The Word Weaver
Inviting you to know & embrace Jesus Christ
Deb Weaver
May We Live In Worship!
by The Word Weaver, Deb on April 5th, 2018

​What do you think of when you hear the word worship?  Do you think of songs sung?  Does it bring to mind reverent actions in church? 

While singing songs to God and gathering with other believers are important and meaningful, worship is far, far more than that. 

Designating only a few activities as worship creates a narrow view of worship which results in a shallow view of our God.  A short-sighted view of worship short-changes our experience of Him.  

​A Paradigm shift is needed:

What if worshipping is not just something we do, but how we are to live? 

Jesus said, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”  (John 4: 23-24, NIV)

Worshipping in spirit suggests a participatory interaction.  Real.  Sincere.  Honest.  Involved.  Not speaking words of rote nor merely going through the motions, but actively responding to our God personally.

Worshipping in truth intimates that we must recognize and respond to the unchanging nature of who God is, what He does, and what He says.  He is Holy Other; we must approach Him in awe, wonder, and reverence. God is not a spiritual buffet from which we get to choose our preferences. We must worship Him as He is and how He reveals Himself to be in His Word, not as we wish Him to be.  Otherwise it is not truly worship.  
​Dr. Richard A. Swenson, author of the book, More Than Meets the Eye, states:

“God’s power is undeniable; His precision is impressive; His sovereignty is on display.  Why then do we live in such a metaphysical stupor?  How can such power fail to dominate our every thought and action?
It is not that God has failed to clearly demonstrate His nature, or that He has been lax in instructing us. It is just that we are slow to understand. Our eyesight is dim. This world is too much with us.
What we need is a new vision of God. The real God. Not some vague image we fold up and stuff in the back drawer of life, but the kind of God who parts the Red Sea and shakes Mount Sinai. The kind of God who stuns the physicists with symmetry, the mathematicians with precision, the engineers with design, the politicians with power, and the poets with beauty.” 
 
​The apostle Paul tells us about this God who is worthy of our worship:

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.  For in Him we live and move and have our being . . .”  (Acts 17: 24-28a, NIV)

​Let’s stop and think about those verses.  

​God Almighty, Creator of all in heaven and on earth, knows us intimately.  He has purposed when and where we should live.  He desires that we reach out to Him because He formed us and, in Him, we live and move and have our being.  That sounds like everything.  He is our everything.

When we acknowledge—really grasp—this truth, we begin to live our worship. We offer Him more than a song or a pittance in the offering plate. 

We worship the Lord by living ever-aware of, fully present with, and lovingly responsive to Him.  We learn to see Him as He is, and we offer our whole selves fully to the One who gave Himself fully for us.

In wondrous moments when joy is effervescent and we easily see evidences of God’s work all around us, our souls sing loud and long.  We savor, thank, laugh, smile, sing, work, serve, and give seemingly without effort.  It’s a relentless, contagious worship as we receive God’s goodness and express thanks with our whole beings.  

And while this worship that flies unbidden from a happy heart is a special offering, many times our worship will be much harder.  A conscious, difficult choice.   

In the mundane, tiresome activities that make up much of our days, we must awaken to His presence, purpose, and power.  We reject the temptation to treat our moments with dread or drudgery or hopelessness.  We choose joy and gratitude as we seek to do all things as if we were doing them for Jesus, recognizing that His loving eye is upon us and His strength is within us. Then, rather than being a chore to be avoided or complained about, making lunches for our loved ones becomes a holy act of love and service to those we love and a holy act of worship to our God.

And in the harsher seasons that dash our spirits against the rugged shores, could we offer costly worship through our tears?

Nancy Guthrie says, "Trusting God when the miracle does not come, when the urgent prayer gets no answer, when there is only darkness--this is the kind of faith God values perhaps most of all.  This is the kind of faith that can be developed and displayed only in the midst of difficult circumstances. This is the kind of faith that cannot be shaken because it is the result of having been shaken."  Holding on to Hope
 
The sacrificial worship we lift to God as we experience the holy hard is a unique, fragile, precious gift.  It is treasured by Him when we:
  • Refuse to give in to our fears, our doubts, and our failings.  When we fall at His feet, lamenting and clinging to Him even when it seems like there is no hope. 
  • Fight our flesh with an excruciating awareness of our weaknesses and an exquisite understanding of Christ’s sufficiency in the midst of them. Repenting, confessing, surrendering, committing, trusting. 
  • Take the difficult step He asks us to do, relying not upon ourselves but upon His abundant stores of forgiveness, love, and strength. When we reject the temptation to simmer bitterness or to self-soothe and instead submit our thoughts and actions to Him.
  • When we trust and treasure His goodness even more than we beg for His greatness. 
Scripture quote/ In Him we live & move & have our being/ quoted in The Word Weaver blog post
​Living in His loving gaze.  Gazing back in spirit and in truth.  This is worship.  This is life.  What a privilege! 

