Whew, that’s a lot of P’s in one title! Nonetheless, it is the best way to describe an email a pastor sent me yesterday. I love this guy’s heart and grasp on praise and worship of our awesome God. That everyone had his passion and understanding! According to this note, what helped encourage his pursuit of deeper and greater praise was our worship study, Praise More Powerful. This is just one more example of how God is using this study – as people get in His presence and in His Word – to transform lives for His glory! (Thank you, Father!)
Email excerpt from Pastor John Martin:
I believe that God is going to use your ministry, Next Level Worship, to impact this and the next generation with His power by helping people to understand and adopt the ideology of whole-life worship. Only by Christians wholly worshiping God and using every area of their lives as an opportunity to worship Him will we ever be able to truly experience the power of God in our prayers, our praise, and our proclamation! This is what is needed. I feel so very strongly that a return to whole-life worship is the catalyst that God is going to use to break up the “fallow ground” and send the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God through this world before the return of Christ. We unleash the power of God in our lives when we praise Him! We can never properly praise Him until we begin to worship Him with all our hearts, our souls, our minds, and our bodies.
That one thought is what keeps coming to me over and over, and I have dedicated the rest of my life to the passionate pursuit of God’s praise. It is something that I began learning when I was saved and first said, “Thank you Lord.” Through the years I have grown in my praise, and I am now able to bring larger sacrifices of praise to God because I have grown in my understanding of worship. For many years after being saved my praise was weak and pathetic because I was not worshiping God with my whole life. But when, by His grace, I begin to relinquish control to God and I begin to realize that I was nothing and He was everything, I began to learn more and more how to praise Him. I am still learning. But I long for the day when the power of God makes that last transformation in my life, and I am moved from this world to the next where at last, my praise for Him will be perfected. My love for Him will be complete when I knell in His presence in the throne room, and I will finally be able to offer to Him perfect praise. So many people don’t get that.
One thing that Praise More Powerful has done for me is given me the means to articulate what God had been doing in my life for the last few years. I am thankful, first of all, to God for He is the inspiration, and I am thankful to you for allowing yourself to be His instrument. I guess some people don’t get that either. I didn’t for a long time. I wonder that if I had been mentored and discipled in the concept of whole-life worship in the very beginning, where could I be now? How much time did I waste because I “compartmentalized” God and did not worship Him with my whole life? I thank Him for leading me to this concept, and I thank Him for giving you the ability to put in writing the basics of this concept.
To me it is the most important message we can get out to the church. If people will get the idea that worship is not a “part” of our lives, it is our lives, then we will draw close to God and experience intimacy and communion through prayer. As we grow in our knowledge of Who God is and we understand more about His character, we will grow in our ability to praise Him. Instead of offering “tokens” of praise (which is what the majority of Christians do, I’m afraid) we will begin to truly offer to Him sacrifices of praise (our bodies on the altar of service). As we praise Him more and more He unleashes His power within our lives.
We have the power to proclaim the Gospel to the lost, to minister to their needs. That power constantly “transforms” us into His image, and we offer Him more and more praise which allows us to “reflect His glory” to the world around us. This motivates us to more passionately pursue praise which results in more power and more proclamation. It’s perpetual! And then we are changed in a moment, and we will be able to offer to God not only passionate praise, but perfect praise because we will have finally been permanently transformed by His power, and we rule and reign with Christ our Lord for eternity!
John Martin is pastor or Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Waycross, GA. You may contact John via email: john at pvbcwaycross dot com.
To order the 9-week Bible study, Praise More Powerful: Insights to Transform Our Worship, please go here.