Finish Strong With Fearless Faith

Deepen Your Faith Through Praise & Worship #63

August 08, 2022 Fearless Faith Season 2 Episode 63
Finish Strong With Fearless Faith
Deepen Your Faith Through Praise & Worship #63
Show Notes Transcript

Do you long to feel God’s presence in a greater way?   Do you feel like your prayer life has grown stale?  You need to unlock the power of Praise & Worship!

Most Christians think that Worship is something that happens for 15 minutes in church before the sermon. It involves so much more.  Many people think praise is the same as worship, but that is not the case. You need to know the difference. 

In this episode of Finish Strong, you will discover what the Bible has to say about Praise and Worship.  We’ll also explore many creative ways to worship the Lord each and every day of our lives. Unlock the explosive power of these two critical elements of our Christian faith and do it NOW!  

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Dan Wheeler:

Do you feel like something is lacking in your spiritual life DeLonge to sense God's presence in a greater way. Today, we're going to help you discover how to do that through the power of praise and worship. If you're like me, you probably feel like so much of your prayer life is asking God for help. You're always saying, oh, Lord, help, please. Well, we're gonna get you out of that mode and into a deeper prayer life. My name is Dan Wheeler. I'm one of your hosts. On finish strong. I'm joined by Terry Steen, my co host and our producer, John Matarazzo. We usually have Brian rollin as a co host, but Brian's under the weather Terry's just not feeling well at all.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, that's sad news. Apparently, this is a COVID situation. So it's not necessarily old age. He's had a couple struggles here with his body. And so we're praying, he has a quick recovery. That leaves a little more talking for us. And so that's kind of scared me a little the more I talk the better chance of making an idiot out of myself. So

Dan Wheeler:

well. Yeah, just try to keep the foot down on the floor.

John Matarazzo:

That's good advice there, Dan.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah. Well, John, Bryan and Deb. They hadn't had COVID. And they'd escaped for a long time. I know you tried to get it, but you didn't get it. So you must have really good antibodies,

John Matarazzo:

I guess. So when my sister got it. I tried to get it from her early on, just so that I could get done with my quarantine. But I didn't get it. So I had to start my quarantine when hers ended. And I ended up being quarantined away from everybody for a month. By the time it was all done. And I was going crazy. So my heart and my prayers go out for Brian and Deb as they're recovering, because the quarantine, that's and that's not fun at all.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, we're praying for both of them that they heal very quickly, and Brian's back with us on our next recording. But if you're like me, you know, when you praise the Lord, you feel like his presence, you get to a point where you can actually feel his presence at times through the Holy Spirit. And it's interesting, Terry, because a lot of people feel that praise and worship are one in the same. They do go hand in hand, but they're not exactly the same. Are they?

Terry Steen:

Yeah, that's true. And you know, unfortunately, so many people look at praise and worship only as what they do in that 15 minutes on Sunday morning, church. Good point. And there's so much more to it. And so I think if we can do anything, it's to bring people's mindset out a little bit deeper to know how much power there is in praise and worship in your daily life. But praise. Praise is something that we it's relational, but not necessarily just with God praises, reflecting on what God's done, but it's an appreciation for work that's done. And I could praise you guys for things you do as well as I can praise God. So that is something or praise is something that doesn't require that much from us. But it's acknowledging something, where worship, that's where the work comes in. That's where that's the art of losing yourself and adoration. And you know, Praise is easy worships not easy, and we'll get into it. But worship is a lifestyle. Worship is something from the heart. It's not just word spoken.

Dan Wheeler:

I feel like worship involves our total commitment to him. We worship him all day long, when we live for him when we're living righteously, and we're staying in touch with him. And then I feel like praise is more of that vocalizing and giving him Lord and adoration and thankfulness. But that that all ties into to praise the Bible says, we need to do both in John 424. It says God is a Spirit, we must worship Him in spirit and in truth. And it's interesting because the word worship is mentioned 150 times in the King James Version of the Bible, whereas Praise, praise is mentioned 248 times. But you know, they go hand in hand. Definitely. But I like what you said, Terry, because a lot of people say, Oh, I really enjoyed the worship this morning. And they're usually referring to the music and the singing. And I often want to say, well, worship is something we really should be doing all the time.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, yeah. It's not just an occasional activity. You know, in John four, he tells us that we're to worship Him in spirit and in truth so, you know, worships and attitude of the heart. You can have people that go through the outward emotion are the outward motions of worshiping. There's 1000s of people that are in a church service on a Sunday morning. That might be in essence, worse. should have been in their minds. But if their heart's not there, it's not an effective form of worship because worship, we realign our priorities with God. So, I look at it this way that praise intertwines with thanksgiving. But worship intertwines with surrender when we get to the heart. That's where we get to this surrender part. And we'll be talking about that a little bit further this surrender and the humility that comes with worship,

