Are you being impacted by Christ or just your ideas of praise and worship?
Ephesians 1:3-14; Hebrews 11:6; 1 John 1:7
"I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; before the gods I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted. May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth." Psalm 138:1-4
The word "impact" classically means something that has been "fixed or packed in," and colloquially as "a power of making a strong, immediate impression." For us, His impact means He has "fixed" us and "packed" Himself in us. He has not just left His impression or influence, rather His impact is wedged in us so He is more and we are less; thus, we are solely influenced and impressed by His power and work.
Impacting worship simply means that God is impacting you and you are letting Him know so, so He can continue to impact you and others around you. We are an offering to Him, an acknowledgment of His sovereignty and Lordship over our personal lives and over us as a church. It is experiencing His greatness come upon us and our response of praise that enables us to see Him for who He is and what He has done. In so doing, we can come to a place in our faith journey where we can increase our faith by the increase of our understanding of Him and the exercise of our ability and diligence to glorify Him.
Impacting worship is a relationship with God, a covenant with Him that stresses what and who He is and our response to Him. This is to have a most significant bearing upon every aspect of our lives, in that we are impressed by His work as He leads our church and us in synergy as we impact one another. The key to this is ever so simple, yet so hard for us to do. We must let God be God and His presence be connecting and influencing us so we are changed and renewed. This means we acknowledge His Lordship over our lives personally by the surrender of our will, and collectively as a church by focusing on His preeminence and sufficiency. This comes down to realizing He chose us; so, why should we not choose to know Him more and serve Him and His children (Psalm 24:4; John 3:30; Rom. 12; Gal. 2:20-21; Phil 3; Col. 3:17)?
Impacting worship is about how and how much we are offering up to God, giving back to Him what He has so graciously given us. This is the essence of how we are to manage our lives as Christians. This is how we must live. His Gospel is the transforming and converting power of His work in us. He transforms our fallen sinful nature into being acceptable and pleasing to God. This has outcomes and effects on all of us; it is the sum total of all of our attitudes, mindsets, and even personalities. His impact upon us will "affect" (influence) us to have "effects" (results); His work will achieve noticeable, positive results upon our social relationships by virtue of the dynamics of His love upon us, overflowing to those around us. His love is the fulfillment of the law in us, and working out all of our being. The Gospel is the transformation of our entirety, including our relationships, first with Him, then with ourselves, and then with others. Our Worship reflects this. It is our Christianity becoming an offering in love and service to others, in gratitude for what Christ has done in us. This impact is leading us to create the response in why we worship Him. No Christian, no matter what the education and/or job title is, can grow, mature, and lead purpose driven lives if we do not have a correct and reverent view of God (Eph. 1:3-14; Heb. 11:6; 1 John 1:7).
Impacting worship comes from the application of our faith in Christ. From our willingness to take His Gospel to a humble heart and a seeking mind, so we make and take our spiritual formation seriously. Impacting worship is how I decide how I shall live in my faith, from doctrine to duty. We are never to separate theology from practice because who our Lord is and what He has done is theology! Theology is the "who" and "why" that translates into the "do" and "be" of life. The question is, will we be dedicated to our Lord, or to ourselves? Remember that the Bible never separates the doctrine from our duty, or faith from our practice of life. When we are living sacrifices, we are being affected to be effective. Impacting worship is real and a practical aspect of the Gospel being used and displayed in us. We have been saved, not because of any effort or reason on our part except the faith that points to God's glory. So, what do we do with it now? How do we tell Him so? How we live to others and ourselves enables us to take it to our church and to the streets of our lives (1 Cor. 10:31).
Questions to Ponder
Read Eph. 1:3-14; Heb. 11:6; 1 John 1:7
- Are you being impacted by Christ or just your ideas of praise and worship?
- How do you like to praise our LORD? How is it with all of your Heat?
- When you sing your praise to God, how is it worship? How can it not be worship?
- What does the word "impact" mean to you?
- How has Christ made a strong immediate impression upon you? How have you responded to Him with your worship?
- What does it mean that God has "fixed" you and "packed" you?
- What does the impression or influence of Christ mean to you? How has it transitioned into your daily life?
- What can you do to take His impact and allow it to be wedged in you so He is more and you are less?
- What have you been impressed by God's power and work?
- What gets in the way of God impacting you? What can you do to let Him do so? How would the continual impact of Christ on you help form how you are to others around you?
- How are you an offering to Christ?
- How have you acknowledge His sovereignty and Lordship over your personal life? How has your church acknowledge Him over your church?
- What can you do to come to a place in your faith journey where you can increase your faith by the increase of our understanding of Christ? What would that look like?
- What does it take for a church as a whole to collectively exercise their ability and diligence to glorify Christ?
- How much is your church an offering up to God?
- How does your church give back to Him what He has so graciously given you all? What can be done to increase this mindset and practice?
- How has worship helped you to manage your life as Christian? What about the other way around worship, how have you been impacted to lead your Christian life so it leads to your worship life?
- What can be done so you and your church can make and take your spiritual formation (growth in Christ) seriously?
- Will your church be dedicated to our Lord, or to yourselves? So, what do we do with it now? How do we tell Him so?
- What can you do to have a worship experience so Christ is sought with passion with all of your heart?
© Richard .J. Krejcir Ph.D. 2006 Into Thy Word Ministries www.discipleshiptools.org