face is to worship him. The definition of worship is to show reverence and adoration for someone or something. When Jesus left the disciples, that is when they chose to worship. They chose to worship in the midst of what was and would continue to be a trial. The disciples were about to share the word of God with the very people that had crucified him, so they chose to worship first. It was an act that they continually came back to in the following days.

Worship has more to do with heart posture than the songs that you sing or the music you create. God doesn’t care if you can sing in tune or not, he cares about where your heart is at when you enter into a space for worship. One of the greatest lessons that Wesley has taught me over the years is that you don’t need a great worship team to have a powerful encounter with God in worship. God will come and meet with you in your bedroom as much as the prayer chapel or tate grand hall. God will move as you invite him into your heart.
 
“Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage
you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, 
experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.”

Romans 12: 1 TPT
 
Worship should cost us something. Giving our whole selves to God in worship means sacrificing parts of ourselves elsewhere. Practically, it takes time. Giving God time means taking it away from other places, because we only have a limited amount of time each day. As we surrender ourselves, our soul will be turned into the likeness of Christ. As we interact with the God that is holy, our souls come into alignment with him. Even as we sit here, all of us in drastically different circumstances, worship is costing us something during this time of quarantine. As we choose to align ourselves with God, we are choosing to not give into the world’s fear and mistrust. We are choosing trust over fear. We are choosing peace over restlessness.

The Romans verse above is one of the very first verses I ever memorized and mediated on. It still hits me when it says our surrender is our spiritual act of worship. As we lay our hearts and lives down before God, he draws near to a desperate heart. As we give all of ourselves to him who is God, we become more like Christ. As we give our whole selves, he corrects the parts of ourselves that are not love, but he does so in the most gentle manner.
 
In a time that is anything but certain, worship centers our soul on what is true, right, and pleasing to God. When we are present in worship body, soul, spirit, it acts like a spiritual reset button. Worship allows us to come to God messy and broken and lean on him. As we lean into Jesus, he replaces wrong understanding and beliefs with his loving-kindness. My deepest prayer for our body is that we would choose to engage with God in worship, that we would give God the opportunity to correct our beliefs. He is a good, good Father. As we lean into worship, we are falling into the arms of God that is 100% for us. He is never abusive in correction and he trusts us. Give him the space to move and you will be surprised with the love you are met with every single time. God is for you.

Author | Cristina Rosiles

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