A couple of months ago I heard a worship song that I have since played over and over and over and over again (you can ask my roommate and my friends—they’ll tell you). It’s “Good, Good Father” by Housefires, and I think I’ve finally realized why I love the song so much. It’s because it declares who God is. It declares His goodness to His people, and because of His goodness, we see who we are in light of who He is.
This simple lyric has wrecked my life in a lot of ways over the last couple of months…
“You’re a good, good Father. It’s who you are. And I’m loved by you. It’s who I am.”
When we declare who God is, we find ourselves at the heart of worship (and no, I’m not talking about the 1997 Matt Redman song). It’s reflecting back to God who He is. It’s fixing our eyes on Him in a way that infiltrates every other area of our lives. When we live in a constant state of worship, it’s more than a song. It changes the way we do everything … the way we talk to our friends and family, the way we approach a hard conversation, and how we respond in a meeting at work. At the end of the day, it’s about bringing glory to God in everything we say and do.
It’s easy to engage in worship at church or during a conference, but are we really worshipping God with our lives? We are called to worship the One who has released us from our shackles, given us freedom, and allows us to be a part of the story of redemption He’s writing. It’s not optional for believers, but a part of our love relationship with God.
He is worthy of our praise and adoration (Psalm 96:4), but there are seasons in our lives when it’s hard to worship. Maybe you’ve lost a job, faced a miscarriage, are separated from your husband, or have been hurt by a friend. When we face difficulty, we have a choice to make. Am I going to focus on myself in this moment, or am I going to focus on God and who He is? Sister, He is glorified in our pain and suffering. Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” He is with us when we cry ourselves to sleep at night. He is the comforter in our sadness and loneliness.
The last 6-8 months of my life have been really challenging for a myriad of reasons. Some days, I’ve made the choice to focus on how hard it is, how I feel hurt, and how much I wish things were different. Let me tell you, it doesn’t help. I just end up feeling miserable. When I start to feel those emotions coming on, I try to start declaring who God is. I declare that He is good (Psalm 136:1), He is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9), and He is for me (Romans 8:31). He hasn’t forgotten me (Isaiah 49:15-16). I put Scripture in front of my face so that I can’t forget the truth. All of these things are part of worship. Here’s a glimpse at part of a journal entry from a few weeks ago.
Life is often going to feel like a wrestling match, and our worship towards God determines much of the outcome. When we lose, we still win. We must fix our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-3) and worship Him more than just on Sunday mornings, but with our entire lives. We’re going to need reminders, and we find those in the Word of God. Fixing our eyes on Him is our act of worship.
Worship is not a fight between contemporary or traditional music, instruments or a capella, lyrics on a screen or hymnals, dresses or jeans, but it’s about God … who He is and what He has done for us.
Worship isn’t about us at all.
We’ve created a worship playlist for you this week. Check it out here.
Mary Margaret Collingsworth is an event project coordinator at Lifeway in the women’s events area. Follow her on Twitter @marymargaretc.