“An hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him.” John 4:23
There is a deep and growing interest in worship these days, and that makes perfect sense. After all, worship is the primary reason we gather as the body of Christ each week. We gather to focus our attention and energy on giving glory to God; and when we do, we encounter God in powerful, life-changing ways. As a result, we are challenged and empowered to join God as He works in the world.
There are many forms of worship and certainly many different styles of worship. The body of Christ is a broad and diverse family, and the form of our worship can often cause confusion and division. God is never the author of confusion, and His Word gives clear guidelines that empower and liberate all believers in their own worship expression. Authentic worship is simply a genuine expression of praise, adoration, celebration, and thanksgiving to God in response to who He is and what He has done in our lives.
Seven Words of Worship explores what this means for us as the body of Christ and as individuals, including how we may pursue authentic worship—not only in our weekly worship services but also in our everyday lives. Over the course of the study, you will be introduced to seven simple Words of Worship that can serve as a guide for knowing and experiencing God. As you apply these teachings in your own life, you will be inspired and equipped to develop a lifestyle of worship, which is God’s desire for every believer.
We are passionate about helping individuals and congregations develop a consistent lifestyle of worship. As you increase in understanding of who God really is and what He has done in your life, consistent and fervent worship will be your natural response. And as you worship, God will inhabit your praise and impact your circumstances.
You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. Psalm 22:3
Our Threefold Purpose
Seven Words of Worship is indeed a course initiated by God and birthed through years of effort by my coauthor and friend, Stan Moser. Although this is a collaborative work, I (Mike) will serve as the “voice” throughout this study, representing our collective insights that, we hope, will accomplish our threefold purpose:
• To help you gain a clear revelation of God and His desire for worship to be the focal point and passion of our lives (Rom. 12:1);
• To give you a solid understanding of the biblical foundation that leads us to become true worshipers (John 4:23-24); and
• To encourage you to enter into increased freedom in your worship expression as you respond to God’s revelation (2 Cor. 3:17).
I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways. Psalm 119:15
About the Course
To achieve these goals, we will present some simple, foundational truths about biblical worship in a format of five short lessons for each of eight classes.
Each lesson combines Bible study and biblical narratives with real-life stories and practical application. The practical application questions and activities are in bold print. Please don’t skip over these questions and activities. They are designed to help you clarify, process, and apply what you are learning.
Another important personal-application tool is the Daily Review. Here you will be asked to review the lesson and pray, asking God to identify for you one or more statements or Scriptures from the lesson that He wants to make a part of your understanding and practice. The same three questions will help you to complete this process after each lesson.
Keep in mind that there are no wrong answers to this personal-application process. As God uses the lessons to draw you to some personal revelation or interaction, pray about how He would have you respond. Though you will sense a logical progression in the material, you also will revisit some core concepts along the way, exploring them from different angles and considering subtle nuances in order to maximize understanding and application. You’ll encounter several key Scriptures more than once along your journey to reinforce biblical truths central to our study and to help hide God’s Word in your heart.
Consider the following suggestions for making your journey through Seven Words of Worship more meaningful:
• Trust the Holy Spirit to be your teacher. Ask Him for guidance as you seek to gain greater biblical understanding of authentic worship and develop your lifestyle of worship. Open your mind and heart in ready obedience to all He will teach you.
• Be consistent in your personal study. A lifestyle of worship is a radical change for many, and diligent attention to the Word of God is the key.
• Take time each day to express your worship and appreciation to the King of kings! If possible, begin or end your classes with a time of worship.
• Before beginning each class, pray for revelation and breakthrough.
• Be sure to read and meditate on each Scripture. After all, this is a Bible study!
• Take time to respond to each practical-application question and activity (printed in bold).
• Record the statements or Scriptures that were most meaningful to you, as well as how God is calling you to respond. When God speaks, it is important to record it.
• Write down questions that arise during your study. Then, as the study continues, watch for God to provide the answers.
• Share one revelation or new understanding with someone. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and share freely with others what the Lord is teaching you about worship!
Our Hope and Prayer for You
As you make your way through the study, our hope and prayer is that you will be filled with a refreshing and clear perspective on authentic worship and challenged to fulfill God’s desire for you to lift your voice and your life as an expression of worship. Here are two biblical promises to encourage you:
• God has promised to inhabit our praises.
• God rewards those who diligently seek Him.
Focusing on these promises will help you begin each day with the expectation that God desires to meet with you and reveal Himself more completely to you.
As you believe and receive God’s great and precious promises in your life, you will encounter Him and experience Him in ways you can only imagine right now. You really can experience God in worship!