One of the books I have been working through lately is 'Practicing the Presence of God'. This lesson for this day just reinforced that - gave it more real meaning. It had me on my kness in my back office, here at school, asking for that type of closeness - to walk in the 'Marty' moments. To be so close to Him that I can share those moments.
For me, my daily surrender is (and is usually!) around just that - surrender. The continual giving up of control. Not just understanding I want to relinquish control, but LIVING that and staying out of the way and knowing the times I TAKE control, life goes downhill in a hurry!
And, what I would have has NEVER been as special and wonderful and incredible as what He has for me.
I really look forward to learning from all of you!
I honestly think that I have learned more from everyone's replies than I did from the study itself. There is something about hearing other worship leaders talk about situations that I am experiencing that helps me learn and grow. I love what sblawrence said in an earlier reply, "We are responsible for creating an atmosphere conductive to worship". That really hit home with me. Thank you. I look forward to reading and interacting with everyone over the next 9 weeks.
I felt some serious conviction about my own heart today as I read the first day of this. I get that worship is a lifestyle, and that it encompasses everything we do. But, what convicted me is the POSTURE of worship as he talks about it. Here's the quote:
"God is our superior; he is our Lord. Submitting
to him as our master is the essence of worship."
It's such a simple truth. But in that small sentence is a huge implication, and that is simply that even in a position of spiritual authority and leadership, there is such humility and submission that is required. Am I doing this on Sunday mornings? Am I doing this when I prep for the weekend? Does the whole of my life conform to this ideal? I've heard church leadership described as a divine-human partnership. Through this morning, I was reminded that this is simply not true. My posture is to be one of submission and obedience, rather than strategy and organization. That is how God gets the glory for it all. He will build His church, He will fight the enemies off, He will order things as He sees fit. VERY good first day. I'm looking forward to tomorrow!
After reading through the first day (or so, I confess!) I am really excited for this study!
God has been showing me over the past year that each one of us is a worshiper - even if we don't recognize it. We were created to worship Him, and He is the only one worthy of it. I needed the reminder, though, that worship is a part of everything that we do - eating, drinking, driving the kids to school, sitting in a meeting, watching tv, cleaning toilets... the list goes on and on. Every single action that we do can be made an act of worship to God Almighty.
Confession time - I have been slipping into a funk over the past couple of weeks, and I know that it is not pleasing to Him, so if I got nothing else out of this day, I am getting that swift kick to get me going again! This day (and every day) is a sacrifice of surrender to God - everything I do today needs to give Him the glory. Turning that around - I need to do something with the gift that this day is to give Him glory!
Now to go and live out this day...
In response to the "Daily Praise" section, God did recently show himself to me.
I'm part of another (secular) forum where a core group of us have developed some serious friendships over the last few years.
An atheist in our group posted a link to a story in England (he lives there) where an atheist group were paying money to put atheist signs on buses. This sparked some religious discussion (debate) between us.
In the end, it mostly came down to me and one other gal who really doesn't seem to know what she believes. She claims to be an atheist, but yet seems to be searching for something. She still stands by her belief that there is no God.
As these discussions went on over the course of a few days, I began to get a really heavy heart over my friends' conditions and their confused thought processes regarding their faith. It was really weighing on me by the end of the week.
Friday morning, I left the house with my son to get him to school, and the entire Eastern half of the sky was a beautiful Orange color. Within the next 10 minutes, the clouds turned pink all over and then the East went to a vibrant yellow. As I was driving on here to the office and praising God for the beauty he just created before me, I strongly felt him saying "Its ok, I've got it under control". Just that fast, I felt a great relief as the pressure was lifted from my heart. Only a few minutes later, I pulled in here here at the office and just to seal the deal, there was a bright rainbow forming in the West (we don't get a lot of rainbows here in Central Nebraska in January).
Joshua wrote:Joshua - Ouch. That's a tough revelation - thanks for sharing it.Yesterday I led a worship service, but somehow didn't feel connected to God as much as usual. I told my pastor that I thought something was missing somehow. Her response was that the music sounded great and we were really rocking. Lots of people complimented on the music, but not one person walked up to me and said they really felt the presence of God in the service. Hopefully this study will help our music team re-evaluate our attitudes torward worship on Sunday mornings.
My takeaway today is this ... I'd say that in honoring your father the way you did, your brother, in sacrificing and making that drive, serving Him, that you were doing that "as unto the Lord". Sure, it wasn't you singing a song of praise to God ... but you were serving ... giving of yourself, showing compassion and grace to your family, instead of being selfish. If Romans 12: 1-2 is true (and we all know that it is), this type of "being transformed" (which I think in doing these things, we are giving of ourselves) is considered a "spiritual act of worship".
I guess what I'm saying is ... should we be able to think that, in a different kind of way ... you were honoring and glorifying God (worshiping Him, in a different way) by the service that you showed to your father?
My takeaway is that we need to see worship in a much broader sense than "the music on the ipod". Make sense? Am I alone?
Glad to be here and be a part of this study. I'm excited about what God has in store for us these next few weeks...
The question that really jumped out at me as I read was this one:
"How can even your simplest and most common tasks bring honor and worship to God?"
I agree with those who have said that this is a simple topic, but I think we often complicate it beyond belief. We talk all the time about "worship as a lifestyle", but I think a lot of us (including me) have trouble with expressing that lifestyle outside of our corporate worship gatherings. It's easy to forget how to worship when we can't hide behind our pianos and guitars (and even lyrics!)
