Extravagant worship is more than just worship alone. It's more than just an action, an outward expression, or any other kind of appearance. It's important to understand what worship really is and how we become better worshippers. Learning how to become an extravagant worshipper can be found in Darlene Zschech's book Extravagant Worship.
What is extravagant worship? Darlene explains it well. She says, "Oh, for the opportunity to kiss the beautiful feet of Jesus" (24). She is referring to the Bible story found in Luke 7:36-50. Jesus was dining at Simon the Leper's house one evening when a sinful woman brought perfume and worshipped at Jesus' feet. She wet his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. She kissed his feet and then poured perfume over them. Jesus then forgave her sins. The woman poured herself out to God in extravagant worship. Extravagant worship basically means to be wasteful. It means to "be elaborate in our offering of admiration to Him; our worship is to be over and above reasonable limits previously established" (25). This is what the woman did. Her offering was over and above all reasonable limits. She took something that was ordinary and made it extraordinary. Extravagance is all about what's in your hand now, what you can give away. This is the heart of a true worshipper; to be "wasteful" (26). Others that were with Jesus voiced their disapproval of the woman, but Jesus found no harm in her "wasteful" love for him. Jesus was merciful with the woman to see past her sins as she worshipped. Jesus forgave much, and the woman worshipped extravagantly. Our worship will always reflect how much we have been given. We need to constantly be looking at our lives and to "appraise the value we place on His love for us" (26).
Worship is also to be done in "spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). Our worship is not just about the music being played, it's about connecting with God. Darlene says, "Although music is a wonderful expression of worship, it is not in itself the essence of it. The core of worship is when one's heart and soul, and all that is within, adores and connects with the Spirit of God" (27). Without the God connection, our music is just music and it can not be considered worship. Darlene explains worship well: Worship is a verb, defined as "regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion." It is an active expression of our love toward God. It is vibrant and visible by our deeds and not only by the words we speak. Worship involves the giving of ourselves totally to the Lord. Worship is neither a ritualistic activity nor a musical emotion. It embodies and reflects the selfless generosity of Christ. Worship is a movement of our hearts, our thoughts, and our wills toward God's heart, thoughts, and will. (30-1)
Worship is a lifestyle, it's a world view. It is what keeps the edge in every Christian's life. It keeps us fresh and gives us vision, a hope, and a future. In every situation we can worship and watch God follow through. We worship when we're happy, when we're sad, tired, and lonely. Worship when you have enemies and trials to face. This is how you overcome your obstacles and how you obtain victory. People worship many things from false gods to anything that can be idolized. Worship flows out from our inmost being. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life." So whatever we are putting into our lives, whether good or bad, is what's going to come out when worshipping. We worship the one true God, so let our worship be a lifestyle that is pleasing to Him.
Praise is also a key in learning how to become an extravagant worshipper. Praise is more than just singing a happy song. In fact "when we, God's people come into His presence with thanksgiving and praise, warfare is waged against our enemies, and our battles are won by the supernatural...
Cited: Redman, Matt. The Heart of Worship Files. Regal: California, 2003.
Zschech, Darlene. Extravagant Worship. Bethany House: Minneapolis, 2002.
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