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Abiding in the presence of God through worship

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Before we begin let's take a look at the definition of worship. The dictionary defines it as showing devotion and respect to; pay homage to, honor, revere, to express feelings of profound adoration.

Worship is our humble response to God's regenerating power in our lives. It's based upon the work that God has done in bringing about our redemption through Christ's sacrifice at the cross.

The Bible says in John 4:23; "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him."

God is looking for his people to worship him, to give him praise for all the blessings he has given us. Worship is an act of being thankful to him for those blessings. Worship and praise brings God's presence into our lives.

Finding time to worship everyday will help us to abide in him, especially when the storms of life come our way. It's essential to have God's presence in our lives because he's the one who will help us endure the devastation a storm can bring.

Worship helps us to abide, to dwell, in the presence of God while the storms of life rage around us. It's an act of faith in response to who God is and what he has done for us. Praising and worshipping God is a powerful weapon in our arsenal against the troubles we find ourselves facing.

One example of praise and worship is found in Acts 16:23-26. Paul and Silas were beaten and cast into prison. Their situation was very bad, yet they lifted up their voices and gave God praise and worshipped him. Let's take a look at those verses, they say:

"And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24; Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25; But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed."

Undoubtedly, Paul and Silas were in great pain from being beaten, but they gave God praise and worshipped him regardless of their situation. God demonstrated his power through their act of faith and as a result their jailer gave his heart to the Lord.

Paul and Silas, in spite of the pain raging through their bodies and their disheartening atmosphere chose to worship God. Despite what they had endured Paul and Silas were still redeemed and sanctified children of God, that never changed. They could have pitied themselves but their situation would have stayed the same. It was only because of their act of faith did their circumstance change.

Author Jeff Levin, PhD, wrote in his book God, Faith, and Health, “The positive emotions resulting from spiritual worship can help us to overcome the stresses of daily life.” Jeff Levin also shared what research has to say about our relationship with God and our spiritual health:

When we are engaged in activities that are pleasurable and please God, we experience positive feelings and emotions such as joy, trust, love, and peace as we abide in Him. This very positive state of mind causes the glands of our body to release chemicals into our system that are health promoting. The more we remain in God’s abiding love and sense the awesomeness of His presence, the more of these healthy chemicals will be released into our body, thereby creating a positive psychological and spiritual impact.

It's possible to have God's presence abiding with us everyday if we will take the time to worship and praise him. Some of the ways we can abide in God's presence through worship are as follows:

Prayer. (We are not talking about the petitioning type of prayers here.) In order for our prayers to be considered worship the focus of them should be on who God is and what he's done for us. Prayers of worship are filled with praise and adoration for things like his grace, mercy and redemptive work through Jesus.

Witnessing and testifying can be acts of worship, but only if it puts the focus on God and what he has done in our lives. We can take a look at the book of Psalms to see how testimonies can be acts of worship. Often times the writer would give his experiences in life but would also incorporate the greatness of God and his mercy shown to them.

Music and singing unto God are acts of worship that can usher in the presence of God. We can also find examples when the children of Israel sang songs and used musical instruments to praise and worship God. We can use music to quiet our minds and hearts before him. It helps to put our focus upon God and his goodness. Through music we can show our gratefulness to him. We can show him how much we adore and exalt him with the help of music and singing.

If we incorporate these methods into our lives on a daily basis we will see God's presence abiding with and guiding us throughout the day. Then when life throws a curveball at us we can still knock it out of the park.

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