BY MARGARET ELLIS
“Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him”. John 9:31 (NKJV).
For a while, I always understood “worshiper of God” in this scripture as a believer in God but when I started reading the different versions of the same scripture, it helped me to understand “worshiper” in its correct context. I believe that I got a clearer understanding of what worshiping God means when I read the same scripture in the MSG version which states: “It’s well known that God isn’t at the beck and call of sinners, but listens carefully to anyone who lives in reverence and does his will”.
After careful meditation on this scripture coupled with all the other teachings I have been blessed to receive about the subject of worship, I came to an understanding that worship is not something we do when we are in a good mood, want to thank God for the good things happening in our lives or just when we feel like it, but rather, it is something we are supposed to do as children of God to show our “honor & respect” to our father and creator.
While worship is an act of honor to God, I have also come to understand that worship in general is a pathway to ‘connecting us to the signal’ of God. Even though I know that worship has several purposes and principles some of which I am yet to discover, I believe that it brings us to a place of relationship with God – a place where we experience his physical touch in our lives. In the same token, I absolutely understand that your view may be different from mine but I humbly invite you to journey with me in my discovery of three natural perks that we experience when we become ‘worshipers’ of our God. First, our worship brings restoration - return of lost blessings, strength, protection, glory, hope and the list goes on. Secondly, it moves the hand of God to bring solutions to problems we are faced with so we can move into a season of empowerment, peace, rejuvenation, connection and the list goes on. Thirdly, it causes us to walk in the wisdom of God which ushers in revelation – exposure of the enemy, conspiracies, attacks, spiritual embargoes and the list goes on. To buttress my point of view, I want to share just three scriptures that I have been studying very closely in this season.
The story of David in 2 Samuel 12 revealed that when David’s son whom was birth by Bathsheba (the former wife of Uriah the Gittite whom David plotted to be killed) died, David went into the house and worshipped the Lord. He had fasted, prayed and cried while the child was sick but once he died, he decided to worship God in such a moment of distraught. Just like David’s advisors, I was baffled too when I reflected on his action but my opinion does not matter. The man we are speaking about (David) is a true worshipper and knows exactly how to tap into God’s signal. Sure enough, David’s attitude of gratitude to worship in the most challenging time when he had all reason to blame God for the death of his son touched the heart of God. Soon after, God blessed him with another son – Solomon whose God-given name (Jedidiah) meant “beloved of the Lord”. As the story of Solomon unfolded later in scripture, we learn that this son of David (who came partly as a result of David’s reverence to God) became one (if not the) wisest and wealthiest man in in his era. You can agree with me that God giving Solomon and all the blessings that were tied to his name was a total restoration of what David had lost in that season.
Then comes another significant episode in the book of 2 Chronicles 20 in which King Jehoshaphat was faced with the Ammonites, Moabites and some of the Meunites who came together to wage war against him and his people (the Israelites). When they received news that the enemies were advancing towards them, the Israelites from every town gathered together to seek help from the Lord. Jehoshaphat led them in the prayer and the manner in which he prayed, moved God to release His spirit to come upon one of the men in the assembly who spoke as the Lord commanded. The word that came reassured them that God had promised that He will fight the enemies on their behalf. The Israelites were commanded by God to go out to the battle, take their positions, stand firm and see the deliverance of the Lord. After such declaration of victory, the Israelites led by Jehoshaphat bowed their faces to the ground and worshipped the Lord continuously even in singing and praising with very loud voices.
On the day of battle Jehoshaphat came and reminded them to have faith in God and to connect them to the signal of their deliverer, he appointed men to ‘worship’ the Lord in singing and praising – giving thanks to the Lord. When the worship reached its peak, the Lord was moved to set ambushes against the enemies and they were defeated. The power of God was so strong upon the enemies that they turned against themselves fighting each other until none of them remained standing – they were all dead. After all was said and done, Jehoshaphat and his people returned to Jerusalem and went straight to the temple to continue to worship the Lord. God’s response to their worship (destruction of the enemies) caused fear to fall upon all the surrounding Kingdoms. They were all intimidated by the Israelites which meant that none of them even dared to wage war against God’s chosen people. Their worship connected them to God’s signal which in turn caused them to experience peace in their realm because everyone around them could see the hand of God was upon them.
Finally, I want to examine the story of the wise men in the book of Mathew 2 which states that when Jesus birth was announced by the wise men that came from the east to Herod with the title ‘King of the Jews’ attached to his name, Herod the King got troubled and all of Jerusalem with him. Herod in his effort to locate Jesus so he could destroy him called all the priests and scribes together to obtain information about the whereabouts of Jesus. Once he was informed that Jesus was in Bethlehem of Judea, he secretly called the wise men and gave them instructions to report back to him when they locate Jesus so he could also go and “worship” him. The wise men did find Jesus and when they came before the little baby in the manger, they immediately fell down and worshiped him. They took their worship of the savior further by presenting him with gifts of the most valuable kind: gold, frankincense and myrrh. When they fell asleep that night, God appeared to them in a dream warned them not to go back to Herod. Thus, their worship did not only move God to reveal Herod’s secret to them but also increased their wisdom to make a decision to go back to their country a different way – completely avoiding the path of Herod.
Now in the event you are wondering why I choose to the subject of worship over any other topic, it is because the season we are in calls for the reminder to connect with God. It is not a coincidence that the season we are in is supposed to be that of rejoicing, thankfulness, counting of blessings, experiencing abundance, making future plans and the list goes on also happens to be the season when depression, feelings of loneliness and life-destructive activities set in. We have to recognize that man’s enemy (Satan) does not have the ability to create anything rather; the enemy replicates what is already existing, what is meant for good gets manipulated to turn it to evil.
Since we know the plans of the enemy, now more than ever, we need to recognize the power that we carry as beings created in God’s own image. We have to remember the scripture which states that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue………….” Proverbs 18:21 (KJV). We have to be careful to choose to speak life over every situation and most especially, over our emotions, thoughts and relationships in this season.
This is the season to use our weapon of worship against the enemy because believe it or not, our worship confuses the enemy and weakens his plans. Our attitude of gratitude expressed through worship opens up our spirit being to connect with God in the spirit realm. Our worship can cause us to see our trials and tests as opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.
Apostle John’s vision of the throne of God in Revelation 4:8-11 confirms that worship is an all day and every day activity in heaven. The angels he saw in the vision sang of God’s holiness, power and might without ever ceasing. Even the elders fall down before God in his glory continuously uttering “…for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created”. We belong to God and since worship is his “pleasure” as seen by Apostle John, we should all worship him continually to connect to his signal in the heavenly realm.
I urge you to ignite your worship especially in this season. If you have survived another year above all odds, then you have victory over the enemy. Despite the truth that you may have been in the spiritual battlefield all year round, you are still on the winning side. It does not matter what is going on in your life, worship unlocks the opportunity to connect to our power source – let us worship the Lord!
She is the author of the recently published cookbook “West African Perspective”. She is a Gambian native, speaker, marriage coach and blogger who takes enjoys sharing her rich heritage with the world through her writing, speaking, ministration, teaching and relationships just to name a few. Margaret can be described in many ways however; she is known to many as being passionate, driven, nurturing and mentor who always seeks opportunities to learn and share her knowledge with others. She is constantly motivated by an empowering statement she once heard which stated: “..God has put gifts and talents and ability on the inside of every one of us. When you develop that and you believe in yourself and you believe that you're a person of influence and a person of purpose, …you can rise up out of any situation”.