Growing up in the Baptist Bible-Belt-Buckle, (AKA East Texas), I always thought of worship as just a part of Sunday morning procedures of songs prefacing a healthy dose of throat cramming (Baptist preaching). Every Sunday was the same thing, 4-5 songs about God, followed by a prayer that was longer than the constitution. As time went on I learned worship was a time to express your heart to God through song or music. And eventually it went beyond this to dance, art, writing or simply the act of being face down before God out of reverence. But deep inside I really felt that it was more than the music,
“When the music fades and all is stripped away and I simply come…”
I knew deep down that it was more than just an outward expression, or action that corresponded with a song or verse.
“I’ll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what You have required…”
It was a heart change that would take me on a journey that would change my life.
My days would start with reading the Bible, preferably Psalms, and every day I felt drawn deeper and deeper into this Idea of worship. I began to fall into its depth coming know *worship* on my own real terms. I began to look at worship as a part of everyday life. The way I serve my wife, the way I show love to my children, the way I live to honor those closest to me. These were forms of worship I found I often overlooked. However, as Christ followers these are the exact things He has call us to live out! In my own life, showing “inner reverence” to those around me was foreign and not as easy as I thought it would be. It was the hardest thing for me to do on a consistent basis.
Being a worship leader at heart, I love to lead people in song. I love to join voices with my beautiful wife, Holly, and worship with music. Worshiping outside of song has been a (somewhat difficult) journey. A few years ago, I thought I knew what God’s plan was – I was convinced that my ministry was to be leading worship with my wife. We both love to sing together, we mix well, it doesn’t take a genius to see we are a great pair. But God had other plans – He wanted to teach me to worship outside of music.
As sometimes (quite frequently, if I am being honest) happens, I got mad at God. I just knew He was making a big mistake, not using me the way I *should* be used. However, humbly I swallowed my pride, opened my heart and allowed God to teach me true real worship. Through showing love to my wife and kids, serving them as Jesus served his disciples, and leading them as I felt God directed: these were all acts of worship. These were showing reverence to God and living a life of worship.
In learning these things it was amazing to see how my worship changed. It was even more amazing to hear my wife tell me she could see change in my life. After 12 years of marriage, I feel like for the first time in my life I am learning how to worship through service. I am learning to have a servant’s heart, to love without cause, to reach forward for truth and to honor and respect out of grace and kindness. For it is out of the overflow of the heart that we speak, we sing, we dance, we bow, and we serve. Worship is for me, a lifestyle that begins as a posture of the heart.
“I am coming back to the heart of worship and it’s all about you, Jesus.” (Matt Redman)