Over the next several weeks, I’d like to take you, the Women of Warren, on a retreat via our WOW Weekly Moments. God allowed 90 of us to participate in a life-changing weekend in Hilton Head Island, but I believe He desires for many more to experience His sweet presence in worship, His powerful instruction through the Word, communion with Him in prayer, the joy of the Lord in serving, and the hope found through the encouragement of godly friends.
No, the Lord would not have you miss this and neither will I. So find a comfy spot, grab a cup of coffee, hot tea, or a cool glass of water and let’s drink in the refreshing presence of the Lord together.
We’ll begin with our worship time at the retreat because it was amazing!
I so wish I could transport us to that room in Hilton Head where the Spirit of God was so thick you could nearly see it. There have been times I have experienced the presence of the Lord as powerfully as we did through worship at our retreat, but I’ll be honest and say that I don’t sense the intensity of God’s presence every time I worship corporately like I did last weekend.
As I prayed and asked the Lord to reveal to me the difference in those times I have sensed His presence so profoundly, I believe He showed me some things from His Word that can help us in our times of worship whether corporate or private.
1. There was much prayer that led up to our time of worship. We asked God to be present. For nearly a month we sought God daily begging Him to meet us at the retreat.
Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
2. We were positioned to hear from God. We expected and anticipated His presence and made our hearts ready to be in His presence. We cleansed and purified our hearts before we began our time of worship and we came with humility before His throne.
Psalm 51:17 tells us, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
3. Praise was on our lips! God was our main focus. We had no other agenda but to magnify the Lord Jesus Christ and tell Him of His greatness.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.– Psalm 22:3
(Enthroned means – to dwell, to inhabit, to remain or abide)
4. The passion of our hearts was Jesus. Each woman came desperate and in need of God. We came craving a glimpse of His glory.
Psalm 42:1-2 declares, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”
In John 4:23-24, Jesus speaks of true worship when He says …
But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
As wonderful as our time of worship was at the retreat, I want to stop and remind us of something … God longs for us to worship Him, but not just through music. He wants us to worship Him as a part of our daily lives.
Worship is simply showing and telling God His worth. We do this as we love Him, obey Him, and serve Him. When we seek God by studying His Word, we are worshiping Him. When we serve someone with an attitude of humility, love, and kindness, we are worshiping God.
Worship is an attitude of the heart that declares that He is of utmost importance to us.
John MacArthur says this about worship:
Worship, by the way, is not music. Worship is loving God. Worship is honoring God. Worship is knowing God for who He is, adoring Him, obeying Him, proclaiming Him as a way of life. Music is one way we express that adoration.
Our entire life is to be focused on God – this is worship as a way of life.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
Isn’t it amazing that the longest book of the Bible (Psalms) is full of praise and worship to God? Furthermore, the final book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, paints a glorious picture of worship when Jesus returns. Look at these verses and try to imagine what it will be like to one day worship in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ forever!
The twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, or you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. – Revelation 4:10-11
And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. – Revelation 5:8-14
There was such freedom in our worship at our retreat. I felt an overwhelming approval from the Lord. He was truly delighted in our worship to Him. It was all unto Him … all for His glory.
Worship the Lord today as you listen to one of the songs we sang to the Lord. It’s called Place of Freedom by Highlands Worship. This has become one of my favorites!