Dan Wheeler:

right. And in addition to worshiping the Lord all day long, we can certainly praise him all day long. Hebrews 1315 says, by him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Now, I always wondered about that term sacrifice of praise. And I did a morning cup of inspiration on our Facebook page. If you're not familiar with that we do a little three minute videos every day. It's at Fearless faith, or at FFM 60 on Facebook. But praise is to me is not a sacrifice. You know, when you think of sacrifices, Terry, you look in the Old Testament, I mean, they had to, you know, for atonement for sins, slaughter animals, and yeah, and do all kinds of aromas and incense and just a lot of work and a lot of mess. And I'm so thankful. We don't have to do that anymore. But why do you think it's called a sacrifice of praise in that verse?

Terry Steen:

That's a good question. We come back to the effort that they put into sacrificially, offer those animals. And when you when you read in the Old Testaments, there were 1000s, there were, there were festivals where they did multiple 1000s of that sacrificing so I don't know if it's so much something that's detrimental to us when we talk about sacrifice in this setting, but it is making an effort. Yes, making an effort to praise the Lord. I think back to like in the New Testament, the new Christians when they were serving God, and were flogged for it. They were beaten for serving God. And they came away from they're going back to their fellow Christians rejoicing, they were happy about that sacrifice. And that's just another level we I don't think we can even understand that. Can we? I don't

Dan Wheeler:

either. I don't either. John Matarazzo is a younger guy. You know, we're all in our 60s Brian's in his 70s Johnson, his late 30s. But he's a sharp guy, he hosts a podcast called along the way, which you really should check out because this guy does a great interview. I was privileged to be on your podcast once John. And it was a great time. But But have you thought about that term sacrifice of praise? Does it seem like a sacrifice to you to praise God?

John Matarazzo:

You know, sometimes, it definitely is a sacrifice to praise God because your flesh doesn't feel like it. I was I was a worship leader at my church for for many years, as I was a missionary as well, I lead worship in a lot of situations where there was times I didn't feel like worshiping. I didn't feel like singing these songs, but out of duty, out of responsibility. I did. But it was always interesting that you could buy praise, leading into worship, you could position yourself by talking about how good God was by singing those songs. By you know, Lord, You are good and your mercy and doors forever, you're singing the truth about God, and who he is. It helps you realign even when you don't feel like it. And so sometimes it's that sacrifice of praise where you don't feel like it, you're kind of, in essence, putting your flesh on the altar and saying, you know, I'm gonna do what I'm supposed to be doing. My flesh is weak, but my spirit is strong, and my spirit is going to lead the way here. And that's where you see some real breakthrough some times is whenever you put your flesh on the altar, and you set lead with the Spirit.

Dan Wheeler:

I think that's very insightful, because I've had times when I've been in church and you know, praise the beginning people are raising their hands and, and I'm like, what's wrong? Me? I just don't feel like it today. Yeah, I don't. I don't feel like singing. I don't feel like praising, raising my hands. But John's right, Terry, you know, once you start doing that, it does lift your spirits and you start lifting praise to Him. It's amazing how that happens.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, I agree. And I wrote down in my notes here, a phrase that kind of hit me as I was praying about this and it it simply says that praise can unlock God's power. And that's something that sometimes you can pray and pray and pray and pray and ask and ask and ask, but sometimes, it just takes turning that back into praise. And I was thinking about that great story in Second Chronicles 20, a chapter where King Jehoshaphat was being surrounded by their two or three countries ready to attack him. And I won't go into the whole story, but he was scared, he was concerned. And God reaffirmed to him that the battle was in his the battle was the Lord's. And so they began to pray, they began to get ready, they began to worship. But the interesting thing to me was, if I can find the verse, because he is saying to stand still. So they were getting ready to go to the battle, trust in the Lord. And in the 20th verse, it says, they got up early, and they went out. And where is it? I can't find a believer in the Lord, you'll be established. Oh, here it is. And he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness. And they went out before the army, he put the Praiser, before the army, and the 22nd verse is key. Now when they began to sing and praise, the Lord said, the ambush. That's what it took in that story. When they began to praise and worship. God took action. That's where the power happened. And they were totally defeated. God had them attack each other. They all died, three days of recouping all of the reward of it, it's just a great story. But praise initiates a lot of stuff in our life. Boy, that is

