Are you thinking about how you can honor God with your worship? This is a great gift that will surely make God smile, so here are a few more thoughts from me as you have a conversation with God.
Preparation. If you show up to church on Sunday morning after arguing with your family from the time everyone woke up, perhaps you could benefit from some advance planning. What would make Sunday mornings run smooth for you? Laying out clothes ahead of time, deciding on breakfast, setting the alarm at an appropriate time, worship music playing as you get ready, and a host of other small, practical matters will prepare you to show up for worship in the right spirit. Is there some practical matter that needs to be addressed?
Preparation includes dealing with our spiritual life as well. Are there sins that need to be confessed? Nothing inhibits worship more than unconfessed sin. Is there someone I need to apologize to or forgive? Have I acknowledged God daily for who He is and what He has done? Sunday corporate worship should be the pinnacle of daily worship, not a time to drag ourselves in after not speaking or acknowledging God for the last week. Have I spent time in God’s Word so that my mind is being continually renewed around the majesty of God? If we find ourselves limping into worship on empty every week, it is a sign that we have neglected daily worship. Have I prayed for the pastor, staff, music team, and all the volunteers? Am I setting off for worship with the understanding that it is my time to serve God, not for God to serve me?
Participation. Now you are pulling into the parking lot. Will you smile at others and greet others warmly? God loves hospitality? Will you say a kind word to those opening the door, serving donuts, handing out the bulletins, checking in kids and ministering to our infants and children? God loves kindness. Did you arrive in time to greet the people around you and spend a few moments in prayer for the service? As the service begins, are you aware that worship is directed at God and not at you? How is He calling you to participate? Maybe you like today’s songs or maybe you dislike them, but what will your worship look like today as you serve God through your praise? Will you be a critic of worship or a participant? Is there an inhibition that needs to be let go of so that you can focus on worshiping God?
Will you join with those who are praying so that the prayers presented by the pastor and the worship leader are on behalf of us all? How do you respond to the offering time? Do you give gladly and joyfully in a way that reflects your trust and love of God? Do you offer God more than your money? Could this be a time to acknowledge your submission before God and willingness to be transformed, and to offer God anything else that the Holy Spirit has revealed in worship? How will you actively listen to the sermon? Is there something that you need to do to stay engaged on those rare Sundays when the sermon is not just totally enthralling? Are there any distractions that you need to deal with so that you can be fully engaged?
Transformation. How will I respond to God in worship? Is it enough to hear what God says or to appreciate the message? Is the content of Sunday transforming your Monday? If not, how can you be intentional about following through with what God reveals in worship? It is not enough to hear the word, we must be obedient to what God has spoken. God loves our obedience because it reveals a heart that is trusting him with our daily lives.
I can’t help but think that God is smiling at you as you consider how to worship Him more faithfully and passionately.