Thursday, September 10, 2015

It Starts With Worship

All week I've been humming or singing the words from a song by Matt Redmond. It's called "The Heart of Worship" and it is a powerful reminder to me of what Worship is... and what it isn't.

It is absolutely true that God deserves our worship. Scripture says if we don't praise Him, the rocks will cry out. And when you look around at creation, a crashing wave, a soaring eagle, a mountain splendor, can't you see the glory of God? Does your heart swell like mine does, in giving thanks and praise to Him for creating such wonders? 

Over and over in the bible we find verses on worship, of praising God. Like most people, I first and foremost tend to think of singing  when I hear the word worship. I read somewhere the other day that music is the one thing that affects more parts of our brain than anything else. Music stirs the heart and emotions and stimulates the brain and becomes imprinted in ways like nothing else. So it's no wonder than that we often think of music and worship simultaneously. 

The story about the song "Heart of Worship" goes something like this: the pastor of the church where songwriter Matt Redman attended, deeply concerned with an attitude of apathy sweeping through the church, got rid of the sound system and instruments for a season. For many Sundays it was just the voices of the people being lifted as they gathered.  The idea was to find their way back to the true heart of Worship and the only way to do it was to strip everything away. The pastor began asking the congregation "When you come through the doors on Sunday what are you bringing as your offering to God?" Initially that led to some awkward silence but eventually people began to break out in spontaneous, genuine, heartfelt praise to God. They found their way back to the True Heart of Worship.

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart

Worship is all about the position of my heart.

When I have challenges or things just don't seem to be very positive, it's very easy to lose focus and go the way of the grumpies. From there it's a slippery slope into cranky-ville. But having the right position in my heart allows me to put my focus on God rather than the difficulties I'm having.

One of the best depression-busters I've found is to put on worship and praise music and flood my soul with it. When I step into worshipping Him, it reminds me of His faithfulness. It also reminds me that worship does not stop when the music does.

Everything I do as a Christian, can --and should be-- done as an Act of Worship. For me that equates out to taking care of my household in ways that honor God. Living within our budget. Serving others with love. Being responsible with the things God has given me to care for. Valuing friendship. Honoring marriage and my husband. Even, yes, even taking my anti-depressant can be an Act of Worship.

We all worship something. I want what I worship to be Jesus.

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much you deserve
Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is yours
Every single breath

Worship sets the stage for me to walk forward with Jesus.

Our pastor asked the question last week, "When was the last time you had a planning session with God about your future?" It brought me up short, because, even as I start my day with devotions and prayer, my goals are usually short term-- 'help me get through this day' seems to be the MO of most of my morning pleas. But if I am going to live the life of a true worshipper, who has Christ at the center, I must think and plan strategically about my future. At my age that might seem a little late to the game, but until Christ calls me home, I have work here to do on earth and I want it to count for something. I don't need to map out the rest of my life, or even the rest of my year but I do feel I need to submit daily to whatever calling He has on my life today. And if He has stuff for me to do (which I am sure He does!) I need to be in a position that is ready and willing to do it. The positioning starts with Worship.

I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus

Yes. It's all about You, Jesus.

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