A Worshipful Heart

In my 16 some-odd years of leading worship (and another 2 or 3 as a participant only), I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at the elements of worship, the worshippers, and the results of true worship. Obviously, I cannot (and will not pretend to) fully understand worship or when and if someone has truly worshipped. That knowledge is God’s and God’s alone. In this time, one thing, one specific truth I’ve come to realize is that God is much more concerned about your attitude than your actions. 1Samuel 16:7 testifies to this, “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

I know many churches do this, but my last church had a Worship Leadership Team that not only planned worship services and all their elements, but looked critically at the “success” of those services in retrospect. I’m not saying that that is bad, we should critique ourselves as worship leaders and take note of what seems to “work” and what doesn’t. However, one thing that WLT had as a part of their critical evaluation was “Did the people show physical signs of worship?” That’s not too bad in itself, but this WLT was frustrated when there were little or no physical responses to worship we had planned. Maybe that’s why we didn’t get along too well…I spent more time in planning that the people would worship in their hearts and they wanted to “see” worship happening. (But that’s a completely different soap box!)

A recent friend in the blogosphere has several pointers she’s learned in her time as a worshipper and worship leader that may help you as you seek to have the heart attitude that God is really seeking from His worshippers:

A worshipful heart:
1) Is grateful. We are aware of the price paid for us and we are thankful. We know that we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. We never forget!
2) Is filled with anticipation and faith. We believe that God is going to meet with us and work in us. We expect to encounter God and we are filled with holy expectation as we do so.
3) Is willing and obedient. We are willing to hear the word of the Spirit – instruction, correction, conviction, encouragement, direction – and act upon it. Worship should lead to obedience.
4) Is truthful. We see the truth about who God is and also the truth about our own selves.
5) Is humble. I am convinced that worship is not possible without humility. A prideful heart cannot worship God.
6) Hopes and trusts in God. We don’t have smooth lives. We encounter difficult terrain on the journey. A truly worshipful heart hopes and trusts in God in the midst of the pain.
7) Is pure. We seek to deal with sin immediately and thoroughly. We worship with an undivided heart.
8 ) Is unselfconscious. Instead, we are God conscious.
9) Is attentive to the Spirit. We pay attention to God!

Deut. 4:29, “If…you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

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