John 6-21; Psalm 149,150; Proverbs 1,2
Key passage for devotion: Psalm 150
Sometimes when I'm leading worship and I look out from behind my guitar and music stand, I see people worshiping with such sincerity that something powerful happens. As I connect with other worshipers, I am propelled deeper into the presence of God, and I become more aware of His greatness. This interchange reminds me that worship is not about us.
This is the beauty and potential of corporate worship.
I currently serve as a worship pastor for a new church plant in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area, and I have been leading people in corporate times of singing and praise for over 13 years. I am always blessed by this interchange of corporate worship when one worshipper spurs another on toward deeper and more focused worship. And this is exactly the feeling I get from Psalm 150. The writer of this psalm has such exuberance for the Lord that he draws us into it. It is a psalm that encourages participation and excitement.
Psalm 150 starts and ends with an exclamatory Hallelujah (translated “Praise the LORD”). Hallelu (translated “Praise Him”) is in every one of its verses. In this context, the Hebrew words Hallelujah and Hallelu carry with them the idea that God is the best. We are to shout this from the housetops and to engage in celebratory music as we exclaim, “He is the greatest!”
Although there is a place for somber, contemplative expressions of worship, this Psalm exhorts us with repetition and exclamation to get excited about a God who is unmatched in power and greatness!
As I sit at my make-shift office (i.e., Starbucks) typing this blog, it is rainy and dreary out. It’s just not the kind of day that makes you feel like getting excited about God. So what do we do when we don’t feel like celebrating God? We all have those days, or weeks, or years. This psalm is not a plea to pump ourselves up with emotionalism. In fact, its emphasis on God’s greatness reminds us that worship is not about us.
And that’s the point. Focusing upon the greatness of God in opposition to our own struggles, stresses, and hang-ups, is good for the soul. It brings healing and relief because it aligns us with our true purpose: worshipping God.
When was the last time you got excited about God? I mean really excited. Try spending some time meditating upon Psalm 150, and see if you don’t get pulled into the excitement.
Also, check out the song Our God. It is a newer song that embodies the excitement of Psalm 150. It is one of the songs I have been singing lately to help me celebrate the greatness of God.
Kipp is a guest writer for the WOW blog, the son of the WOW manager, Gail Purath. Kipp has been involved in worship and outreach ministry for over 15 years, and he is currently as associate pastor for Epic Life, a new Christian Missionary Alliance church plant in Fredericksburg, VA. He and his wife, Jenny, have two sons.