In the course of life, we will probably be exposed to thousands of competitions that will cause us to pick a side and then cheer for that side to win over the other. We will buy banners, signs, and cheer with a fervency that brings us out of our comfort zone again and again. Why? We want to WIN! It’s the passion of the moment, when emotions run high and we are sensitive to every play, every move, every call by the officials. It drives our thinking about how our team will somehow be able to win the contest. Of course, it goes way over the edge when we get involved in fantasy leagues with fantasy drafting of players, and coaches, and scenarios that would rival the most professional organization. We are suddenly using areas of our brain that had long sense been dormant and the endorphins start feeding the frenzy of competition. I have seen people who never competed in any athletic competition become very efficient armchair quarterbacks, seemingly overnight. Our media feeds on this stuff and uses it to the fullest to sell products, launch TV shows, and hopefully get us “hooked!”
Believe it or not, worship for believers is in some ways just like the competitions we either see, or participate in, and the desire to WIN is just as real. It comes back to our ultimate focus and desire, and how they line up with our daily life away from church, or other worshipers. God continually wants to win our attention every day of our lives and His plan for the BEST for each of us is waiting for undivided attention. Just like those who live on the edge in the area of competition and team allegiance, His exciting, awesome plan for our lives takes us to a whole new realm in the area of worshiping Him. Romans 12:1-2 says, Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. In Paul’s writing to the church at Rome he continually reminded them to allow God to have their allegiance and undivided attention. In fact, he stated it was a part of the transformed life that came with those who knew Jesus. Paul’s admonition didn’t stop with music worship though. He went to the heart of the matter and stated that they were to give thier lives as instruments of worship by the way they lived. In other words, if we are going to be “people of worship” then we will worship wholeheartedly our Jesus and Him alone. We will make every day a “life of worship” and in the process get to know the Father better. The result will be a life conformed to His image that impacts the world we walk in. The other result is a changed life, a life of true worship, and a life that touches others who don’t know Christ. That would be a WIN…..WIN……WIN!!!
You may say, “How does this apply to music worship?” As a worship leader, I can tell real quick in a service the people who are living the daily life of worship by how much they seem to know the One they worship. It’s way beyond expression or style. It’s way beyond vocal or instrumental ability. It’s REAL.You don’t have to “pump them up” to get them to express their love for Jesus. It just happens!! A person who worships in that frame of mind is really a winner every time because more of Jesus is seen than them. In other words, His Spirit is the guiding force in all they say and do. THAT is the winning element of true worship. To quote Jesus on the matter, we look no further than John 4:21-24 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 “You worship what you do not know ; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth ; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
If you want “worship that wins” then you must be totally sold out to a worship lifestyle. Here’s some elements of a worship lifestyle: Daily time with Jesus, interacting with other believers, befriending the lost, and a changed life. That is “worship that wins” and that is what God wants in all our lives. The end result in a church service will be you expressing what God is doing daily in your life and that kind of worship is a win for all. So, put on your worship attire (a changed life) and give Glory to His Name. When that happens you will never be the same.
Psalm 29:2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name ; Worship the LORD in holy array.