Dan Wheeler:

so exciting, isn't it? To think, yeah, that God did that. Because, you know, when we're praising him, we're inviting his presence in and when that by sending out the team of worshipers and people that were praising God was there, and no, he never does things the way we think it should be done. Like, I think, you know, Joshua, and the battle of Jericho, and how they had to march seven times before anything happened. You know, sevens God's perfect number. And sometimes, I think God just wants us to obey, and wants to see if we'll, we'll do it his way. But that is powerful. And, you know, we talk about worship now. So we know worship is something with our mind, our body, our spirit, and it is a little tougher than praise, because we need to be doing it every day. But praise is an offshoot of that praise is a part of that. And in Psalm 100, verse four, we read that it says, to enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise, be thankful unto him and bless his name. And you know, I think about that, and I think about some of those Sundays when I walk into church, and I'm just not feeling Yeah, or feeling like it. I think we need to do our work before we enter church, we need to spend time to get into that feeling of thanksgiving and praise by just thanking the Lord for all of his blessings. You know, I remember when Beth and I, when our kids were small, you know, sometimes you're rushing to church, and the kids are being a pain in your cut, you know, you're going to church, all flustered. But if you can just take a few minutes to just thank the Lord for all your blessings. I think you'd go in, much more ready to receive and to praise and worship.

Terry Steen:

Yeah. As we as you prepare your heart. That's what gets you ready, you know, prays, we think about being more boisterous and joyful and uninhibited. But it's interesting that worship, it talks about it in the Bible, as in the beauty of holiness. It's more of a sovereign holiness. It talks about worshiping and bowing down in kneeling and it shows our humility and our contrition. So they both play a part. And that only comes through like you say, preparing ahead of time. Yeah,

Dan Wheeler:

we do draw closer to God through praise and worship. And we read in Psalm 105 For seek the Lord and His strength and seek His face forevermore. And this past year, I've been thinking a lot about seeking his face. And when you read different Commentaries, they say, is really getting to know God and His character, and really understanding more of who he is, as we form close friendships with people, we kind of learn their little idiosyncrasies. and how they react and their expressions and their their facial expressions. Well, by seeking his face, you're that intimate with God. And that's what we, we need to do. And there's no doubt that praise and worship leads, leads us closer to the Lord. And let's talk about ways that we can worship and praise the Lord. Because it's not just on Sundays, when you're singing with the praise band. The first way that we do that is by praying, going to him talking to him off,

Terry Steen:

yeah, off and like in Second Thessalonians, pray without ceasing. That's pretty often

Dan Wheeler:

it's your is. Now I try to start my day off with praise early in the morning. And, Terry, I know you do, too, John, is that when you set your prayer time aside, or do you have another time?

John Matarazzo:

It's one of the times that I do. I, I like to listen to worship music while I'm driving to work. If if I remember, because sometimes I'm listening to the news while I'm driving in Oh, and it's much better to listen to worship music and worship, isn't it? These days? I know I know. But one thing I've been doing a lot is taking my my lunch break, and going for a walk. And I put on worship music. And I worship and pray during that time. And I tell you, no matter how the morning went, if I do that, the afternoon goes a lot better, because I've put my focus back on the Lord. And I'm worshiping him and telling him that Jesus you are worthy you this worth ship this, this worthiness, this weightiness, you're, you're so worthy of all the glory, honor and praise. It just takes all of the pressure off of me and just like, puts it back on God where it belongs. All that focus and attention, and it helps everything for the rest of the day. go smoothly. Yeah. And even if things aren't going difficult, he helps me a little bit more for sure. Well,

Dan Wheeler:

I'm going to skip ahead to point three, then the second one is Bible reading. And we'll come back to that, because that's so important with worship, and praise. But Tara, you recently had an experience where you were up in the mountains with your grandkids and your son in law. And you were talking about how that turned into almost a worship service for you guys.

Terry Steen:

Yeah, it really did. And you know, some people, that's where they find their closeness to God is through nature, through looking up into the sky and the stars and everything around him. And as you reflect on Wow, God created this. And for anyone to think that that just happened doesn't make any sense. But I had the great opportunity to go on a two night hiking trip with my son in law. And my grandson who's eight years old, Sam, I guess he's 10. He's 10. And so each night, we got the campfire started. And this is in the Sierra Nevada out in California, we're up six 7000 feet in the air. And we have this beautiful open view of the sky. I'm living in Tampa all these years, I can hardly see three or four stars. And up there. It just about dropped my jaw the entire sky filled with stars. And we're sitting there just looking up taking them in one night, we saw I saw three shooting stars, oh, the Emperor also five or six. And it's like God was just showing off. And it made us realize we talked about the humility of worship, you cannot feel more humble than you look at the vastness and the size and the awesomeness of a God who created that universe. And we're just a little speck down here, taking it all in and observing and it was so humbling. And we just literally did. We went into a time of worship and we just talked and just praise God for how awesome that moment was. It was it was special.

