Psalm 40:3 (NIV) “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in Him.”
Ok so I may be slightly bias when it comes to worship but it is my passion and my ministry so I think I’m allowed. Worshiping God is something that comes natural to me. I don’t mean playing guitar and singing but living worship. Worship is more than a concert before the sermon. It’s more than I nice playlist you can bob your head to. Worship is a lifestyle. When we do things that give glory to God it is worship. What sort of things bring glory to God? Helping out someone who is having a hard time is one way. Jesus talked about helping those who are on the fringe of society, people who were generally looked down up and pushed away. A friend of mine was really good at this. I remember one time a homeless man asked him for money, my friend instead took him someplace to get something to eat and then took him to his final destination of the evening. I think my friend gave him much more than a meal. He saw him though Jesus’ eyes. He treated him as a human being. He showed him a piece of God’s love. Most people would have pretended that man didn’t exist. While others would have just given him a little money to ease their conscience. My friend showed that man he was a person who is worth loving and that is giving glory to God!
How do you live a worship lifestyle?
Proverbs 16:20 (NLT) “Those who listen to instruction will prosper, those who trust in the Lord will be joyful.”
Ever get a piece of advice that you didn’t listen to? How’d that work out for you? I’ve had that happen to me on more than one occasion. Usually it’s something small like “be sure to change your oil regularly”. However something as small as that can have a huge effect on your life. I didn’t listen to that advice once and let me tell you, I certainly learned the importance of that when I blew a hole in my engine doing 65 MPH down the highway. Something that would have cost me about $30 ended up costing me a car and a lot of head ache.
The Bible is full of instructions. Jesus certainly gave out a lot of it. He’s told us to do things like heal the sick, love our enemies, make disciples. He also gives us instructions on a more personal level. I’ve personally felt this. When I was young my first experience with church was with worship music. At the time I didn’t know anything about it, what it was for or why people were raising their hands. All I knew is I felt something. I felt a longing in my heart to be part of that. So I learned to play the guitar. I did this mainly for me to re-create that feeling I had. As time went on I felt that God was telling me that I needed to bring this to more people, not just leave it confined to my bedroom. So I started playing at small groups and soon I was told I needed to join the worship team at church. This was scary for me. I was 16 and had never played in front of more than just a few people. I eventually became a worship leader with my wife and now lead the team at one of our multi-site locations. If I hadn’t listened to that little instruction years ago I wouldn’t be who I am today.
What little instruction or advice are you ignoring that maybe you should start listening to?
Matthew 6:25 (NIV) “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, what you will drink; about your body, what you will wear. Is life not more important that food, and the body more important than clothes?”
Worrying. That’s something I’m good at! Small things like wondering if I have matching socks on today and big things like can I afford this months bills? Worrying seems to come natural to me. I can do it with out thinking about it. But it is dangerous to worry all the time. It also sends the message that you don’t trust God to take care of you, that you don’t think He knows what’s best for you. Letting go is one of the hardest things for me. I have a very scientific mind, it’s hard for me to trust in something I can’t see or touch. But my experiences in life have shown me that He is worth trusting.
I’m not saying that we simply lay back and say “God will take care of everything.” There is work on our end that needs to be done. We do need to work, hard at times, to sustain ourselves. We also need to trust that sometimes when ends don’t meet, or things are very stretched, God can and will take care of us. Finding that balance between work and faith is something I struggle with constantly.
How do you find your balance?
Hebrews 10:15 (NLT) “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
I’ve often heard people say that you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. I’ve even said that myself in the past. While that is a true statement we miss so much by not being part of a larger community.
As an introvert I am recharged when I’m alone. I find it very draining to be even with a small group of people. There is a huge appeal to be a solo-christian. Other things like no gossip, no personality conflicts (I get along with my self pretty good) are what draw me away from other people and become more inward. I tried that for a while my self. It didn’t work out too well. I became very stagnant and disconnected from God in that time.
Over the years I’ve learned what being part of a community of faith can do for you. I’ve grown leaps and bounds in that time. I’ve become a leader in my church and with that is lots of interaction with people. It’s been great having a group of people around me, encouraging me and stretching me. It’s also been amazing to be that for other people. I get to be apart of other people’s growth and development.
So what keeps you part of a community of faith? What’s keeping you from one?
Psalm 63:1 (TNIV) “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”
This verse popped up on my phone today as the “verse of the day.” Seems recently that this has been a reoccurring theme in my life. I seem to hit a lot of “dry spells” where I don’t feel as though I’m connecting with God. It usually goes pretty unnoticed. I just get busy with life and simply don’t take time out to spend with God. There are also times when I feel like all I’m doing is screaming to God but it’s falling on deaf ears. Whenever I hit these dry spells I find it hard to move past them and I get stuck there for a while.
So what do I do to try and move past these times? First I think of what is going right. What things in my life can I truly just say “Thanks God’? I doesn’t even have to be anything big something as simple as thanking him for the green lights when I need to use the bathroom. Having that mindset of thankfulness puts me in a better spot to be receptive to God.
Another thing that I do is to literally schedule a time to seek God. I will put on my calendar that I’m unavailable to do anything during that time. I’ll shut my phone off, turn off the computer and TV and just wait. Sometimes this works great and I have a real personal experience with God and feel energized. Sometimes I just sit in a room in silence for 20 minutes (which being an introvert I rather enjoy anyway).
What sort of things do you do when you hit a spiritual dry spell? What do you do when you’re just not “feelin’ it?”