Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Life of Worship

The first time I heard someone talk about living a life of worship, I completely dismissed the thought because I had no idea what that meant. To be honest, I don't remember who I heard say it or when, but I can promise you it wasn't recently at all. Sadly, I didn't start to even remotely comprehend it until the past couple of weeks. What's worse, even though I've started to get it  as much as my limited human mind can, I've been delaying it. Why? Because New Year's is coming and my very fleshy tendency is to have a marked starting point so I can monitor my progress and growth from a given beginning. Pathetic, I know. But if I were the only one that did that, diets wouldn't never just start on a Monday.

So, despite our natural inclination to think that a life of worship only has to do with the music we listen and raise our hands to, worship is more about what that music ends up causing. A spark. Something that moves us to change, adjust, or alter our perception and way of doing things.

Worship is simply doing what God asks and tells us to do whether it makes sense or not. Worship is about putting what He says front and center and deciding that His name, fame, and glory are more important than our comfort, preference, or logic. Worship is all about trusting that God knows what He is doing even when it doesn't make sense to us and goes against the grain of all that we've known and been doing up to this point.

So, if our highest aim is to do things God's way, that means we have no choice but to read His word, listen for His voice, and act accordingly. That is worshp.

The problem is we have an obstacle: humanity.

See, just like I've said many times before, we like the idea of God telling someone else what we should do because we don't want to hear it for ourselves. We are more than fine to let pastors, leaders, and great teachers lay out the road before us. And it's not that they can't give us sound Biblical wisdom, but we are selling God way short of what He's capable of doing and telling us when He gets us alone.

Plus, when you consider what I mentioned yesterday about wanting to go on auto-pilot and cruise control, we are setting ourselves up for a disaster. Why? Because we would prefer to stay the same course we know rather than adjust because adjustment takes time, effort, and a huge learning curve. We really do like the idea of one and done.

But what if we were to plan our entrance to 2018 with a wildly different perspective? What if we went in knowing that we want everything we do, say, dream, or plan to only have one explanation: Soli deo gloria. To God alone be the glory. What if we truly sought Him and needed Him for everything we've ever dreamed of accomplishing and then proceeded with knowing that none of it can possibly happen without extreme dependence on Him? As Michelle Myers so eloquently puts it, if we can do it without God, it's not a goal, it's a given.

Just like I talked about One Word on Tuesday, this new year I am entering with one goal: That everything I do is filtered through God's design for my life. As scary as this is to admit, it's why I bought the planner I did. It's set up as daily, not weekly so that I can't plan a week at a time. I want to seek God first and foremost, trust that He will tell me how to fill in the time-slots, and allow Him to adjust as things need to be adjusted.

I'll be honest, it's freaking the hell out of me. Because in order for this to work, I have to be honest with God and myself about what my thoughts are so that He can prune and trim the things He says need to go. I have to acknowledge the way He has created me to know what causes me to thrive and what sucks the life out of me, and I have to be willing to let go of things that aren't necessarily bad.

But if we do this, if we truly seek a life that gives glory to God alone, how much could He use our lives to make a difference? And if we were to tell people that He really did plan out our days for us and we ended up less stressed and more ready to bless, wouldn't that speak volumes?

For some of us, this might end up meaning we stay the course we've been on. But it might also mean that we have peace with it instead of constantly planning all the things we'll do when the next season comes. For some of us it might mean some pretty radical changes. And either way, as long as it's the life God has created us to live, He will still be the only one to get the glory.

My prayer is that if we pursue this, even with the massive amounts of imperfection we are sure to include, that we will see God work miracles in our hearts and minds and the hearts and minds of those around us. And, as He continues to get glory despite where we may fall short, we'll not only realize it's worth it, but we'll begin to see just how much He truly cares for us even in what we consider the smallest acts of worship.


Daily Simplified Planner from Emily Ley

Picking One Word

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