Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An audience

I know that all my life I've been taught that my focus should be on the condition of my heart since that is what God sees. I've also been taught that God is the only one that matters. It doesn't matter what others think about me as long as I am in line with God's will and scripture. Tonight, again, I battle with the issue that just will not seem to go away. Spirit = willing, flesh = weak???? Insecurity is my biggest flaw. What reason do I have to be insecure?? I have the one reason to feel secure - salvation through Jesus Christ.
The first thing I tend to forget is that my measuring stick is our precious Savior. He is the only one to walk sinless upon this earth. He is the only one that paid the penalty for my horrific sins. Upon searching for a definition of measurement, I found several. One stood out among the others. Wikipedia notes that measurement systems are valid if qualifying with accuracy and precision. Hmmm.So, if I think about all the people who have walked or will walk this planet, are any of them completely accurate and precise all the time? Only one. Why then do I continually look around and compare myself to others? Again, spirit - flesh, battling continually. For weeks, my mind has been overtaken with 5 tasks in which I wish to succeed. These tasks would be considered noble by most people. I think God has placed these tasks/responsibilities in my hands. However....I don't believe  I'm seeing things His way all the time.
I'm reminded of Peter. In Matthew 15, Peter and the other disciples were in a boat. Jesus came to them during the night. You know the story...the waves were crashing against the boat, the wind had kicked it up a bit. Peter has a brave moment. Jesus tells him to come out on the water. He goes. What a picture of faith. Waves are crashing, wind is howling, but Peter still wants to display his faith by walking with Jesus on the water. But then, Peter notices the circumstances around him. That's when he began to sink. Our Savior is still there. He's not surprised. He hasn't walked away. He's just still there waiting to deliver Peter from himself. El Shaddaii - Our Deliverer.
When I turn my eyes from the One who truly matters, my measurement of my progress is no longer accurate or precise. Only when I'm focused on my Savior, will He bring my life into focus. As I turn my eyes to him, I must remember what Paul wrote in Philippians 1:21.

It is an honor to call God my Father. Why He chose to redeem me, I'll never understand. Psalm 40 is one of my favorites. The entire thing is pretty good stuff. Tonight, my heart worships Him.
Psalm 40: 1-3
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy ppit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Over the past few months, a desire has overwhelmed my soul to experience worship as I never have before. I've longed and begged for the Father to allow me the honor of experiencing the most precious true worship possible. I know that only when I see Him face to face is when I might even begin to understand. When the desire of our heart is in line with God's word and His will, amazing things happen. I ask for a number of things each day. Constantly, I petition the throne of God - sometimes with selfish desires, sometimes in intercession for another, and even sometimes for just the grace I need to make it through each moment of every day without totally completely messing up everything in which I engage. In all honesty, it is probably minimal if you were to count the number of times that me desires and petitions are completely in line with God's word and His will for my life. Well, ask -- and you shall receive...
God began allowingme to see how warped my view of worship had become. Through conversations, scripture, listening to others, sermons preached by some of the greatest men to ever proclaim the gospel -- God used all of these to help me "redefine" my understanding of true worship. It would not be truthful if I told you I was not partial to some particular artists and songs. Who isn't? However, I've found true worship begins when my heart begins to bask in the indescribable majesty of our Heavenly Father. Worship is not a song or a particular style of music. Yes, the praise and worship music written over the past decade has some amazing stuff so to speak. Some of the songs make me want to take a "Hallelujah" lap around my house. Yes, some of the hymns cause my heart to tremble when I think of the attributes described in these amazing pieces of music. Although these things can be used in worship, they are not worship.
I have been questioning my reason for worship. Oh, there are many more reasons than I could ever count. Just thinking about who God is overwhelmed my soul. The song "Heart of Worship" was written several years ago. If you don't know the story behind that song - you need to check it out. A little research never hurt anybody. The lyrics repeat - it's all about You, it's all about You, Jesus My worship had to get back to Him. He is the center of worship. How often do I allow my "worship" to be contained in a particular song, artist, drama, feeling, location? That makes it all about me. That my friends is not all about Him, and therefore is not true worship. He is the Living God. Our Healer. Yahweh. Our Deliver. The Prince of Peace. Almighty One. Alpha and Omega. Author of our salvation. Redeemer.As I reflect on some experiences I at one time considered worship, it frightens me. I actually defined the parameters of my worship. Attitudes such as, it's not the right song, not the right place, don't like to hear who's singing it.... They deprived me from some precious experiences with my Father.
As this year has progressed, I've found myself experiencing worship in some places that I once would have considered odd. Small things that are sometimes barely noticeable have sparked a worship experience for me. The fact that He allows me to worship Him, wow. I'm so unworthy - and to think I still at times want to run the show explaining to Him what I need to worship. Me - explaining to a Holy God what He needs to do so that I may enjoy a worship experience. Scary stuff. He created everything, saved me, heals people everyday - the last thing He needs to hear from me is how comfortable I need to be to worship Him. I suspect He desires to hear that phrase it's all about You, it's all about YOU!
Another thing I learned is that worship is like the manna God provided in the Old Testament. I've tried to live on past worship experiences, expecting them to satisfy that desire for today. Oh, to remember is good. Nothing wrong with that. However, He is so amazing that yesterday's worship just won't do for today. His mercies are new every morning - so should my worship be also.
As always, God has used some of those precious servants of His to guide me in learning. I only wish there were words to thank you and to thank Him for allowing me to learn from you all.

With love and a joyful heart,