Dan Wheeler:

You can't help but worship God when you see that. It's just so amazing. And I not long ago was walking my dogs Zoey. And there are some pretty dramatic sunsets down here in Florida and cloud formations. Beautiful. And as we're walking toward the sunset, I was like, oh my goodness, it seemed like it kept changing. There was a row of clouds that looked like angels and the sky was all kinds of shades of red and purple and blues. And as we're walking back, I kept walking backwards to look at it. And there was a family that came out of one of the houses here in my development, and they were just all admiring it and everybody's so happy. And I looked over at him and I said, How can someone Look at that sunset? And not know that there's a God? There's an artist behind that sunset? And they said, Oh, yes, we agree. So I just I just took a chance, but that's a chance to glorify God. And so John, when you say, sometimes you just go out walk, that is such a great way to worship God when you just look around at his creation, don't you think?

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, that's some of my favorite memories with the Lord is the places that I've been able to travel as a missionary or even on vacation at some places where one of my favorite memories ever is being at the in the Canadian Rockies, and this one lake, and my family was there. And we just, we all brought our Bibles and had quiet time and just worship the Lord in this serene place. And we just felt so close to the Lord and I, I love that moment so much that I snapped a picture of it, and I have it now printed and put on my wall. So that can always go to remind us and remind it so great how, how nature brought us to worship the Creator.

Dan Wheeler:

Well, Psalm 19, one says, The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament show with his handiwork. Verse Two is interesting. Dan today uttereth speech, he talks to us through that is the way I interpreted and enlightened tonight's show with knowledge. So it is amazing walking in nature, admiring the clouds, the stars, the moon, you know, the Bible says there's so many ways to worship God and to praise Him. If you want to read a great chapter of praise. It's Psalm 150. It's all about praise but the first verse says, Praise the Lord praise God and and Sanctuary praise him in the firmament of his power. And then verse two, I'm just gonna read the whole thing if you guys don't mind Oh, four asymmetries mighty X, praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet. Praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with timbrel and dance, praise him with stringed instruments and Oregon's praise him upon the loud cymbals. Praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord, hallelujah, Praise ye the Lord, is that exciting man,

Terry Steen:

the praise and worship, you know, John was just talking about listening to some worship music, and I know we all do that. But I was reminded of the time I lead worship some as well. And I was reminded of the time when, a Sunday morning I was leading worship, and before the service, I was just getting ready to start didn't preconceive this. But somehow, the Holy Spirit just spoke to me to say, I apologize for playing church. And I don't know where that came from. I didn't really know that I was playing church, but that just came out. And I'm thinking back to it now. And I'm getting emotional. Because the minute I started the first worship song, because of that humility. Halfway through the first song, people just started streaming to the altar, really. And they just started bowing down and praying, and we never had a sermon. They were there weeping and praying for a couple hours. Wow. And that began, what became a multiple month, probably half a year of revival in our church, just based on that one. Holy Spirit, lead come in the importance of praise and worship in our life. It starts with the humility. That's where that worship comes to me. And if we have that humble heart, God can do some powerful revival in our lives. That was just powerful

Dan Wheeler:

boys. So true. So true. I mean, the Bible tells us he's near to the brokenhearted and He seeks the humble and it says, you know, God doesn't like pride. He hates pride. And yeah, we do need to humble ourselves. That's one way to really open up our worship and praise and wow, what a story, Terry, I've never heard that story. I mean, I knew you love to sing worship music. I saw you in a pink Tux doing it on a big Christian TV show. Yeah, we don't have to go

John Matarazzo:

there. Oh, I'd like to I'd like to. Terry

Dan Wheeler:

i Some day we have to show our audience because they're the facial expressions that he was like, hey. But so that is another point that listening to and singing worship music. We talked about walking nature, of course, reading your Bible. I mean, sometimes I hit a portion of Scripture that just like I just did, there was Psalm 150. You realize that this is such Ruth, it just leads you into worship as you're reading and listening. Another way you can worship is through art. And you know, Terry, your wife, Karen does a great job with our Instagram page. And she posts still things on Facebook, that's a form of art and worship for her, isn't it? It really

Terry Steen:

is. And she takes it so seriously. And she has an art, mind and, and a background. And that is worship and praise to the Lord. And she can get emotional over different pictures or art pieces that really ministered to her that God speaks through. Yeah,

Dan Wheeler:

yeah. You know, John, sometimes giving? Well, I shouldn't say sometimes always, if we can do it in a right spirit, giving and giving our tithe and even beyond is a form of worship. Would you agree?

