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Worship as Transformation

Updated: May 13, 2019

What is the purpose of “worship?” Why do we gather each week in “worship services” and have special times in the service called “worship”? THE GOAL OF WORSHIP IS DRAWING NEAR TO THE PRESENCE OF GOD. James says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). Drawing near to God involves a conscious decision to return back to the presence of God and to live in relationship with Him moment by moment. God created us to walk in fellowship with Him, to do life in relationship with Him.

But how do we draw near to God? What does that look like? The writer of Hebrews encourages us to "draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings” (Heb. 10:22). We are to come before God with hearts tuned to His truths. When we do so, God has promised that we will find Him. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God told His people, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). You see, God is never far away. He hears our cries and is longing to meet with us. Isaiah writes that “the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear” (Isa. 59:1).

So we are to draw near to God in sincerity and humility - recognizing our dependence on Him for life. The worship team All Sons and Daughters(Daniel and Leslie Jordan) wrote the popular worship song “Great Are You Lord.” The lyrics of the chorus talk about God’s breath filling our lungs, so we “pour out our praise to You only.” This lyric of pouring out praise is describing an INTENTIONAL ACT OF WORSHIP. See, genuine worship is an intentional act - it’s not a ritualistic going through the motions. Sincere hearts can’t be faked, forced, or ritualized. One worship leader said, “Wherever

you worship today, I hope you are an active participant. Press in. God will meet you” (Brian Tabor). We have confidence that when we come before God with sincere hearts looking to draw close to Him, He meets us there - and changes us to look more like Him.

When we gather to worship the Savior, we are entering a holy place - whether it is a church building, our home, a coffeeshop, a hospital, or any other place. Anytime believers come together to worship, the Holy Spirit wants to save people, heal people, set people free from addiction, and free people from the bondage of the slavery of sin. The Holy Spirit wants to take people’s lives from death to life - every single time.

So when we come before the throne of God in worship, we are to do so with a HOLY EXPECTANCY - expecting to see God move in our midst and expecting to see lives changed. We should never grow tired of it. We should never not be in awe of what it taking place. Authentic worship of the Savior isn’t confined to a church service or even to a particular music style; it is a posture of the heart, meeting with God and ascribing worth to Him. This is why the mission of Live Oak Worship is to FOSTER ENVIRONMENTS THAT ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO ACTIVELY ENGAGE IN WORSHIP.

We know when people actively come before God seeking His heart in worship, He meets them there. Even more, when people encounter the power of God, their lives are changed.


Trent Barnett

Worship & College Minister

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