I've come to believe that the key is that anytime we act in a way that is pleasing to God, we are worshiping Him. My hope is to live a life than honors God (as much as it is within my power as a person in need of grace!), trusting that that lifestyle and the witness it can provide to the world is perhaps one of the highest forms of worship God can receive. The "simple and common tasks", the everyday stuff, can sometimes be the most powerful witness we've got... if only it was as simple as it sounds!
How often do we notice the colors God puts before us as the sun comes up or goes down ... That was so well put ... even on a cloudy day !! Living in Arizona, it seems God paints the skys even on the worst of days ..... Thank you for the reminder ....
What I got most from this today was the scriptures we read ... and how bad the situation was these people were facing ... certain death for sure ... but once they were reminded of the God they served ... they totally focused on their worship and praise .....
This point made me ask myself, how often to I let the technicalities of even our Sunday worship time take us away from our true ability to lead our community in worship .... let alone as we go through our "work a day" world take us from what's most important. Aren't the best leaders those who can lead by example ..... Isn;t it our JOB as servants to show people what it's like to worship ... even when it may not be going as well as it should or our live are in the toliet at the moment ..????
Putting our selves in the shoes of those in the world who are wondering what their going to eat this week should make it easy for us ... but can we always pull it off ???? How often do we let "issues" distract us from what we should be doing ... and in doing so we fail to lead .????
Because we are blessed to have a team of folks that help with the tech side of the house ... I am able to sit with my wife (which she just loves) during service a Sunday or two a month .... we have on our team a person who I've been rather critical of (in my own mind of course) ... thinking ...what in the world are you doing here .... as this person does not get into the topics presented by our pastor ... to the point that it is sometimes a bit annoying because he is so busy when the rest of us are trying to listen and be involved .... well ... after praying for him on Sunday (I was enjoying that day off) which I will normally do every week .... I found myself criticising(sp) the worhip set that was going on .... and realized I that was really doing the same thing ..... not taking part in praising GOD .... and what really convicted me was that I realized there were people who were sitting in our neighborhood who were watching ...... great leadership eh ???? God forgive me. Someday I will learn to check my own actions before being critical of others .... (not my jerb)
I'm very excited about taking part in this study .... I alway seem to learn a lot not only from the "lesson" of the week ... but from all of you ...
Thanks ... and keep rockin ....
--Before I get into my comments on the reading for today, I'd like to share some ideas that I am doing that may or may not help you in this study. I recently finished listening to a book on tape The Healing Power of Prayer. In this book, they gave many ideas on how to set up an area in your house to help to create a worship atmosphere. Some of the ideas were to light a candle to show God's presence, place a cross in the area, play soft music. I have chosen to have the soft music playing during this study. I may use the candle idea yet to but didn't today. On itunes I found "Music to Pray By". It is approximately 30 minutes of piano playing. I think possibly Fred McKinnon may have some similar music that could be used also.
--My other idea that I am using is that in addition to having this website open, I also have Microsoft Word open. I have titled the file and the top of my document: Pure Praise On-Line Bible Study Group Comments. Then below that in my document I typed: Week 1 - Day 1 - Worship is a Way of Life. As I was reading through the threads, if I saw something that someone wrote that I wanted to read over and over or something that really hit me, I copied it and put it into my word document. And I will continue adding to this until we are finished. That way, I can either print them out and keep them in a notebook or just open the Word document at any point during this study and/or days/months or years after the study.
--Next I want to thank all of you for your thoughts. I, too, am getting a lot out of reading all of your comments. I feel that God has placed us all in this place at this time (it is in His plan for all of us to share with and learn from each other). So I thank you all.
--Now for today's study. From the Bible reading (2 Chronicles 19:1-30), verse 15 says - Don't be afraid or discouraged, because of this large army. The battle is not your battle, it is God's. Vs 17 - stand strong in your places. Don't be afraid or discouraged because the Lord is with you. Vs. 20 - Have faith in the Lord your God, and you will stand strong. (Originally Posted by church_piano_lady - How do you worship in this context?) The only way sometimes to worship in this context is to stand strong in the Lord, and know that He is with you. This is not my battle it is God's. If we truly believe that we will turn our problems over to Him. It may be difficult to turn them over and may take time to do that, but when we do, God will give us a peace that surpasses everything. Also, I had the thought that Jesus worshipped God through His interactions when He was on the cross. If Jesus can worship God while hanging on the cross as a human, then we should be able to worship God in all things.
--I, too, want some "Marty" worship. In addition to running my two teenagers here and there, I am a school secretary working 40 hours per week and also a church music director/organist. I become very busy very easily. I am involved in the "working" aspect of the Sunday morning service and do get something from it, but not always a "Marty" experience. I would like to hear ideas from all of you on how to have a "Marty" experience. I have had "Marty" experiences in the past, and have felt the Holy Spirit moving within me. I realize that the "Marty" worship experiences happen I think when I make worshipping God my main goal and letting Him take care of everything else. It's when I try to control the situations that I lose the "Marty" worship experiences. Taken from the book on page 12: - I would like to "stand in God's throneroom and tell him how awesome he is".
--On page 12 in the book - Deuteronomy 6:4-5. We are to love the Lord, our God, with everything we are: heart, soul, mind and body. We should try to make that our number priority in life. If you follow this guideline, how you act and what you think and say will be changed. Always remember that people are watching you, and you may be the only Jesus they see. What would you like them to take away from the observations they have of you?
--I think that the sins we have may block our ability to worship God completely. I ask God to be with my thoughts, deeds and words. If I have bad thoughts or say bad things about someone, with God's help I will stop first and instead of having the thoughts or saying the words, I will pray for that person. Hopefully after doing this for a while, it will become a habit to pray for people instead of thinking bad thoughts.
--God bless you all throughout this study. I look forward to growing with all of you through this experience!