In John 4, Jesus encounters the Samaritan woman at the well. He is tired. It’s been a long journey, and He is passing through Samaria on His way back to Galilee. He sits down at Jacob’s well and asks this woman for a drink. Thus begins the conversation that eventually leads to her becoming a follower of Christ. It is interesting that when Jesus begins to confront her in love about her lifestyle of sin that she changes the subject entirely. Isn’t that just like us? About the time we allow Christ to really get to the heart of the matter, we divert to some other distraction because He is getting a little too close to the reality of our spiritual condition. Let me challenge you to let God do His work in you. It might be a little uncomfortable, but it will change you forever!
Sociologists tell us that because of social networks, email, work environments and numerous other outlets, that each one of us will have a direct influence into the lives of at least 10,000 people over our lifetime. That’s a lot of influence! The question is…what kind of influence will it be. Leadership is influence. Like it or not, all of us are leaders to a certain degree. Look around you…someone is in your direct line of influence. You are a leader of someone. Are you their worship leader as well? Of course, I don’t mean you can you sing and play guitar! I mean…are you showing them an example of what it means to live a life of worship? I pray you are, because there is no other purpose in life higher than that. I challenge you to influence the others around you by worshiping the Lord in all things.
At Liberty University, we have over 1100 worship majors. These students come to us with a passion for worshiping God. We don’t want to do anything that would squelch that passion. ButWe do want to add to that passion a theology and philosophy about worship that runs as deep as the passion itself. In John 4, Jesus encounters the Samaritan woman at the well. In this passage, the subject of worship comes up in the conversation. Jesus tells the woman that God is a spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. So what does it mean to worship in spirit? It means we don’t get caught up in things like places or traditions. But rather, we stay passionate about the one true God. We must stay concerned with spiritual realities instead of outward appearances.
So many times after I have led worship somewhere, people will say to me on the way out something like “That was good worship, today.” Of course, many times that simply means “Hey, I like those songs.” And therefore, bad worship would mean they don’t like the songs. But remember, true worship is really not about a song at all. True worship is a lifestyle that honors God in all things. True worship is not about a where or a when…but rather it is about Who and how! Jesus answered this issue with the Samaritan woman at the well. And through a powerful conversation, Jesus helps her understand that the quality of worship is our true measure of devotion to God. So what is good worship? A life fully devoted to Christ. What is Bad worship? A life fully devoted to self.
I was recently asked to speak to some seminary students on the subject of raising the bar in worship. I found this subject interesting, because worship happens on two different levels…individually and corporately. This much I know: If we ever want to experience powerful worship corporately, then it has to happen individually first. So to me, The first step in raising the bar in our worship is to pursue a life of holiness. This will lead to worship that is deeper and more meaningful than just an emotionally charged pep rally. It is this sort of worship that is most honoring to God. Let’s raise the bar in our worship, by lowering ourselves in His presence, by bending our knees in humility, and by striving after holiness in every aspect of our lives. Remember, worship is a lifestyle of loving Jesus.