ON THE JOURNEY

MELODY IRBY, WORSHIP PASTOR

How is your worshiping? 

 

This past year has challenged believers to reflect on our worship practices.   God desires that we be more and more intentional about our alone time with God, as well as about our gathering together as the body of Christ. (https://www.openbible.info/topics/gathering_together).

 

Whether it is in solitude, with our family or small group in front of a TV for online worship, or it is in a larger gathering, worshipping with intentionality is vital.

 

We are created for worship.  “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1)  It is widely agreed upon that every ancient culture practiced spiritual rituals and different ways of expressing worship.  Our creator designed humanity with this spiritual craving.

 

Co-founder, editor, and a director of Ancient History Encyclopedia, Joshua J. Marks writes:  Religion is an organized system of beliefs and practices revolving around, or leading to, a transcendent spiritual experience.  There is no culture recorded in human history which has not practiced some form of religion.”

 

Since human beings are wired for worship, we should seek to increase our understanding of what that means from a biblical perspective and what defines a “true worshiper”.  John 4:23-24 says:  “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

 

I have recently finished a book by Chris Tomlin and Darren Whitehead entitled “Holy Roar:  7 Words That Will Change the Way You Worship”.  The book explores seven Hebrew words for “praise” used in the Bible.  Just as the word “love” has different meanings (i.e. “I love sushi” vs. “I love my family”), the word “praise” has a variety of meanings when looking at the original Hebrew.  Understanding this has been transformative in opening up my eyes to the meaning of praise and worship.  I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to expand their expressions of faith in worship. 

 

Here are the 7 words:

  • The Hands of Praise:  “Yadah”- to revere or worship with extended hands, to hold out the hands, to throw a stone or arrow  (Psalm 67:3) יָדָה (yaw-daw')

  • The Fools of Praise:  “Halal”- to boast, to rave, to shine, to celebrate, to be clamorously foolish  (Psalm 149:3) הָלַל halal (haw-lal')

  • The Music of Praise:  “Zamar”- to make music, to celebrate in song and music, to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument.  (Psalm 144:9) זָמַר (zaw-mar')

  • The Expectation of Praise:  “Todah”- an extension of the hand, thanksgiving, a confession, a sacrifice of praise, thanksgiving for things not yet received, a choir of worshippers  (Psalm 56:11-12) תּוֹדָה (to-daw')

  • The Posture of Praise:  “Barak”- to kneel, to bless God as an act of adoration, to praise, to salute, to thank  (Psalm 72:7&15) בָּרַךְ (baw-rak)

  • The Songs of Praise:  “Tehillah”- laudation, a hymn, a song of praise, a new song, a spontaneous song (Psalm 22:3) תְּהִלָּה (teh-hil-law')
  • The Shout of Praise:  “Shabach”- to address in a loud tone, to shout, to commend, glory and triumph (Psalm 145:4) שָׁבַח (shaw-bakh')

As you worship this week, I challenge you to utilize one or more of the ways listed above to draw near to God. 

 

See you in worship and be sure to “Bring a Friend”!

-Melody

 

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