You have a standing invitation
Your worship ushers you into God’s dwelling place. You have a place of dwelling inside of you, where the Lord is always with you, alongside you, going before and behind (Deuteronomy 31:8), but the Lord has a dwelling place too, that does not reside within you. You can access the Lord’s place of dwelling by worshipping Him. “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving in your heart and into His courts with praise,” the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 100:4.
In Psalm 84:4, the sons of Korah wrote, “Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they continually praise You. Selah.” See that? Continual praise is a hallmark of the place where the Lord dwells. So when you praise and worship Him continually, you position yourself in a very specific place before Him. There’s a difference between you going to your friend’s home and them coming over to your house. You’re more at ease in your own space. There is a freedom in your own dwelling than in that of someone else. Your interaction with your friends is different when you’re the host. Perhaps you set out special things, or prepare special foods and you take time away from chores to visit with them. It’s the same way with the Lord. When you enter into His dwelling place, He acts differently. No, He doesn’t love you more, but He works differently when you’re in His presence than when He is in yours. The dynamic changes- for the more powerful!
Continual praise is a hallmark of the place where the Lord dwells. So when you praise and worship Him continually, you position yourself in a very specific place before Him.
Because of the powerful, spiritual connection that worship makes between you and God, there is naturally continual praise. If you’re continually thankful to the Lord, your response is to worship Him for all that you have to give thanks for! As a worshipper, your heart is to please the Lord and to show Him your love, servitude and devotion by bringing Him what He has asked for – all of you. Expressing your worship with your body is a necessary component of worship and it’s how you fulfill Scriptures like Romans 12:1 to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship.” God speaks the language of sacrifice. He gets it and He loves to see you worship that way!
Of course the Lord is with you wherever you go, but if you always made your friend come to your house and refused to make the effort to visit with them in their home when you know you’ve been invited, that is a one-sided effort in your relationship. It’s out of balance. It’s the same with the Lord. He wants a give-and-take relationship with you too! He is your friend! He is happy to be where you are, but He invites you to come and be with Him as well. “Blessed” are those to dwell in His house, the Psalmist wrote. God has so much in store for you, and He’ll deliver some of it, but for other things you’ll have to go to His dwelling place to pick it up!
Thought for today
Just like in any relationship, there is work involved. Will you always feel like worshipping? No. Will you always feel grateful? Probably not. Will worship sometimes feel like an effort, or, a sacrifice? Yes. It it easier to just have the Lord come and meet you where you are? Yes, and He is faithful to do that because He loves you so much that He’ll do what it takes to be with you- even sacrificing His own Son. But is it better? No. Having a balanced, healthy relationship with the Lord involves reciprocity. It means that He comes to you where you are, but also that you go to Him, where He is- that is worship. There is time today to worship Him. There is time to think grateful thoughts and make a melody in your heart, to sing a new song, to raise your hands for a bit and say thanks. There is time to step into His dwelling place today. You have a standing invitation. He is waiting for you there. <3