Praise and worship is a lifestyle that requires obedience. It is something that takes control of your life as a Christian because you belong to Christ. It is our thoughts, our words and our deed. Everything we do needs to be in praise to God.
When I get to this thought and meditate on it, sometimes I think I am getting to where God wants to meet me, and then I forget what it is that I am doing or thinking.
I used to think that those that were in certian denominate with "guidelines" had it right. Women wear only dresses at all times, the only book you read is the Bible and you don’t go to movies, bars or anything that would cause you to stumble. You sing only the old hymns because they have meat in their words. Yet, when I look at that type of lifestyle, and it does become a lifestyle to a point, it is very hard to obtain. There are too many rules and it becomes more of a religous lifestyle.
When giving praise and worship to God there is only one rule. Concentrate on Him. Our eyes need to be on only Him. Don’t worry about the bills; He already knows how the money will be there to pay them. Don’t worry about your family. When your eyes are on Him, He will take care of them. Don’t worry about what others may think even if they saw you do something the week before that was not right. They don’t know what your heart is right now and God will take care of that situation.
There was a time when I was in ministry that I had not put Him on the throne and worried about everything else and tried to do it on my own trying to prove myself. I know that God dismissed me from the ministry because for a time I had dismissed Him from the throne in that ministry.
I needed to find a job after the ministry ended or we were going to have to move back to Medford. I would be willing to work in a restaurant because I knew from the first day that we moved here on August 16th 1998, that God wanted us here. So we bought a restaurant and owned it for three years. I felt like Nebuchadnezzar at this time and looked more like him with my scraggly hair, blood shot eyes due to lack of sleep, not to mention that anything I said didn’t make sense at all. Like Neb, God was working in my life, getting me back to where He wanted me to be to put Him in my life where He is in the throne.
During this time God took me on a journey on learning the 7 different ways to praise. I had first heard Carmen’s song about “The 7 ways 2 Praise” 10 years ago and again heard about the seven ways to praise at a local women’s conference. I also bought a book by David Jeremiah called “The Wonder of Worship.” My goal: to change my thoughts and my actions to a point that it would be an act of praise and worship to God
I started my journey by writing down the different Hebrew words for praise and their meaning. Halal means to celebrate and to boast, Shabach means to shout when in the depths of despair, mustering up praise to Him (I was here more often the all seven during this journey), Zamar is using instruments, music, and dancing, Barak is blessing, and bowing, Todah is thanksgiving by the use of extending our hands, (I believe this is by clapping and by serving others) And Yodah is the raising and extending of the hands. Tehillah is the use of all seven during a time of praise and worship.
There were times when I could see that really God had not given me the Neb curse, but too often then not I opt to believe it. But when the year after I had studied this had ended, a new journey had began of putting to practice what it means to really praise Him, with all of the seven ways.
Praise and worship is every part of the service whether it is in the music, praying, offering or sermon. Because it is an audience of One, and its what is in our hearts that we are giving back to Him. It continues when we leave the front doors of the church behind us and continue in what we say, do or think as we walk in the world. And it becomes a lifestyle of obedience that we submitted to trusting in Him. He is a God who loves us and deserves continual worship on earth as He is receiving it also continually in Heaven.
It’s a never ending journey in learning how to put this into practice in our daily lives. We are constantly bombarded with things or the world because we are living in the world. Just recently I found myself in a place where I again was doing something to prove to someone that I knew I was capable of doing something and that even though God had shown me that I was capable, I didn't need to prove it to anyone on earth.
Praise and worship is a lifestyle of honoring God by being obedient to Him in all things that we think, say or do. That’s because He is a Holy God, creating us to be His holy people.