Jessica's Jottings:

On faith, food, family and frugality

Worship: the gift that keeps on giving

on June 1, 2011

“Unplug that iron
Put down that dish
Come spend some time with me
Your heart is aching
Your brain is straining
Come spend some time with me

Come live and love and laugh in my light
I am the only one who can make it all right
Be still and hear me
Draw near and fear me
Come, my love, and spend,
Spend some time with me

Come sit in my presence
Revel in my essence
Come spend some time with me”
(Song fragment on the back of a shopping list, c. 2010)

So…no need to raise any hands, but who gets a little wierded out at the thought of biblical worship? Maybe not where you are now in your walk, but back in the beginning…come on. Be honest now. 😉

Raising hands? Bowing? Kneeling? (Okay, as someone who was raised Catholic, I’m totally used to the concept of kneeling – on a pew, when everyone else was kneeling…not spontaneously or by myself.) Singing a song that wasn’t in a hymnal or on a screen, but making one up (gasp) as I sang it? And clapping? Yeah, right.

I’m not going to go into great detail about how wonderful and varied biblical worship is – Bob Sorge did an amazing job in his book, Exploring Worship. (If you’ve not read it, please do yourself a favor and get it. Read it. Incorporate it into your walk. Worshiping God will change your life.)

Instead, I want to take a moment and point out that while worship is all about God, it’s also about us. Yup, us. Hear me out before you dub me a heretic and close the page.

You see, when we worship God, we are declaring several things:

  1. God is worthy of worship. (Duh.)
  2. We are not worthy of worship. (Duh, again.)
  3. God is really big. So big, in fact, that he is bigger than any situation that may be going on in our lives. So big that our boss that doesn’t like us or our neighbor who’s out to get us or whatever our trial or tribulation may be, when compared to God…it’s not really that big of a deal. Sure, it’s uncomfortable or unpleasant or some other synonym of those two, but…it can never and will never measure up to how big God is.

What an amazing gift that is to us!

Any time we need a perspective shift, something to take our eyes off of our anthill and fix our faces firmly back onto God, all we have to do is worship!

______________________________

Today was the day that Nathan was coming back from Alabama. While there had been some rough patches over the last few days, it really hadn’t been that bad. I even sent him a text message saying so. 😄
Then, mysteriously, my children began having meltdowns, one after another after another. (le sigh)

Here’s where that nifty perspective shift comes in. You see, one of the ladies that I follow on FB (Stephanie at Keeper of the Home) is currently visiting her Compassion International sponsored child in the Phillipines. And…oh my. Read about it if you get the chance. Dirty. Poverty-stricken. Six families in one house. Etc., Etc., Etc.

The thought hit me today, as little ones were melting down faster than Chernobyl, “At least I know where our next meal is coming from.”

That did it. I dropped out of my pity party before I could send out invitations. Thankfulness began to pour forth from my heart and my mouth and I was able to love on my kids, snot, shrieks and all.

_____________________________

Closing remarks:

  • 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17, NIV)

Worship is one of God’s good and perfect gifts to us. I mean…it’s not like he needs to be reminded of how awesome he is. He doesn’t have memory problems. Frequently, we do. We need to be reminded of how amazing our God is and how strong, powerful, loving and just he is. Why else do you think he told the Israelites to keep telling the stories of the Exodus to their children? Why record God’s deeds in the psalms? So we could be reminded! So we could be refreshed! Oh, how high and wide and long and deep is the love of God in Christ Jesus! He made us…he knows our weaknesses and built in failsafes to remind us. Woot!

Having trouble worshiping? Keep a Bible with you. Keep it in your car or your purse or wherever you will have convenient access to it. Bookmark Psalm 42. Why Psalm 42? Because this will be your model for entering into worship when your struggling. Read it. Now, observe in verse five:

5 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
   Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and 6 my God. (Psalm 42:5, 6a)

Dude is talking to himself! He is telling himself what he needs to do to worship God. He’s adjusting the attitude of his heart by changing his words. He’s doing what James tells us about in James 3, adjusting his course by adjusting his speech.

So, the next time you need an attitude adjustment to worship, start talking to yourself and don’t stop! Not until you can say wholeheartedly:

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
   let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
   and extol him with music and song.

 3 For the LORD is the great God,
   the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
   and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
   and his hands formed the dry land.

 6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
   let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
7 for he is our God
   and we are the people of his pasture,
   the flock under his care. (Psalm 95:1-7a)

What’s an area that you struggle with seeing as being bigger than God? Confess it to him and remind yourself of how truly amazing he truly is!

Thanks for reading!
Jess 🙂

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