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ELEMENTS OF A LIFE OF
PRAISE AND WORSHIP


1. Relationship

In order to praise God for who He is, we must know Him; His nature, His desires, His plans, His heart. It is impossible to praise and worship someone you do not know personally. The more I know Him, the more I love and worship Him. The more I worship Him, the more I know Him.

In praise and worship, there is communion. The more I commune with Him and He communes with me, the more I know of Him. Our relationship with our Father is a growing, ever-increasing one.

2. Yielded life

To live a life of praise and worship is to be one who is yielded to God's Spirit. As we yield ourselves to His Spirit, He changes us from glory to glory. As we willingly cooperate with His Spirit, He works in us to will and to do His good pleasure.

If we go through the motions or outward expressions of praise, but our hearts are not yielded to Him, then we are simply going through the motions, but our hearts are far from Him. It then becomes acts which are not true expressions of our hearts to God. It is vain worship. It is fruitless worship.

Whoever you praise and worship (give worth to) is who you give your life to. Whoever you give your life to is who you praise and worship. This yieldedness is lived out daily. Everyday we have the opportunity to live the yielded, crucified life. When we yield to His Spirit rather than the flesh, we have worshipped Him. (Galations 2:20)

3. Thankful life

To live a life of praise and worship is to have a thankful heart and attitude. God revealed to us that thanksgiving is a gate to praise and worship. As we live a thankful life, we enter easily into His courts with praise.

We are to sing and make melody in our heart to the Lord in all things. We are to come into His Presence with singing. We are to give thanks to Him and bless His name. Accordingly, Scripture shows us that God inhabits, is enthroned upon, the praises of His people. God's Presence lives in the praises of His people. It is His address. It is where He lives.

Thankfulness in our hearts is expressed with the words of our mouth. Out the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Thankfulness changes things. Thankfulness changes attitudes, changes us, and changes situations. As we give thanks to God and praise Him, His Presence is in our midst and His glory is revealed.

4. Passion for His Presence

In the Presence of the Lord, there is fullness of joy. In Him is our life, our health, our peace, our prosperity, our hope, our joy. He has created us so that everything we need ,we find in Him! In His Presence our longing hearts are fully satisfied. We are complete. We are fulfilled. We are created for His pleasure, and this is where we find ourjoy. His desire is for His people. Our desire is for Him. There is a longing within us which cannot be satisfied by anything else, but our intimate communion with Him. The things of this world grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. We must so desire His Presence in our lives that we allow nothing to take His place, or to distract us from knowing Him. He is our greatest passion. No one else, nothing else can fulfill the cry of our hearts.

5. Extravagant worship

To live a life of praise and worship is to be an extravagant worshiper. Even as the woman who broke the precious alabaster vial of perfume upon Jesus, so we pour out our lives in worship to Him. As we do this, our very lives become a sweet fragrance to Him and to others. The sweet aroma of His Presence in our lives draws others to Him. As we praise our God, we declare and show forth who He is.

When we praise our God, there is a gathering or drawing of people. This drawing comes from the Presence of the living God who dwells, lives in, and is enthroned upon the praises of His people. As God, our Father, is enthroned upon our life of praise, He draws all men to Himself.

What is praise and worship?

It is our life in relationship with Him, being lived and being offered daily to Him. Worship is our lives exalting Him, giving Him honor and blessing Him in the easy times, the hard times, joyful times, weeping times, and at all times. It is our showing forth His praise--His excellencies in every circumstance of our lives.

We have such a limited view of praise and worship. It is so much more than singing a song, more than a dance, more than playing an instrument, more than a once or twice a week event within four walls of a building.

Just as the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob, we often have a narrow understanding of what true worship is. Jesus revealed to the woman at the well that worship of God was not limited by location, nationality, or religion. Jesus taught her that true worshipers, worship God in spirit and in truth. Man is so often encumbered by rules, laws, and regulations in worship. Many times we are more concerned with what day, what time, what location, and other outward boundaries rather than true worship which proceeds from the heart. As Jesus Christ has revealed the Father's heart to us, we understand that the day or time is notof central importance. Jesus taught us that He is our Sabbath day of rest. The issue is not a time or place, but our relationship with Father God through Jesus Christ, His Son!

In everything give thanks. Rejoice in the Lord always. This speaks of a continuing action in our life lived daily. We are to praise and worship God in our home, at work, at play, with the Body of Christ, in our neighborhoods, in the market place, and in the streets of the city. God has given us voices, hands, and feet with which to express our praise to Him, and even more so, with all of our lives. The first commandment is that you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and mind, and strength. Worship is our lives yielded fully to Him. It is His life lived through you and me.

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