Have you ever had one of those days where there’s just turmoil inside and you can’t quite pin point any particular reason why? After getting off work at 3, I found myself restless, drained, in need of something refreshing…or rather Someone refreshing. So what did I do? I packed up my bible study stuff…yes all my study material and headed out for a quiet place…the library.
I immersed myself for about an hour and a half in His word, and the studies He has brought into my life. The aching feeling? Still there, but not as over powering. The library will be closing soon, and I’ll be searching for another place to
read catch up on the One Year Bible. I’m thinking Starbucks or something. Since it’s too dark or too chilly to go else where.
While reading, a couple things struck me…hard. One of the challenges I undertook when this month started was to pray for Kevin for 31 days. Each day has a different area to focus on. Today’s? Priorities. Which lead me to not only pray for his priorities, but also my own. After all, even if his are right, and mine are wrong, we’re going to get nowhere. In doing so the song Jesus Be The Center came to my mind.
Last night early this morning while doing the Paul devotional I was hit hard by one of the things Beth Moore has written. She writes, “Without love for God and His Word, we’re just trying to be good. Nothing will wear you out faster.” Two-by-four right between the eyes with that one. Sure, I know what loving God looks like. Sure, I know what it means to follow Him. The question in my mind was, “how many of the things I participate in are done out completely out of love for him? And how many are done because in my mind I have put them into the category of following Christ means doing these things?” If I’m honest, the latter tends to be more true.
Then, today, during my down time at work, I started to read where I’d left off Grace for the Good Girl. I got about a paragraph in and I started asking myself, “why do I try to read this when I’m relaxing? It just kicks my butt into high gear to live authentically for God and not for the rules I have put on myself…” But I continued to read…
“God never intended for us to refer to church as a building. And he never intended worship to be reduced to a church service. His church is his people, and worship is what they do.”
That sobered me up quickly. That statement was quickly followed by this:
“…the woman who has freely [I inserted my word limitlessly and it read to be the same meaning] received the abundance of truth from Jesus abides in that truth as her very life…Free women respond with worship in everything.”
Sure I’ve heard it preached that living is worship, but no one has ever spelled it out for me like this:
“We breathe in air and breathe out worship. We receive love and extend worship. We embrace children, offering worship. We comfort, we laugh, we mourn, we dance, we read, we dream, we exist–all worship. we pay the bills, we run on the treadmill, we enjoy a good movie, we make dinner, we welcome friends with open arms–worship, all worship. We send money and offer prayer and sit with a lonely neighbor, in Jesus’ name. We wait for love, we long for home, we pour out our hearts and hopes and fears and longing; we create with words and photos and colors and food, all beautiful acts of worship.”
These sentences put things into perspective for me. Worship isn’t something I “do” at “church”. Worship is how I live. If that’s not straight forward enough. Emily boils it down even more:
“…when the Spirit of the living God lives inside of you, then your living is also your worship.”
For me, this was HUGE. As the “worship” inside of the building tends to be the place that I feel God move, breathe and speak into me the most.
So, as my mind typically does, it drew a link between what Beth Moore wrote and what Emily wrote. Without love of God flowing limitlessly from my heart it’s going to be rather hard to allow worship to be what I do. To look at life as worship and not living, I need to first learn what loving God wholeheartedly means–not only learning what it means, but allowing it to flow from me.
Have a blessed weekend. May your living be a reflection of your heart for Him and become worship from the heart rather than living from the “to-do list”.