IS IT PRAISE, OR IS IT WORSHIP, PART 3

Lord I hand It To YouIn Parts 1   and 2 of this article, we explored four distinct differences between praise and worship.  They are as follows:

  1. Anyone can praise Him, but only those who are in Him can worship Him
  2. You can praise apart from worship, but you cannot worship apart from praise.
  3. Praise invites Him to come, but worship invites Him to stay
  4. Praise ushers in His presence, but worship ushers in His habitation

Now let’s wrap up this series by examining the final three distinctions.

DISTINCTION #5:  Praise acknowledges Him as God, but worship reveres Him as MY GOD

Flowers In The AtticAs a child I saw a movie called “Flowers InThe Attic” about a woman who upon the sudden death of her husband was forced to move into her mother’s mansion.  She had been abandoned by her parents when she married so her children never knew they had any living grandparents.  Since they had no relationship with their grandmother, they referred to her as “the grandmother”.  Even after living under her roof, she was never honored as their matriarch.

Back to the real world…One day my sister and I had a discussion concerning our maternal grandfather who died when my mother was still a teenager. We never knew any of our grandfathers, so I found it OscarWooten(Daddy)quite comical that we kept referring to him as “the grandfather”.  I quickly asked “who are we?  The flowers in the attic?”

While we were amused at the similar references, referring to our grandfather as our own felt foreign to us.  Never having our own relationship with him, we could acknowledge him, but that’s as close as we could get.

Have you ever met someone that refers to their spouse as “the wife” or “the husband”?  Typically, when you claim someone as your own, when you hold them dear enough that you would do practically any for them, you would never objectify them by calling them a “the”.  “The” is reserved mostly for strangers, i.e., “the lady down the street was pleasant so I thanked her”, or “the kid mowed my lawn and I appreciate him for that”.

WHEN “THE” BECOMES “MY”

When I consider the man riding with me on the bus that night so many years ago, I realize that he acknowledged God as some distant acquaintance, but God wasn’t revered by him as an up close and personal relative.  When we revere God intimately as “my God”, considering God as our own personal savior, Lord and King, we express worship in word AND in deed.  For the true worshipper, He is no longer some distant unattainable entity.  He is instead someone so dear and personal to us that we know we can call upon Him any time of any day for any reason whatsoever.  The Lord becomes My Lord.

DISTINCTION #6:  Praise keeps you aware of Him, but worship keeps you faithful to Him

Someone once shared with me that while she was ministering to a mutual friend and asked if she was saved, the mutual friend responded, “Yes, I gave my life to the Lord many times” she said meaning that on several occasions, she had responded to the altar call and prayed the prayer of repentance.  Yet her life had never really changed.

PRAISE CONVICTS WHILE WORSHIP CONVERTS

Praise made her acutely aware of God and that awareness convicted her of her sins.  But she did not allow worship to convert her into a faithful servant of God.

Jesus gave Peter an interesting instruction:  “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”[1]  Peter had been following Jesus for the entire three years of His ministry, but he still wasn’t converted.

Out of his conviction, Peter refused to acknowledge that he was capable of denying Jesus.  He thought he was “sold out” for Him.  Spending three years with Jesus didn’t strengthen his conviction enough for complete conversion so as soon as he felt threatened, he did in fact deny Jesus.

We never saw his conversion truly take place until the day of Pentecost when he preached to the masses and began his ministry as a truly “sold out” faithful witness of Jesus Christ.[2]  It was then that Peter became a true worshipper.

I’ve mentioned that worship is a lifestyle, but to walk in such a lifestyle requires a commitment to faithfulness. As we become fully committed, we  learn to obey even as Christ had to learn to obey through the things He suffered.[3]  It is through this commitment that we become faithful to Him and we shift from being convicts to converts.

DISTINCTION #7:  We do praise with our lips, but we do worship with our lives.

This one should be a no brainer by now.  True worship is reflected by the lives we live.  I’ve stated before that anyone can praise which is as simple as opening your mouth and speaking forth words of adoration.  But to live out the adoration that you speak of can only be done constantly and consistently when it flows from deep within your spirit.  It is then that your circumstances no longer dictate your moods, your attitudes, or your reactions.  You are instead more prone to be governed by your spirit which is directly linked to your source of worship.

It is very easy to say “Glory to God” when all is well, but to be able to declare that “to God be the glory” when all hell breaks loose in your life is indicative of the spirit of worship that resonates within you.

When you DO worship, there is no mistaking that you are His child.  No matter where you are or how public your struggles, others will be able to take one look at you and see the source of your worship all over you.

So what are you?  A praiser or a worshipper?

 

References:

[1] Luke 22:32

[2] Acts chapter 2

[3] Hebrews 5:8

3 thoughts on “IS IT PRAISE, OR IS IT WORSHIP, PART 3

  1. What an interesting article. Im gonna read part 1 and 2.

    I actually agree with you points esp the last one where you said ” we worship with our lives” I always understood that obedience is worship. Obedience is with our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

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