The year of worship

For a long time I have started every new year with some predictions for myself or with a theme for the year. I have called past years the year of breakthrough, the year of transformation, the year of growth. Most of the themes have been about me but recently the Lord showed me that  I needed to take a different direction and declare the year as a consecration to Him. The theme I would choose would have to be something that I would be doing for Him and through Him. He had to be the center of the theme. When I was praying a few days ago it was clear that I should be calling 2021 the year of worship. This new year should be all about Jesus. You might say that every year should be about Him. I agree and I am seeing this year as the start of a new trend. 

Jesus is going to be very trendy and go viral because when we worship Him and honor Him, we want everyone to know Him. He is so good and so amazing. There is no way we can keep such an incredible Lord to ourselves.The year of worship is the year of Jesus being exalted in all we do and say. It is the year when we surrender and we put Him first. I am very excited about 2021 and not because of what might happen to me but because of what I know can happen through me as I worship the Lord. The goal for 2021 is for me to diminish so He can increase. I am not making this year about myself, about what I can gain and what I can accomplish unless it is for His glory. I am inviting you today to join me in the year of worship. Dedicate 2021 to Jesus and you will see what He will do for you as you start seeing His face better.

We were made to worship the Lord. Somehow our purpose has been lost in translation. We think that we were made so God can bless us. He will bless us and He loves being with us. He adores each and every one of us but we are supposed to lift Him up and make Him the reason why we are here. He is the reason. His sacrifice on the cross is the ultimate sacrifice. A free gift to the world that came at a high cost and yet the Father paid it in full so that whoever believes in Jesus would have eternal life. That is reason enough to worship Him. Not just in words or with our singing but with our lives. Worship goes beyond tunes and voices. Those are a major part of it but our lives are instruments of worship as well. 

The year of worship is the year when we let ourselves be used by God, when we seek His face, when we honor Him and when we adore Him. It is a year of dedication and a year of learning. Learning about Jesus and wanting to make Him known. I like to think that it is the year when we say “Lord, You are in charge. I dedicate my life to You. Do whatever You want. Teach me what You want. This year is Yours.” Those words speak to the feelings of reverence and adoration we should continually have for the Lord. I used to be a fan of certain singers and bands and my reverence for them was too big. They were idols even though I didn’t think they were. No human being should come before the Lord, not even our families and friends. Worship means adoration and that level of love should only be directed to the Lord.

How will we be a vessel of worship to the Lord in 2021? I believe there are many ways we can do that and some ways are just specific to us. One thing I know is that excellence in service to the Lord comes from trying and doing our best. No one is perfect and we can’t be perfect servants but God sees our hearts and wanting it and trying to do it are a great start. We can worship the Lord with our best effort to imitate Him and to listen to His Spirit. Worship doesn’t happen without the Holy Spirit. He is the One who connects us to Jesus. He is the connector and we need Him to make contact with the Lord. Let’s be sure that we don’t ignore the Holy Spirit in 2021. Let’s include Him in all we do. He can lead us into great worship by telling us what we should do and how we can honor the Lord better.

 The Word of God is a fantastic guide when it comes to worship and studying it more should be one of our goals in 2021. I also encourage you to continue to sing and worship the Lord in the privacy of your home. Have worship sessions. Lift up your voice and sing about Him. New songs will come to you when you do it with the Holy Spirit’s assistance. Your life is also a song that can glorify the Lord or that can reject Him. Be sure to keep the tune of worship and dedication going. Be sure to give Jesus the best of you. Worship Him by talking to the world about Him. Brag on Him. Praise Him. Make Him famous in your own way. Stay true to who you are by giving Him permission to define who you are in Him. Remember it should be all about Him so celebrate Him and exalt Him all year! The year of worship will be your best year yet!

Suggested reading: Psalm 95:6;Luke 4:8; Hebrews 13:15

Keep the praises going

Yesterday I was talking with a friend about the current situation in the world and how it is affecting everyone. As we were talking, I got a message deep down in my spirit. It was the kind of message that lands on your heart, that grows very fast on the inside and that you have to let out. It came out naturally and it felt like a hug from the Lord. The message was, “Keep the praises going.” In the middle of everything that is taking place, the Lord is telling us to keep on praising Him. He is telling us not to change our praise routine and not to fall out of that beautiful habit. Many people have been tempted to give up on God. Many people have given up on Him but He is not giving up on anyone. He is still whispering, “Keep praising Me. Praise is the answer.” Think about it! Praise is the answer. Praise is what will get us out of this cell of fear and confusion. Praise is powerful. Praise is God showing up through the words of our adoration. The Lord is still surrounding us and winning the battles of life. This is one more battle. This appears like one gigantic battle but greater is the One who is in us than the giant of this pandemic.

 

This giant is presenting itself as a selfish phenomenon that is not sparing lives and that goes wherever it pleases. Its ugly ahead is all over the news. It tries to make a nest in our minds and a house in our hearts. It doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t choose only a few people. It is spreading its venom all over the planet. The truth is wherever it goes, God is there too and God was there first. He has always been around. Praising Him is praising the One who started it all and who knows how it will end. It ends in His hands and believers like you and me are putting it all in the palm of His hand. We sing praises to the Lord of lords, the King of kinds the wearer of the crown of life. The answer is in our praises and we need to get together spiritually in one accord and praise life back into this world. We need to let our voices get louder than the tears caused by the agony and pain. We need to take a stand of faith and let our praises keep us standing. Today I want to encourage you to keep the praises going. Don’t let the chaotic climate change what is on the inside of you. Let the One inside of you change the negative climate around you. Do it through praise. Keep the praises going!

 

Praise is the element of my prayer life that ignites the flame of the Holy Spirit. When I get into praise mode, I get into Holy Ghost mode. It doesn’t take long for the presence of the Lord to manifest. He comes with joy, He comes with peace, He comes with boldness and He comes with power. The praises activate His power and I am transported into a place where nothing seems impossible, fear doesn’t show up and faith is high. It is that place of safety that we should be visiting all the time. We should visit it so often that it should become our habitation. Praise makes our house strong. Praise builds mansions of hope and castles of dominion. With praise we allow God to dominate our situations. No weapon formed against us can stand in our way when we are in the fortress of praise because that is where the Lord dwells. He is our refuge and our shelter and our praises to Him keep us under His protection. Let’s keep the praises going and doubt, fear and confusion will have no choice but to leave.

 

When Paul and Silas were in jail, they prayed and praised the Lord all the time. One night their praises were so strong that the whole prison was shaken and the doors were open. This is what praise does. It gets you out of the jail where you were confined unfairly and it opens doors that seemed sealed shut. Your praises are making a huge difference in your environment. They are shaking things up until they fall into place. Keep the praises going and you will keep shaking those spiritual prison doors. Keep the praises going and you will get closer to freedom one praise at a time. The world needs “prison-shakers” like you and me. The world needs people who will not be afraid to praise the Lord in their darkest hour. Keep the praises going no matter how you are feeling. Your emotions will align with the Lord’s peace and joy when you don’t stop praising Him. Get up and start praising. Get up and start shaking the jails around you. Your Lord is powerful and your praises will be the evidence of His sovereignty. Praise away!

Suggested reading: psalm 150:2; Acts 16:16-40; Hebrews 13:15