I have been looking for a way to convey this idea. This truth. This necessity. Today, I received a powerful message in my inbox. It's from a great pastor, Dr. James MacDonald. I listen to his radio ministry any chance I get--so full of smack you in the face TRUTH! No watering down, no baby food! Just the real. deal. If you want to check it out: Walk in the Word.
Here is the email. These are, of course, not my words...but so worth sharing. I hope it does for you what it did for me. I'm praying it does.
Discovering the Heart, Mind, and Soul of Worship
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind . . .” Luke 10:27
On every page of the Bible is the idea of worshipping God--that we are created and saved to the praise of His glory. But so much of what passes for worship today misses that mark. Worship is not about me and what God does for me. Worship is all about Him--recognizing that I am for Him. I breathe for Him. I live for Him. I spend my life for Him. God is not some exalted human being at the top of the mankind chain. God is ineffable glory. He dwells in unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:16). The essence of worship is proclaiming God’s rightful worth and position. It’s one of the reasons why we come to church: to sweep the stuff off the table of our hearts and minds that have crowded out His rightful place, the central place where He belongs.
In Luke 10:27, Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” “Love the Lord your God with all your mind.” God wants us to think great thoughts about Him. You’ll expand your capacity to worship God by studying His Word. The Psalms are a great place to start. An element of testimony is fine, but worship is singing to God. The joy of worship begins when we break the chains of self to be free to focus on God once and for all. So let’s be thoughtful in our worship.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.” When feelings are dead, so is our worship. How would it fly if I said to my wife, ‘Well, honey, it’s Sunday morning and this is always the time when I tell you I love you. So, I love you. I’ll see you next week.” Would you agree that’s probably not going to work with her? It’s not working with God either. God’s Word tells us what we should feel:
Grief over sin. David said, “My sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3) and “God does not despise a broken heart” (Psalm 51:17). When I come before God in worship, I recognize how I measure up to a pure and holy God.
Fear. “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him” (Psalm 33:8). When I come before God I feel respect and reverence.
Longing. “As the dear pants for the water, so my soul longs for God” (Psalm 42:1) Worship draws me to the place where I long for a deeper relationship with Him.
Thankfulness: “Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving” (Psalm 95:2).
Indescribable joy: “In Your presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).
You might be asking, “I want this--how do I get it?” I invite you to step forward from the role of observer to participant. Open your heart and enter in; let God bless you and build your faith. In John 4:23, Jesus tells us that “the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.”