Monday, August 25, 2008

A Life of Worship

Today's topic: A Call to Worship

Today's host: Laura Lee at Laura Lee's Lifesong

What do you do or think you should do at the start of each day to prepare your heart and mind as a woman living a life of worship?

If you were to gather at the well with women younger than you in the faith, what would your call to worship be for them?

Today's topic may be one of my all time favorites! You may or may not know that I have been known to occasionally lead worship from behind the familiarity of a piano. For me, worship is one of those things I live for; it's how God and I connect. I could sit and play, and sing, and pray for hours. But I much prefer it to be just God and me.

However, as God is in the habit of doing in my life, He would often stretch me beyond "comfortable" and ask me to step in to fill a need when a worship leader was not available. I believe my worship is honest and pure before the Lord, although I have never felt much talent worthy of leading others into God's presence.

But God doesn't ask for talent, He asks for my obedience. And I believe living a life of worship has a similar theme. I don't have to "be the most talented," I just have to be willing to recognize and surrender to Him.

Specifically, what should I do at the start of each day to prepare my heart and mind to live a life of worship? I hate to even admit it, but my most intimate times with God are NOT first thing in the morning. Typically, I am struggling to get myself out of bed at the same time as my early-to-rise 4 yr old. It doesn't matter when I go to bed the night before; I never welcome that first ray of light peaking into my mostly blacked-out room. I believe God understands that I am not a morning person, and He knows we will have more meaningful conversations as the day goes on.

What I can do in the morning is prepare myself to live a day of obedience that will honor God. Because I'm a planner, I'm usually mapping out my entire day first thing in the morning. I can commit to use my day in such a way that it is honoring to Him. This includes making time in my schedule to develop an intimate, affectionate relationship with Him.

For me this is an act of obedience, because it may mean I have to cut out something else I enjoy doing in order to have time to really connect with God. Or something that needs to be done. I could fill my entire day doing things that "have to be done:" housework, cooking, errands, spending time with my girls, laundry; but I would miss out on what living a worship-filled life is all about.

You can't live a life of worship without spending time with God. This would be my call to worship for younger women in the faith. Worship is so much more than a song or a's loving on God by spending time with Him just because you want to. That's what appeals to me about worshipping God at the piano. It's not the song I'm's the time I'm spending with Him. It's because when I'm making music and singing to Him, I can't be thinking about anything else. It's all about Him.

I would encourage women to take the time to get to know the God who so desperately wants our attention. I love this illustration by Marcos Witt, who compares our relationship with God to a marriage, saying we still have yet to learn how to respond to our "Husband."

"The Beloved comes and says, "Will you give Me a hug?"

And the bride (us) responds, "After I finish washing Your children's clothes and making your children's meals, Lord."

Once again the Beloved comes to us and asks, "Now, will you give me a hug?"

And the bride answers, "As soon as I finish planning these programs and attending these meetings, Lord."

The bride is busy washing, ironing, cooking, changing, rocking, feeding the children, and even talking to the neighbors about the wonderful Husband she has. Or the bride is busy working long hours to build a strong financial base, scheduling important meetings, meeting deadlines, building a business, and preparing programs for a local body of believers. The bride doesn't have time to be with the Bridegroom. When the day ends she is so tired that she throws herself into bed to regain strength. The next day she continues with the same routine, beginning the morning with a hurried prayer: "Bless my day and my schedule, and please, try to understand that since I'm so busy in Your work, I won't have time to be with You today."

Rarely does the bride take the time to ask, "What is Your schedule for me today, Lord?"

I have been guilty of this more days than I want to account for. It wasn't until a recent circumstance rocked my world that I felt I couldn't get through a day without some time to be with God. I recognize that I wasn't living a life of worship, no matter how many 'godly' activities I squeezed into a day. I mourn for how I hurt the heart of my Creator, who only wanted friendship and fellowship with me. He had so many wonderful gifts to give me, and I was too busy to accept them.

**Bonus Question: Do any songs come to your mind when you think of living a life of worship?

This is the one. A Little Longer by Jenn Johnson. It has always drawn me back to what worship is really about:

A Little Longer
What can I do for You?
What can I bring to You?
What kind of song would you like me to sing?

'Cause I'll dance a dance for You
Pour out my love to You
What can I do for You beautiful king?

'Cause I... can't thank You enough.
Oh I can't thank You enough
All of the words that I find... and I can't thank You enough.
No matter how I try... I can't thank You enough.

Then I hear You say to me:

"You... don't have to do a thing
Just simply be with me and let those things go
'Cause they can wait another minute

Wait... this moment is too sweet
Would you please stay here with Me
And love on Me a little longer
I'd love to be with you a little longer

'Cause I'm in love with you


LauraLee Shaw said...

Rebecca, I have fallen in love with your heart. Just by the words you posted and that beautiful song. Thank you SO MUCH for ministering to me today.

Denise said...

So very, very beautiful. Be blessed.