Over the years of being guided by the Spirit (willingly and unknowingly) He has continually broug ht us to the place of being “His people group.”
I say this inclusively, not just us the Vineyard, but on behalf of what, I believe, He is doing in the Body of Christ as a whole. We are His; His people, Citizens of the Kingdom. We are to live as His people group, separate from other people groups, but still intertwined with those not yet in His Kingdom. We are to share life in a way that invites people to be drawn into God’s love for them. We do that by engaging with love not fear, hope not worries, and life not death. These life giving “ethos” (characteristics) open the doors for others to gently walk into His Presence, which will change them forever.
How does this life-giving presence move from us to others? I believe first that it comes from a life of worship. Worship: paying divine honors to the Supreme Being, The God of Abraham. As we see in Exodus chapter 34 that worship is conversational, relational and personal with our God. It is something that happens continuously throughout our day. Worship is not just singing songs. It is also listening, obedience to His voice, patience, quietness; an intertwining of all these and more. Worship is setting our agenda aside to follow His agenda for the day, for the week and for our lives. Worship is a lifestyle that says we serve, adore, admire and have relationship with the God of the Universe.
Sunday worship is to be a time of celebrating our Almighty God. It is a time where we come together to sing songs of blessing to Him. It is a time for us to be quit before Him, intentionally listening to His voice that directs who we are in Him. It is a time where we allow Him to be what He needs to be for us in the specific season of our walk with Him. We should also use Sunday worship to tell of His great works throughout the week. Because worship is our lifestyle, we should come to corporate or one-on-one gatherings already primed in worship. It is not the soul responsibility of the “worship leader” to get you into the mood to worship, that is your responsibility. I say this not condemningly, but for the sole purpose of accountability. It is for you that you come with a heart of worship; one that has been engaged with Him all week. Sunday simply is an overflow of what has been happening all week long.
This lifestyle of worship is what transforms the culture around us, to be like the Kingdom of Heaven that is invading this earthly realm. God is using you to change lives! You should not need a bumper sticker on your car to show you are a Christian, your daily lifestyle should express that you have a changed life because of Him. That is evangelism; I am a changed person because of Him! Then you express His story through your God-given expression of Him.
From past personal experience, this lifestyle usually is not acquired over night. In fact, it is not suppose to be. It is a lifelong journey of being transformed into His likeness. We could not stand under the weight of His full presence if it came all at once, in a sudden moment. God, in His wisdom, continues to increase His presence to us gradually in proportion to our openness to Him and our willingness to obey and follow where He leads. This openness and willingness brings us into the gradual transformation of becoming who we truly are from heaven’s perspective, our true identity unfolding as we walk out this lifestyle of loving the Father while also receiving His love as we continue to learn to love like Jesus loves.