This past Sunday we had a powerful worship service. As Pastor Drew Hawkins led worship he began to talk about how we worship, what worship really is, and how our worship becomes a living sacrifice. He talked about how we must empty ourselves of ourselves, and seek to put Jesus first. He must increase, we must decrease.
You see, our worship should be an overflowing abundance of gratitude for all that God has done for us, but it should also come from our desire to know God, and desire more of Him and more of His presence in our lives. When we worship God intimately and from the depths of our hearts, He responds to us in powerful ways.
I sometimes feel like we can get into a rut when it comes to worship. Maybe we don’t care for the particular song the worship team chose, or maybe they sang it in a key that was too high or too low for us to sing with. Maybe they sang a song that we've have heard a hundred times or more, and we’re just tired of it. But, we have to realize worship is not about us. Are we just singing along because we like the melody or is our worship coming from a grateful heart that seeks more of God?
I remember when God called me into ministry. It was during a worship service, and we were singing a song by William McDowell called, I Give Myself Away. The chorus simply repeats, “I give myself away, I give myself away so You can use me.” I had never heard the song before in my life. But as I sang that song for the first time it became my prayer to God. More than anything else I wanted to draw closer to Him and do all the things He had called me to do.
At that point in my life I didn’t really think that was a lot. I was overwhelmed by the failures of my past, and even though I knew God had forgiven me, I was afraid He was still mad at me—or at the very least—disappointed in me. So, I really didn’t have any great expectations of being used by God for anything.
But as I began to empty myself of me, and I began to focus solely on Christ something began to happen. For the first time since I had rededicated my life to Christ, I began to realize that God was not mad at me. And even more exciting than that, He certainly did want to use me for His glory. And, He has not stopped amazing me since that day!
I’m certainly far from perfect though. I still have to check myself quite often. I have to ask myself if I’m just singing a pretty song, or if I’m truly giving all of myself away and lifting up Jesus above everything else. I have to evaluate whether I’m really worshiping, or if I’m stuck in a rut. Am I just singing along, or am I offering myself as a living sacrifice to the One who gave His all for me?
The words of that simple song—I Give Myself Away—all those years ago still serves as a great reminder for me. When I sing that song now, its like I’m hitting a reset button in my worship. When my worship isn’t functioning in the way it is supposed to I have found that I need to hit the reset button to wake me up and get my focus back to where it should be. How about you? Could you use a reset button to help you get your focus back?
Romans 12:1 NLT
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”