Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The thread of worship in my life
The idea of worship took on a whole new element in my life a few years ago when the Lord opened my eyes to the reformed doctrines of grace. Worship saturates your life in one way or another, it isn't just Sundays. This thread of worship has continued over the last few years in my mind and thinking......seeing God behind everything and giving Him the praise and thanksgiving. One aspect has been walking and hiking and being outside. Instead of viewing it just for exercise as I once did, it has become worship. Seeing God behind the sunsets that we experienced at our old house, the nature He created in the woods, the fresh air, the moon and stars all points to His handiwork. This has also been a wonderful time to teach Justus of God's awesomeness. Even down to spiders and bugs and snakes!! Yikes.
Being together as a family as nourished us in worshiping the Lord not just in church but by being in His creation as well. At my NANC (biblical counseling) classes, the pastor of the church, Bill taught our theology classes and he gave an example about going hiking with his kids and reading a scripture on the mountain top. So we tried this reading Psalm 104 because it mentions how great God is through the world He created. It was powerful to say the least and a rich time. This is just an example of how worship has influenced my thinking in this area of life. My worship changed when God opened my eyes to the truth and so therefore my life is constantly changing as I learn more of God. Even being gospel oriented is worshiping our God because it reflects praise for Him. That's why I can on a warm day open the van windows, sing songs about Him and cry. It can be emotional not in a charismatic way but by the enlightenment of the truth. This worship mentality becomes who we are in Christ and I believe it aids in family worship specifically in church. As we teach our children to revere, respect, have awe in God, we must have it ourselves from the heart. I've been thinking about this thread of piety in the home, at church, in public. Being worship minded, God becomes the answer to why the sky is blue, God is behind everything and giving Him the glory and stopping to be thankful for the simple pleasures in life is worship. Because we moved out of the mountains to the flat lands in SC, we got to experience terrific sunsets and see more stars than before and we would be out in the evening walking or sitting on the porch. My heart was encouraged when Justus would pipe up and say look at the sky. My neighbor and I would text when we saw something wonderful in the sky like an interesting cloud formation or something. My dictionary on theological terms defines piety as "devotion and commitment to God expressed in the Christian life through a variety of actions." You know those times when you're in the midst of teaching your kids about something and you're not sure how to say it with a biblical emphasis that they will understand...not long ago, we went through this idea of doing things when we don't feel like it. It was a common response from Justus when asked to do something and I would say the typical you need to obey because God says so. But one day, God brought to my mind to use Him as an example in another way....I asked Justus did Christ feel like dying on the cross? Which that went into a teaching tangent but it somehow brought a new perspective on the situation. These opportunities teach me as well and keep my thinking where it should be. I'm amazed at how my "religion" used to be a separate part of me and now by God's grace it has become who I am entirely, influencing all my thinking and will continue to shape my roles as mom, wife, friend, teacher, sister, daughter, etc. God's grace is incomprehensible and truly amazing.
According to the Baptist Catechism:
What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. I Cor 10:31, Ps 16:11; 37:4, 73:25-26, Isa 43:7
Glorify means to reflect as glorious or display as glorious. When we worship, we are giving God glory for what he has done or made. I’m beginning to see where enjoying God forever is through worshipping Him forever. The two go hand in hand. “The basis of worship is the covenant relationship whereby God has bound Himself to those whom He has saved and claimed. The spirit of covenant worship…..is a blend of awe and joy at the privilege of drawing near to the mighty Creator, with radical self-humbling and honest confession of sin and need. Since God is holy and man is fallen, it must always be so in this world. Worship will be central in the life of heaven…..” excerpt taken from the Reformation study Bible. Worship stems from the gospel. If we live gospel oriented lives, we will also love worship filled lives. The more the gospel is manifested in my life, the more my heart worships the Lord in thanksgiving for choosing me out of His sheer grace and absolutely gives me no room to boast.
Grace and love brought Christ to earth to pay for our sins that deserved anger and punishment. Love is from God, as He loved us first so we could love Him and others. Loving others as God loves us is worship. If Christ lives in you, then so does His love and you are able to love the unlovable as Christ does. Living a gospel driven life weaves the thread of worship in my life. It manifests itself in daily piety those actions and attitudes derived from my devotion to God.
It is the flame of my life to worship Thee, the crown and glory of my soul to adore Thee, heavenly pleasure to approach Thee. Give me power by the Spirit to help me worship now, that I may forget the world, be brought into fullness of life, be refreshed, comforted, and blessed. Give me knowledge of Thy goodness that I might not be over-awed by Thy greatness; Give me Jesus, the Son of Man, Son of God, that I might not be terrified, but be drawn near with filial love, with holy boldness; He is my Mediator, Brother, Interpreter, Branch, Daysman, Lamb; him I glorify, in Him I am set on high. Crowns to give I have none, but what Thou has given I return, content to feel that everything is mine when it is Thine, and the more fully mine when I have yielded it to Thee. Let me live wholly to my Saviour, free from distractions, from carking care, from hindrances to the pursuit of the narrow way. I am pardoned through the blood of Jesus-give me a new sense of it may I come every day to the fountain, and every day be washed anew, that I may worship Thee always in spirit and truth. Valley of Vision
I am indeed grateful for the truth in my life and God’s grace enabling me to experience it. I am a whole new person, the new creature that God has replaced from the old creature. In Him alone, hope is found through the gospel.
With a worshipful heart,