Thursday, March 31, 2011

Worship

I'm linking this post to Mary's blog, Giving Up on Perfect, and am writing about subjects that she's chosen for the next seven Thursdays:


March 10 – Baptism
March 17 – Wedding
March 24 – Funeral
March 31 – Worship
April 7 – Bible study
April 14 – Prayer
April 21 – Communion

I had been struggling for a while during church services. I attend a church where many people compliment the quality of our choirs. Please don't misunderstand me...I like the beauty of the voices and bells intermingling during the service but that isn't why I attend church.

I had also been struggling finding meaning/inspiration from the sermons. Some mornings I would leave and think, "What am I supposed to take away or do with what I've heard?"

Then I heard something that made me stop being the person who was disappointed in my worship experience, blaming everyone else for not "living up to my standards." (Sounds pretty pretentious right?) Primarily, I heard that worship is not their obligation or to be based upon the performance of others (choirs, preacher, etc.) but worship is my responsibility. My time to worship God. To be devoted to Him.

Wow.

It was tough "climbing off my high horse" and to stop blaming others and situations and take responsibilty for worship myself. It was humbling and freeing. Worship isn't about me and how I feel. Worship is about God. My relationship with Him. I am to focus on worshiping Him.

From a heart overflowing with gratitude, we will want to honour and glorify God by gratefully offering back to Him the many good gifts He has bestowed on us. We will not go to church to be entertained, to see "what we can get out of it" for our own private gratification, but rather to praise and worship the triune God of grace and glory.
Anonymous

Worship is the intentional attitudes and actions of focusing on God. It is the life-discipline we ought repeatedly to exercise and develop. It grows out of the foundational motive of deep and wonder-based gratitude to God for His salvaging and sustaining us.
Byron Spradlin

I realize that worship doesn't only take place in a church. To be who God wants me to be is to worship Him throughout my days. Not only on Sundays.

The church is never a place, but always a people; never a fold but always a flock; never a building but always a believing assembly. The church is you who pray, not where you pray.
Anonymous

Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by his holiness, the nourishment of the mind with his truth, the purifying of the imagination of his beauty, the opening of the heart to his love, the surrender of the will to his purpose.
William Temple

The purpose of this Christian society called the "Church" is, first: to glorify God by our worship. We do not go to church just to hear a sermon. We go to church to worship God.
Billy Graham

Ouch.

So I've come to the realization that worship isn't about me. It's not about how wonderful the choir sounds or how "good" the sermon is. It is me using my life with deliberation to worship God. To praise Him.

In the end, worship can never be a performance, something you're pretending or putting on. It's got to be an overflow of your heart.....Worship is about getting personal with God, drawing close to God.
Matt Redman

Joshua 23:8 says, "...cling tightly to the Lord your God as you have done until now." NLT

That is how I am moving forward in my faith and changing my thinking and actions about worshiping God. I am clinging tightly to Him and focusing on a deeper relationship with Him. I am thankful for His grace and mercy in "teaching this old dog, new thoughts tricks."

Thank you Mary for choosing today's topic and for challenging me to dig deeper in my faith.

Please visit Giving Up on Perfect to read what Mary and others have written about worship.

Do you have a memory or some thoughts you'd like to share about worship?

2 comments:

  1. Cindy, I so understand where you're coming from! As a "music person," I have the unfortunate tendency to slip into making worship about ME and how much I like the music, etc. Thank you for this great reminder to keep worship about HIM.

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  2. Amen and amen. Great post, Cindy!

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