John Matarazzo:

Absolutely. I mean, think about the story of the widow sharing, you know, giving her her little coin, her might I just read that yesterday, and Jesus saying that she gave more than anybody else there, because she gave out of her lack. And that's a time of worship that we're giving. And I've been in some times as a missionary, especially where there was spontaneous times of worship, that was us giving to each other, where it was just people sharing things like, I had a digital camera that God told me to give away to somebody else. And then somebody gave me something. And it wasn't like you're playing Yankee swap for like the Christmas gifts, this exchange. But it was like, out of the abundance of the heart and the overflow of joy, like things that that we had, we were giving away to other people that need it. And it wasn't something that was forced, it was something that just happened and it was a it was a fun way to worship by giving.

Dan Wheeler:

You know, there's so many ways to worship, I hope we're opening up your eyes, that it's not just that 15 minutes on a Sunday with the music. Yes, Terry,

Terry Steen:

I would just kind of say, we talked about worship being a lifestyle, and I hope we're getting that message through. But I've always connotated that to what I've heard the 40s giving up your time giving up your talent, giving up your treasure and giving up your testimony. We sometimes leave that out. But all those are a form of worship that we need to instill throughout our whole life.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. You can. Volunteering can be an act of worship, you know, or going on a missions project, like you've done several times, John, that always leads you to a deeper faith. There's something about giving of our time, my daughter, Kelsey, I'm so proud of her. She volunteered at something called the bridge up in when we're in Pennsylvania, and it was in a really rough area. In fact, I had to call ahead and tell them when I was pulling up to pick her up because they kept them kept the doors locked. I mean, there were drug deals going on out in the street, and just a rough neighborhood. But she went faithfully from like eighth grade through through well beyond college, she kept going. And she'd have friends and say, Hey, that sounds cool. I'll come and they'd come once and then they never come back. So faithfulness and donating your time. You mentioned the 40s. Terry, sometimes our time is the hardest thing to give.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, absolutely. That's

Terry Steen:

a sacrifice. Yeah, for sure.

Dan Wheeler:

And, John, you've been on so many missions trips, that's always deep into your faith, isn't it? Oh, yeah.

John Matarazzo:

It really has, whenever you say I'm gonna, I'm gonna give this time I'm going to spend this money to go tell these people my testimony. And you know, there's the 40s, that Terry was talking about you putting it into action, and doing it somewhere else, you know, reaching out to people that you wouldn't normally have the chance to do that with. And I promise you that some of my most intense times of worship with the Lord has just been me, with my guitar by myself somewhere in a third world country, where it's like, I just dependent on God. And I needed him to speak to me, I needed my daily bread with him. But some of the things that God's spoken to me and revealed to me out of those times of true worship with him. Those are things that I just value. Beyond gold.

Dan Wheeler:

He is the bread of life, and we need him to survive. And speaking of that, our final point I want to mention today as being an act of worship is fasting, because you are engaging the spirit more than the flesh. And I want you to stay tuned because our next podcast is going to be on fasting and how that can really supercharge your life. So Terry and John to wrap this up, I guess we can all energize not only our prayer life But our whole Christian life, our faith in the Lord and our relationship with Him through praise and worship, and it is good to give thanks. It is good to give praise. It's good to worship. And we really need to break out have always gone to Lord and saying Help me Help me. Please, please. It's gotta be more thank thankfulness and praise Him and worshipping Him for who He is. Would

Terry Steen:

you agree, man? So true. So true. That's where power comes from. It's another tool in the Christian toolbox, isn't it?

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, it sure is. So let's finish strong through our prayer life through praise and worship. And we hope we've given you some creative ways to do that. It's not just that 15 minutes before the sermon on Sunday, God bless everybody. Thanks for joining us and we hope too, that you will be with us on our next edition of finished strong

John Matarazzo:

Thank you for listening to finish strong. For more information about finished strong and fearless faith. Check out their website, F faith.org. Make sure that you rate and review this podcast to help more people accomplish their God given purpose so that together we can finish strong