What is the most excellent thing you’ve ever experienced?
What made it so?
What does it even mean for something to be excellent? The dictionary says that for something to be excellent means it is extremely good; outstanding.
That means just about anything has the potential to be excellent.
Including our worship.
Unfortunately, in the greater worship conversation people either embrace the concept of excellent or they run as far away from it as possible. That’s because most conversations that involve worship and excellent have focused on note perfection or production quality.
I don’t believe those are bad things to give attention to, but that isn’t the focus of this discussion.
Worship is God’s people responding with all that we are to God and all that He is. Worship is a core fundamental of our Christian life. We were made to worship. And throughout the Scriptures, when people made “light” of worship, God had something to say about that. Whether it was the Israelites making a mockery of the various worship practices or turning their hearts to other gods, or the Pharisees following the rules but missing the heart of the matter.
God is worthy of excellent worship, if for no other reason than He is God.
And every believer should offer excellent worship to God.
Immediately, many people’s question will be, “How do I do that? I can’t sing or play an instrument.”
Again, we have to remember that worship is about so much more than music. Music is an expression of worship, but worship is about our heart and life response.
So, how can we offer excellent worship to God?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)
- Worship everyday. Worship doesn’t begin and end with the Sunday morning corporate gathering. Again, that’s one of the ways we do it, and an important one, but should not be the totality of our worship expression. It’s our everyday life that shows whether or not we are worshipers. In fact, what we experience together on Sunday morning will be greatly enhanced by whether or not we worship everyday. I call it the Circle of Worship. Love the Lord your God with your heart, soul, mind, and strength – everyday all day.
- Be conscious of God. One of my favorite examples of someone who offered excellent worship was David in the Bible. And one of things that was part of that was that he was conscious of God. Read through the Psalms and you’ll see that in every situation, whether good or bad, David was aware of God and who He was. Are we?
- Keep short accounts of sin. Nothing will hinder an excellent offering of worship more than sin. David also knew that. We remember his actions with Bathsheeba, and the weight of sin that he lived under until he confessed that. Psalm 51 expresses the anguish he experienced. Then when we confessed, he once experienced the forgiveness of God and the joy of worship (read Psalm 32). When we let sin linger in our lives, that is what we are consumed with, not the Lord.
- Remember spirit and truth. Excellent worship involves spirit and truth. Unfortunately, it’s easy to lean to one side or the other, whether because of fear or misunderstanding. Worship must be grounded in the unchanging truths of God, but must impact our whole being – including our heart and emotions. Both must be present to prevent an imbalance in worship. Again, we see this in the life of David, and Jesus specifically speaks to this in John 4.
- Remember reverence and awe. As soon as we begin to build and define worship based on our own preferences and desires, it ceases to be excellent. In worship, we must remember Who we are worshiping and why. We must never fool ourselves into thinking that worship is about us. Hebrews 11 reminds us that God is a consuming fire, and that we must worship the Creator of the world and the forgiver of our souls with reverence and awe. Doesn’t mean that there isn’t a whole mess of joy and thanksgiving in that, but…
Offering excellent worship is possible for every disciple of Jesus Christ. The very things mentioned above are things that should characterize our relationship with the Lord.
Are you offering excellent worship?
What’s one step you can take to make your worship an extremely good and outstanding offering to the Lord?