So I have the cutest little baby girl. Amelia is seriously a daily source of joy. Her smile is something I could never get enough of. As a matter of fact, it’s rather contagious. When she smiles, everyone smiles. And when she gets scared and that little smile turns upside down and tears start to roll down her little rosy red cheeks, you can believe I’m fighting back tears myself.
Our visible worship to God is similar. When our hearts are stirred with genuine affection for the Lord and a visible expression is allowed to be put in the light, you better believe it affects those who see it. I couldn’t tell you how many times my soul has been refreshed from the stage by looking out and seeing genuine praise overflowing out of someone causing them to sing. I mean really sing! You see the tears they have and you know they aren’t just trying to be emotional but they have had what is true about God and about themselves sink deep into their soul and they can no longer contain the effect of the truth of God’s word in them and that it must be expressed!
That one person can turn a room of ritual participants into genuine worshippers. You can’t help it. You want to rejoice that that person is being awakened to the truth of God’s word. You want to join in on what they are so totally satisfied in.
It is so important than to prepare our hearts for worship. For our own souls to be satisfied in the Lord and to help our brothers and sisters be satisfied in Him as well. Here’s a few ways we can be preparing our hearts today.
As if you didn’t see that one coming and for some reason you probably still aren’t doing it near enough. You, on your own, are totally helpless to see Christ as beautiful, let alone trying to help someone else see him as such. You have to realize every day that you are TOTALLY dependent on the Holy Spirit to have any sort of relationship with God the Father and Son. Don’t know what to pray? The Spirit will intercede for you, but you need to plead with the Father. You can start with something like this: Father, I need you. Help me in my weakness. I do not cherish Christ. Forgive me. Help me to see Jesus as all satisfying. Stir my affections for your Glory and may I find my joy in you and you alone.
Reading God’s Word
If we find our hearts hard, it will do wonders to saturate ourself in God’s word. Oh, how freeing it is! What a true delight to remain in God’s word until our hearts align with the truth of scripture! I would entreat you to stay in God’s word until the spirit enlightens the word in your mind to see the glory of the gospel. You will never ever finish feeling like it was a waste of time.
Why are we such busy people? Why do we worry so much? Why do we chase success as means to a meaningful life? Vanity of vanities! Listen. God can do more in your waiting than in all you doing you could do. Let that weigh on you for a second. Your finances? God forged all the treasure of the world with only his word. Your approval? Jesus was sacrificed so the divine anvil of the law would fall not guilty on your account. You couldn’t be anymore approved of then when you are hidden in Christ. Your meaning? The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever. Everything else is by-product of the joy of being in relationship with the father. Be silent before the Lord and trust in Him.
The idea of preparing to worship is really just to begin worshipping. It is so important that when we gather as his church that we are already worshipping the Lord when we get there. I liken it to a project at school. It’s very bad to wake up the day of a project that is due in an hour and a half and try to get something together in time. It is especially bad though if it’s a group project and it affects others. Care for your brother and sisters and yourself. Find your soul satisfied in God before corporate worship so that others can benefit from the work God is doing in you.
If you have any questions about the topic of worship or would like to learn how to get involved with the worship ministry of North Avenue Church you can email Ian at email@example.com.