As Apostolics we are very familiar with the expression of worship and praise by declaring thanks (Hebrews 13:15), by clapping our hands and shouting (Psalm 47:1), by musical instruments and dancing (Psalm 150:4), by singing praise songs (Psalm 9:11), by psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19-20), by making a joyful noise (Psalm 98:4), by lifting our hands (Psalm 134:2), by being still (Psalm 4:3-5), 46:10), and by being loud (Psalm 33:3, 95:1-6). These beautiful acts of worship and praise elevate us into God’s presence, giving us power to overcome obstacles, walk in the miraculous and live a joyful life.
Dedication is the basis of commitment, without it we are not able to give God anything else. Committing our thoughts and emotions unto obedience to Christ shows our respect for Him. To obey Him willingly involves our intellect, emotions and will (Romans 12:1-2). Our body is to be dedicated as a living sacrifice to God. We are to avoid being conformed to the world, but must strive to be transformed by the Word. Only then can we discover God’s perfect will for our life.
Worship refers to the supreme honor given either in thought or deed to a person or thing. It is reverence, a deep respect, admiration and honor given to God. The Bible teaches us that God alone is worthy of worship (Revelation 4:11).
Worship is not just for Sunday morning church. We should daily live a life of obedience to and worship of God. The single most important act of worship for any Christian is to totally present ourselves to God as an obedient servant. Jesus’ dedication to God involved His body and mind, “Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done.” Our minds coordinate the actions to be executed by the body while the body carries out the will of God. Once the mind and body are completely devoted to God, we become instruments of righteousness by which His will is done in earth as it is in heaven. He chooses to use us to perform His Will.
Praise is an outward expression of faith. When we praise Him, we are telling Him that we believe He is there to protect, comfort and to do battle on our behalf. God wants us to be so dependent on Him that no matter what the circumstances we face, regardless of how dark the night, we know that God is working out all things for our good. He wants us to be confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
What is your default reaction when things don’t go your way, when the trials and tribulations of life surround you? Do you respond by worshipping God and thanking Him for the storm that draws you closer to Him or do you react by getting angry and/or withdrawing from God, sulking in the hurt and pain? Paul and Silas were arrested for casting a spirit of divination out of a girl. The local authorities beat them and threw them in jail. Beside the trauma of being beaten, they were chained in stocks and their arms and legs were essentially immobile which caused cramping and loss of circulation. It was truly a depressing atmosphere. Despite the throbbing pain and depressing circumstances, Paul and Silas were heard praying and singing praises to God. Suddenly there was an earthquake and it shook the prison. The doors opened wide freeing Paul, Silas and all the prisoners. Praise and worship are the keys to the miraculous. In times of suffering, we sometimes forget this powerful principle that Paul and Silas understood. God inhabits the praises of His People not the complaints.
Choose worship and praise. When a storm develops in our life, it is our responsibility to go out before the battle, to sing praises to God — to shout the victory! No negativity and grumbling allowed. When we worship and praise God, He will elevate us to new heights and give us greater revelation. The degree to which we worship God reflects the degree of His worth to us. Each morning when we wake, we should ask God what he would like for us to do during the day. Ask Him who can we speak life to; give hope to today. Plan your day by telling God, “As I prepare for this day, I appoint it to be used for Your glory. Everything that happens will be used for your purposes. Even the problems that happen will be appointed to be used for Your glory.” Not my will today God, but Your will be done.
Diane Beall, ASR National Ladies Chaplain