According to a recent online publishing website (opinionatedaboutdining.com) concerning European cuisine, Heuvelland Belgium has the number one restaurant in all of Europe. Around my anniversary I like to research new places and see if something might fit the occasion. As you can imagine, this restaurant is quite expensive, and not that my bride is not worth it, but she would not appreciate me spending our kids college fund on a meal.
There is a clientele that can afford this luxurious experience. Suppose you too could venture on over to this fabulous restaurant with all of its posh elegance, what would you be expecting? What would you desire to see?
When we come into a corporate or congregational gathering it is fitting to come with anticipation. Some may find that they like to use the word expectation. Regardless of where you go to church, what songs they sing, who is singing them, at what volume (too loud or too soft), there is, just as in our daily quiet-time-worship an impact that God desires to make on our lives. You go to a restaurant not just because it is food, but because there is a greater level of feeding (no pun intended) going on than just in your stomach. Going to church, entering praise and worship, this is the same approach that will mature your love for the church while at the same time honoring the greatest commandment.
Here are some impacts in congregational worship that have shaped and grown me:
1. Zeal For God
We gain passion. Singing about Him reminds us of who He is. Zeal is not exclusively body movement. When I am alone in my car I have the urge on occasion to open my mouth and declare His majesty. Singing His praises impacts my level of attention towards His presence.
2. Boldness For God
When the Apostles were confronted with their using the name of Jesus in public they simply responded to the Council, â€œWe must obey God rather than menâ€ (Acts 5:29). They didnâ€™t wake up one day and humanly devise a strategy to endure persecution. The Apostles were devoted to singing and praising God
3. Contentment In God
Worship impacts the assurance of the relationship. You find a great connection with God and the awareness of the bond between your soul and His holding it is stronger. Not because He can hold you any closer but because you become more aware of His already holding you close. Worshipping God impacts my entire being.
ThisÂ contentment and peace with God will absolutely shape the worldview for the good AND the bad moments of life.
4. Perspective With God
The Holy Spirit changes our perspective as an impact of our worship. In Psalm 115:3-8 David accurately describes those who worship idols. The best way to know who are becoming…what are you worshipping. There is a discernment that grows from worship. Seeing things for what they truly are AND what they are not. Upon seeing how the world functions there is a temptation to fall into despair. What is the answer for this despair?â€¦worship. We are always in need of perspective on what God is doing.
5. Refreshment In God
Once sin fractured mankind in the garden, a door opened for despair. We were never meant to carry this, however, it doesn’t escape us. It follows us like a lost kitten wanting food. God lifts this off, not so that we use Him like a drug but instead so that we find Him to be our satisfaction for everything. His design is for our awareness to Him being the author of our existence so that He can be the finisher of our existence.
Every time you get a chance to meet with Godâ€¦come with expectation to see a good God.
Zach Lowrie, a member of the European Worship Institute teaching team, is on staff at Christian Center in Brussels, Belgium where he serves as worship pastor and director of The Summons, anÂ internship program. He is married to Liz and they have three amazing sons.