We love God. We love learning from His word to us, the Bible. We confess sin as the Holy Spirit reveals it so we can walk closely with Him. And we love singing all the great songs about our Savior. In fact, the worship time is one of our favorite parts of our church service. Right?
So what are we missing?
There are so many places that we can get stuck on this Christian journey to become worshipers of our great God. Right?
Even for those of us who strive to seek after God – in the daily reading of His word and prayer – there’s a common place of stuck-ness when it comes to worship that I frequently hear about. Ok, that I’ve been stuck in.
I think our focus often gets stuck. We get stuck at merely seeing, believing, and proclaiming.
What? But those are great things!
Absolutely, they are! And necessary! But when it comes to worship, God wants us move beyond that point to responding.
He wants us to get beyond standing outside the temple telling everyone how wonderful our God is, to entering the holy place, intimately bowing at the foot of throne, and pouring out all we are in submissive response to the God who’s revealing Himself to us there.
It’s a dialing-in of our focus and attention, so our hearts and minds can respond in humble adoration. It’s looking Him in the face and saying, “You are my God. You are holy. You are worthy. I offer all I am to You.”
And then, seeing Him standing there with His arms open wide inviting you into His presence: Welcome, My child – I’ve been waiting for you. I love it when you come here. I receive your offering and pour out more of My glory for you to see. Please come often. I have so much for you here.
We can sing songs as enthusiastically as the next guy. But until our hearts choose that vertical, intimate communion with the heart of the God we’re singing about, it’s not worship.
Worship is an offering to Him, not just about Him.
I love how undivided David’s heart was in pouring out his adoration to God:
“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips” (Psalm 63:1-5).
We should pray regularly that we could grow in the discipline – sacrifice, even – of focus and attention on our God in times of worship.
And we should pray that our hearts would be open and free to respond to Him with adoring worship. Adoring worship towards the God who loves us lavishly and relentlessly!
It’s a muscle we should exercise in the privacy of our own prayer corners so we know how to get there quickly on Sunday mornings.
That’s how we truly “LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND” (Matthew 22:37).
Do you think focus is a common worship battle? What are some other places you see Christians getting stuck when it comes to worship?
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