Definitely take the opportunity to read this article by my buddy, Zach Norman. I met Zach when I preached a DNOW in Atlanta, and he was leading the worship. It became obvious to me that not only could the dude flat-out sing and his band freaking rock it out, but he also had a genuine heart for Jesus, the gospel, ministry, and teenagers. So youth pastors, look Zach and his band up if you need a solid, Jesus-loving, seriously talented, but genuine about ministry kind of band. Trust me, you’ll thank me when you book them and they lead the worship at your event! Listen to Zach’s heart and faith regarding real worship below. – Chip Dean
What exactly is worship? Is it defined by what we do? Is it singing songs, raising our hands, praying, evangelizing, or caring for the poor? It can be. But what exactly makes any of these things acts of worship? I can tell you. It’s the heart. It’s our motivation and intentions behind what we do. And in order for anything we do to be qualified as worship, our hearts must be set on Christ. In fact, what did Jesus say is the greatest commandment? He said the most important of all is to love the Lord our God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength (Mark 12:29-30). And by all Jesus meant all. As new covenant believers we claim Jesus to be our Lord, and so we must worship Jesus in this type of way. Why Jesus? Why not just God? In Luke 24:27 Jesus says that all of the scriptures point to him. So God’s way of pointing us to himself is by sending Jesus- he fulfilled all that the prophets and Moses spoke of.
How does this effect us in everyday life? Well, Jesus came to fulfill God’s plan of salvation which was to make atonement for our sins; being our propitiation (Romans 3:25, 1 John 4:10) by bearing the wrath of God for us. In doing this, he satisfied God’s wrath and made a way for us to be a righteous as he is righteous, holy as he is holy, blameless as he is blameless, and in effect beloved as he is beloved (Matthew 3:17). And the difference in worship for us as new covenant believers has everything to do with what distinguishes the old covenant from the new: His Spirit living in us (Ephesians 2:22, 2 Corinthians 6:16). What Christ has put into effect through his death and resurrection is for a new way of life, a life that is marked by his resurrection power within us! So Christ has everything to do with our worship! God the Father sent him to put into effect a way of living that we could not accomplish on our own: worshiping him with all our heart, mind, strength, and soul.
To worship him with all your heart means that at the center of who you are, your greatest desire is to give glory to God for who he is, what he has done, and what he is doing in your life and in the lives of others. To worship him with your mind means to dwell on and think of things of the Spirit, which will in effect lead to a godly life- but it starts with fueling your mind with God’s Word. To worship him with your strength means to glorify God with the skills he has given you; he has given all of us mental and physical strength to invest all our gifts, talents, skills, and energy into living this life with a kingdom purpose. To worship him with your soul means that you live your life the way God originally intended for all of us in the Garden of Eden- to live in fellowship with him. Unlike the stars, oceans, trees, and animals, we were created with a soul to have fellowship with God. Worship is what we were made for and we messed that up. We brought death through sin. But Jesus came with a remedy: himself. He came and brought life by living in perfect righteousness. He lived in perfect devotion to his Father, died in perfect devotion to his Father, and rose again by the powerful Spirit of God to make us worshipers of him. Christ made possible a way of life that would be impossible to fulfill without him! You think we could live a life devoted to worshiping God without the work of Christ? I don’t think so! Praise God because Jesus died and Jesus rose. His Spirit lives in us so that we can pursue to worship him with all our heart, all our mind, all our strength, and all our soul. This is true worship.
Zach is a worship leader and songwriter from Atlanta, GA. He has a passion for the church and uses songwriting as a tool to encourage believers in their personal and corporate worship. You can look out for his EP titled “We Believe” that will release in 2013 on iTunes and zachnorman.com.
Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachNormanMusic
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