Why 20We 20Need 20A 20Worship 20Life 20Style

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    Why We Need A Worship Life-Style
                                 by Tom Inglis

If I asked you to identify the heartbeat of the church, how would you respond?

Evangelism? Surely, that is a critical element, signified by Jesus' command to
"go and make disciples of all nations," (Matthew 28:19).

Healing is important. So is deliverance. Warfare and effectual prayer are
likewise fundamental.

But all of these are tributaries, flowing from the river of worship. Yes, worship.
It is probably the most misunderstood and ineffectively practiced element
specified in Scripture. When the church finds this pearl of great price, all
heaven will be released on the earth.

Worship is the test of the believer's authenticity.

God has not called us to be an army of workers who worship Him, but an
army of worshippers who work for Him.

If all we can show the world is how hard we work for God, they will be little
impressed. If we can show them how much we love Him, they will run to Him.
Christians are the recipients of God's love to the world according to John 3:16.
Our minimum response to this love should be worship so that the world will
find Him irresistible also. Worship is simply our response to His love.

Without worship, Christianity is invalid. It's invalid because the distinguishing
reality of Christianity is intimacy of relationship. If worship is not deeply
personal, passionately intimate, and obsessively continuous then it is not true
worship but only a phony substitute that will only superficially effect our
churches.

It's Not To Show Our Love
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Why has God called us to worship? You might think it is to express our love
for God. That's not it; He already knows how much we love Him. God has
commanded us to worship Him so He can change us...change us one little bit
at a time, as specified in II Corinthians 3:17-18: "Now the Lord is the Spirit,
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with
unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his
likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the
Spirit."


This is where we will find liberty as the Holy Spirit changes us from one
degree of glory to another at the rate of change we as individuals are ready to
receive. One of the greatest needs in the Body of Christ today is for all of us
to allow God to transform us at His pace – and not at our own. This is true
freedom, but it is costly. It requires personal prayer, worship, and study of
God's Word.

The need worldwide revival is not due to a lack of Christians, but a shortage
of Christ-likeness. When the church begins to become Christ-like, the world
will be quickly swept by the presence and power of God – that's evangelism.

Worship is the place of God's presence (Psalm 22:3), and also the place of
revival. This revival takes place at either an individual basis or at the
corporate level. Why then don't most churches experience revival when they
spend so much time in what they think is worship? Perhaps it is because we
have equated music with worship, or because revival comes at too high a
price.

More Than Just Music


Worship has little to do with the way we sing, dance, or play musical
instruments. It is not merely a 20-minute warm-up, tilling the soil of our hearts
for the planting of the seed by the preacher. What then constitutes worship? Is
it the same as praise, making the two synonymous for each other?
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Praise is a separate topic. It is based on our knowledge of God. We won't
elaborate on praise here, except to differentiate it from worship.

Worship is our response to God, meaning our obedience. We don't worship
Him by what we sing, but rather by how we live – our lifestyle. Worship is what
results from the continual process of change, growing more and more like
Jesus as we spend time in God's Word, pray, and fellowship with our lord.
Worship is always the result of personal activity or contact with God. It doesn't
happen automatically because we call ourselves "Christian." It comes through
being Christ-minded and Christ-lifestyle oriented.

Challenging and Disputed


If worship were something we do only on Sundays, Christianity would be
easy. But because worship is our response to personal and intimate contact
with God, it is one of the most challenging and disputed subjects in the end-
time church. Upheavals in the spirit realm grow in intensity and frequency.
The devil works frantically to douse worship and draw worshippers away from
God.

As the time of the Lord draws near, congregations that seek true intimacy with
God will experience great manifestations of His holy presence and power. The
outbreak of revival will result in the addition of multiplied thousands to local
churches. An inseparable bond will form between worship and evangelism.
The growth will be explosive!

Sadly, spiritual hunger and thirst will plague churches that fail to worship God
in spirit and in truth, and therefore haven't prioritised the salvation of souls.
These churches will empty overnight.

A forerunner to this end-time revival will be a massive outpouring of
repentance. God must deal with the church before He deals with the world.
This will cause Christians to reach out to one another as never before.
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The secret of the church's public ministry to the world is private devotion to
God. The strength of any local church is the worship lifestyle of its members.
The act of worship certainly draws God into our presence, but only a well-
developed lifestyle of worship keeps Him there.

Like Trained Athlete

What would it be like if you played basketball, soccer, or some other
physically demanding sport one day a week – and did nothing the rest of the
week to practice or stay in shape for that sport? How well would you play on
game day? That is what happens when we try to worship God on Sunday
without developing a worship lifestyle Monday through Saturday.

Church is wonderful, but the rubber meets the road spiritually in our homes.
Everything starts from a one-on-one encounter with God, where we as
individuals bring His holy presence through prayer, study of God's Word, and
obedience. This is a lifestyle of worship. If Christianity doesn't work in the
home, it won't work in the church. It must start in the home, proceed to the
local church, and then spread throughout the world.

Here lies the greatest challenge facing church leadership in the end times.
God has confidence in the shepherds of this generation to inspire legitimate
lifestyles of worship. May we all grow more like Jesus day by day.

				
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posted:11/10/2011
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