THE DISCIPLINE OF WORSHIP

WORSHIP-what a wonderful way to end our series on the Spiritual Disciplines.

May I begin with the title of our video below-MORE THAN A SUNDAY MORNING “MEET UP.”
Indeed it is so much more. I have been trying to come at this from a personal perspective of my applications as an apprentice and this discipline I find is my wheel house, it drives everything I do, think and say. In fact as I write this the Holy Spirit is bringing tears of joy as I sense the fullness and import of what He wants me to say.

The lack of this in my life ten years ago drove me away from the Sunday morning “meet up” into the arms of Jesus. What I am about to say here is for all who claim the name of Christ, but before you push back I ask you to consider the words of Paul in 2 Cor. 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”

It actually has been more than ten years when I began to realize I was dying inside and really had no deep connection to a Trinitarian life or presence. My life at that time was characterized by senior level responsibility as a volunteer within a men’s ministry in a very large well know church, attendance at all “meet ups” Sunday and Wednesday,tithing, small group leadership, daily journal and quiet time, etc. Sound familiar?

What changed everything was one day I was sitting before God in a routine quiet time and He shook it up!
He put before me a vision where I was in a large auditorium in the center of the floor alone. I was building bricks, one on top of another. Just me there building alone. The bricks represented ministries that were growing in number but it was just I building, brick on brick on brick. Then suddenly I realized in the stands were dozens of people from my church with signs saying “Go George Go!” They at the same time were yelling “Go George Go!” I began to weep realizing two things 1. I liked their praise. 2. It was being given in an climate of dead spiritual loneliness. The only presence and audience I felt was theirs in the stands from a distance.

I processed that vision for a few days and came to see that through all the busyness and distractions of church life Jesus had been marginalized and no longer did I care about The Audience of One. Needless to say in a matter of days I put all the activities behind me including the “meet ups” twice a week and began to practice being in the presence of God.

Friends look at this from Brother Lawrence:

I walk before God simply, in faith, with humility and with love; and I apply myself diligently to do nothing and think nothing which may displease Him … and this without any other view than purely for the love of Him, and because He deserves infinitely more.
Brother Lawrence in The Practice Of The Presence Of God

May I submit to you that this is worship and what you are doing on Sunday morning is titled “Worship” but is truly only a place where you go to “meet up” with God. Now quickly let me say DON’T STOP doing this! BUT realize it is so far less than what abundant life is or what the Father desires. If you have been wondering why church just is not that fulfilling these days, it’s not the church it is you. If you are using Sunday morning as your sole time to meet up with God, and expecting to find God there, and it is seeming to be more and more difficult every week what do you expect! If you are not walking before Him, acknowledging Him, and talking with Him hourly, daily then how can you expect to find Him or know Him at the meet up? He is a stranger!

May I suggest if you are just a “meet up” believer that you do take a step back from the “meet up” for a short period of time and learn truly how to worship God. It begins by seeing the need for then having the desire to acknowledge His presence in your life. Once you sense Him with you all the time let the conversation
begin, let the praise begin, receive the correction, guidance and love you desperately need every moment of the day. This life also brings the benefit of one developing a holy dependence upon God for everything in life and godliness. Remember His presence is also found in the Word so frequent study and meditation periods per day provide a wonderful foundation for your talks along the way wherever each day finds you going.

Once your practice of His presence become your reality then Sunday morning is no longer a “meet up” and God is no longer a Sunday morning stranger in the crowd you are trying to connect with because now you know He came with you. AND.. He will leave with you as well.

So let’s talk about this. If you need some further ideas on cultivating His presence let’s connect through comments and questions.

Remember this is a prerequisite lifestyle for those who claim the name of Jesus that is neglected on a wholesale level but once made captive again in the lives of believers, one person at a time, will bring revival to the church.

georgea

2 thoughts on “THE DISCIPLINE OF WORSHIP

  • May 8, 2010 at 8:19 am
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    What powerfully expressed truth. George, of course you know my story is similar–burnt out on “doing church”. Ironically, this is not such a bad place spiritually to arrive at, if were sensitive to the leading’s by the Holy Spirit. Tired and exhausted in doing church and serving Christ in our own strength brings you to the point of stark honest reality. We are not really as in love with God as we think at this point. Often what passes for worship is simply hypocritical– until we fall more deeply in love with the object of our worship! It is at that precise point,that the Holy Spirit will surprise us with the truth if were willing to acknowledge it.

    The epiphany I had is that worship is actually my ENJOYMENT of being allowed to be constantly in God’s presence. We worship only in what we delight in and adore– and that should be God. The biblical story of the woman at the well in John 4 helped me discover this truth. When Jesus offered her streams of “living water” she became very excited and told everyone. Jesus told her that true worshipers will worship both “in Spirit and in truth” Authentic worship is rooted in strong affections toward God grounded in biblical truth.

    I like the reality you present that we can worship the triune God constantly and daily in everything we do. We don’t have to wait til we “go to church”. We shouldn’t wait until we go to church to worship God. It’s just more powerful when we worship together. God created us to glorify Him through worship and through authentically ENJOYING HIS PRESENCE moment by moment until we see Him face to face!

    Terry

  • May 15, 2010 at 2:29 pm
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    I have never particularly thought of the act of “worship” as just attending an event or meeting whether on Sunday or any other day of the week. At some point in my early life as a Christian, perhaps during a Navigator study, I learned a few things about “worship” that I try to incorporate into my life. Some days I’m better at it than others …. but there is always hope.

    I learned that “worship” was very important to God. (John 4, especially verse 23))

    I learned that shallow and/or false “worship” came with a negative price. (For example: 1 Kings 11:31-33, and Romans 1).

    I learned that in the main, the words in Scripture used for “worship” connoted humility, reverence, and service. “Humility” is all about how I see myself compared to God. “Reverence” is all about how I see God compared to everything else. “Service” is all about the task that God has called me to. True worship reflects all three of these aspects – just not one or two of the aspects.

    Most of us understand the “reverence” part of worship. Some of us understand the “humility” part of worship. Few of us fully understand the “service” part of worship. Luke 4:8 says, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only’”. True worship doesn’t exist without service.

    I think the vitality of our true worship is a measure of the church,… I wonder how God evaluates the modern church. If worship is the highest calling of the saint, how are we living up to our calling (service)? Our prayer should be “God empower us to worship You with humility, reverence, and service.”

    Dean

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