What Does Extravagant Worship Look Like?
Worship is a verb, defined as “with great or extravagant respect, honor and devotion.”
Worshiping our Savior, Jesus Christ, is fundamental to living a faith-filled, Spirit-led, Christian life. There are countless, conflicting opinions as to how we actually worship the Lord. There are multiple worship methods, plans, and styles that vary among cultures and geographic boundaries. The Lord enjoys the diversity of sincere worship when expressed through His Spirit and in truth.
Worship should be a way of life, with many facets of expression.
The insistence that there is only one way to worship God has often left the body of Christ confused, fragmented, and frustrated. Some worship leaders declare that a certain defining style of worship is the only correct way to worship the Lord, but that is a narrow view of His inexhaustible riches.
Music and song are ways we can praise God’s name, but the Word says we can worship God in many ways.
We can worship with feasting (Psalm 22:29). I think that’s a great concept.
“All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.”
We can worship the Lord with joyful songs (Psalm 100:2).
“Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.”
We can worship God with sacrifices and offerings (Isaiah 19:21).
“So the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the Lord. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and keep them.”
We can even worship by walking and jumping as the man did who had been lame was healed by the name of Jesus (Acts 3:8-9).
“He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.”
But regardless of the method, the worship of God must be in Spirit, (from our natural consciences) and in truth (consistent with our lives) John 4:24.
We don’t have to be great singers or musicians to worship God.
Our worship can be filled with radical demonstrations of praise and other times be very quiet and personal. Neither is better than the other. But we do need to be in a relationship with a personal God and live with the truth of His greatness reflecting through all we are becoming and all that we do.
I have lived with many unhealthy labels in my life, but I have a longing in me for the King of Heaven to label me an “extravagant worshipper.” As a worship minister, I ask worshippers to ask the question “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Parents will tell you that phrase is often used by their children at the beginning of a long journey. Even though it seems we have been traveling for hours, we’ve a long way to go before our worship is extravagant.
Extravagant worship is not achieved by taking shortcuts.
“When the ark of the Lord’s covenant was finally brought to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, the priests, musician, and singers joined in unison to bring extravagant worship. All the Levites who were musicians…stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. The trumpeter and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they sang: ‘He is good; his love endures forever.’ Then the temple of the Lord was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God” (2 Chronicles 5:12-14, emphasis added). The priest’s attempt to connect with God was blown away by God’s coming and connecting with them.
People often want quick solutions. They want directions to the easy path; but shortcuts never lead to the gold in life. Most shortcuts become setbacks. I have tried shortcuts in worship, I have tried to do things my way, but I only ended up frustrated, and the goal seemed to be slipping away.
To practice extravagant worship, we need to be good about saying “I lay down my life.” Come to Jesus with a grateful heart, and in everything you do, live a lifestyle of extravagant worship!
Taken from Extravagant Worship: Holy, Holy, Holy is He Who Was and Is and Is to Come! By Darlene Zschech. Bethany House, 2002. Used with permission.