Archive for the ‘Worship – General’ Category

The Deception of Over-Flowing Joy

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Does that title surprise you; or maybe even raise a flag of concern?  After all, don’t Christians normally encourage joy?  Don’t we speak constantly of the “joy” of serving Christ and being redeemed?    Well, yes, and I hasten to add that all of those things are true (Psa. 16:11, 32:11; Hab. 3:18).

However, you can’t rely on joy; and you dare not stake your eternity on it.  Remember, joy is an emotion. Have you ever really stopped to consider just how fickle emotions are?  Think about this:  Have you ever been happy and sad the same day; maybe even within a short time of each other?  If that is true, then how can you stake anything of great importance on shear emotion?

Ask any couple with a good marriage after 10 or more years.  Every day is not filled with the excited infatuation of newlywed love.  If that sounds disappointing, understand that the infatuated love has been replaced by a deeper, richer, love that isn’t based on the roller coaster of fickle emotions.  This type of relationship has matured into a love that is steadfast and committed far beyond any fleeting emotion. 

The Christian’s walk must go through this same kind of maturing process.  Over time we must come to the point of a steadfast and committed relationship with Christ that is not based on the emotion we are experiencing at the moment (Psa. 57:7).  We must worship Him because of who He is and know that no matter what is happening in our lives, or how we feel at that moment, He is worthy of our absolute trust, and deep committed love (Psa. 33:21).  Then we can really have joy and constantly rejoice in Him, regardless of this moment’s feelings or tomorrow’s emotions (Psa. 5:11).

The Heart of Worship

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Oil and water, black and white, night and day.  These are all well known expressions to convey the thought of opposites that don’t go together.  Here, I want us to look at opposites as related to the heart of worship.

The church at Laodicea in Revelation Chapter 3, was a church wrapped up in materialism.  Their earthly labors had not been in vain; they were a church of wealth, abundance and easy living.  I have no doubt that their church was the biggest and had all the best things that money could supply.  I am sure that each member of the congregation thought they had it all together.  That their worship—with the best musicians, equipment, talent, and angelic sound—was totally pleasing to God and lacked nothing.   But the Lord Jesus rebuked their smug self-reliance, saying they were blind, naked, and ready to be vomited out of His mouth because of their lukewarm hearts (i.e., worship).

Now contrast the self-reliance of Laodicea with Moses in Exodus Chapter 33.  Here the Holy Spirit gives us a clear look into the heart of a true worshipper.   

Think of how much Moses has been in the mighty presence of God. The burning bush, the miracles in Egypt, the 10 Commandments, the Tent of Meeting, speaking with God as face to face, etc.  Yet all of this isn’t enough—he desires more! 

He hungers for more of God, his thirsting after God is unquenchable.  No matter how much Moses has experienced God’s glorious presence in his life, he is still desperate for even more

That is the heart of a worshipper.   That is the heart of one who will be called “God’s friend.”