This invitation—worshipping and growing in a relationship with the God of the universe—is offered to every person who believes in Jesus, the Holy Son of God who lived, died, and rose again in our places. 


Opening Our Hearts/ Ideas to stir the soul toward worship of God/ Included in The Word Weaver blog post
How do we deepen this relationship? 

We tend it as our most important priority. 

We daily devote our time, attention, and thoughts to God—in larger chunks of time as well as in smaller moments of companionship, comfort, and communion.  We believe and trust in more deeply.

We increasingly engage our faith in Him through truth, grace, and love.  

Do you desire this, too?

​Sometimes the most significant changes begin with a small step. We start where we are. 

Perhaps we could pick 1-2 actions to practice daily that awaken our notice of God and increase our worship of Him:
  • Ask God to sensitize us to His presence, voice, character, and gifts of grace.  As we begin to notice how God is at work, let’s begin to talk with Him about it.  Thank Him.  Praise Him.  Embrace who He is with wonder and gratitude.
  • Open our Bibles and prayerfully read His Word.  Ask the Spirit to help us understand and receive it.  Read a small portion every day.  Think about it.  Imagine ourselves there as a participant. Ponder it.  Talk with God about it.  Ask Him to reveal Himself through it and to show us how to apply it to our lives.
  • As we are involved in our favorite activities during the day (whether it’s playing with children or grands, running, planning an event, working, drinking coffee, singing, writing, breathing slowly at the beach—whatever they are!), savor them fully before God.  Communicate our pleasure and gratitude to Him.  Recognize that He is there with us and that He delights in our joy.
  • When we awaken and stretch in our beds, let’s remind ourselves of truth.  God’s Word tells us that, in Christ, we are chosen, adopted, holy, precious, and beloved.  Ask God to enable us to grasp His love, to see His perspective, and to rely upon His unchanging truth more than our fleeting feelings.
  • List five things (small and large) for which we are grateful.  This intentional, repetitive activity of grace naming rewires our brain muscles and the eyes of our spirits.  We will increasingly see through the windows of grace, gratitude, and glory.  But when we do struggle with depression, fear, or anxiety, this practice will enable us to battle back and stand our ground with perseverance and hope.
  • Speak God’s Word aloud.  Write it down on index cards and place them where we will read them often.  Say verses over and over as we think about them.  Praise God with Scripture.  We may pray for ourselves and others using His Words.  Let’s ask Him to help us to believe it more deeply. 
  • In the hardest moments, may we draw near to the God who weeps and walks with us.  Let’s allow Him to listen and comfort us in His embrace.  May we run toward Him and not hide from Him. 

​Let’s worship together:

​Heavenly Father,

You are holy, righteous, and mighty.  There is no other God but You.  We lift our hearts and our hands to You alone. 

Thank You for being our good, good Father.  You love us with an unending, never failing, unconditional, unrelenting love.  You lavish us with mercy and grace.  You sent Jesus to die in our place that we might live with You, now and forever.  Despite our betrayal of Your Son, You offer us forgiveness and life. How amazing is that?  Your sovereignty and Your goodness are beyond our comprehension. 

Open our eyes that we may more clearly see You at work in our world and in our lives.  Enable us to hear Your voice clearly and to understand Your Word.  Train us to live in worship—enjoying, seeking, abiding, listening, and heeding You.  Consume any competing idols for our attention.  May we desire You more than anything.  You and You alone are worthy.  You and You alone are more than enough for us. 

May we pour ourselves out in extravagant worship all the days of our lives.  May every moment become a fragrant offering as we live and abide in worship, in awe, and in dependence upon You.   

We bow before You, in the powerful name of our resurrected, reigning King, Jesus.

Amen.  
Gazing at God in Worship is Life/ The Word Weaver Blog Post
Recommended resources and related posts to this blog by The Word Weaver
Recommended Resources:
More Than Meets the Eye by Dr. Richard A. Swenson
A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Unseen Unseen by Sara Hagerty
Holding Onto Hope by Nancy Guthrie
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
The Drama of Scripture by Craig G. Bartholomew & Michael Goheen
 
Related Blog Posts:
Antidote to Worry
The Art of Rain
Beauty in the Shadows
Transplanted
Worship is More Than a Verb
Convenient Tweetable quotes from The Word Weaver blog post


Posted in Prayer Focus    Tagged with Worship, Prayer, Abiding, Life


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