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The Heart of Worship (Simplifying During Lent)

Life Simplified

This past weekend my friend Natalie and I led a workshop about creative worship for a women’s ministry event at our church.

And so while we’ve been preparing, I have had the idea of worship on my mind quite a bit.

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The act of worship can take many different forms, from singing songs of worship to worshipping God through serving others. The main thing is that God wants us to worship Him and only HIM.

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. . Exodus 20: 1-5

My youngest is four years old. At the moment he is somewhat infatuated with me. I mean the kid loves me like a lot; basically he thinks I’m the best thing in the world. He often will stop what he’s doing just to come give me a hug or kiss or tell me I look pretty. He draws pictures for me every day and picks flowers from our front yard almost any time we go out.

Yeah he’s pretty into me these days and to be honest I kind of like it because I know it won’t last and because he’s the baby, it’s especially precious to me to have my little one love me so much.

But the truth is I don’t deserve it. Please hear me I don’t mean that in some kind of self-deprecating kind of way so please don’t worry that I’m being all down on myself. No, I totally love him right back and I think I’m actually a pretty good mom BUT I don’t deserve his worship. I’m not always good, kind, selfless. I often yell, I make mistakes.

And though my husband and I made him sort of, it’s God who actually knit him together inside of me and has made him into the precious boy that he is. We weren’t even planning to have a fourth child so I can’t even really take credit for this kid. But God knew he would be such a blessing to us and sent him along anyway. HE totally deserves the worship.

If I’m not careful and intentional about pointing my boy to Jesus I could easily turn into an idol for him. I could risk having the #1 spot in his life. And while that might not seem so bad right now, that’s not a spot that belongs to me, that spot should always belong to the Lord.

Natalie shared this quote with me that really made me check my heart:

The opposite of Christianity is not atheism, but idolatry. Peter Kreeft

Ouch.

How many things have I put before God? How many other things or people compete for my time and my heart?

Just last week I shared about how anxious I’ve been feeling because of this “culture fatigue”.

And, I know some of the idols I personally have struggled with are approval from others, work, my husband and kids at times. Busyness and even ministry-DOING stuff for God rather than just worshiping Him for who He is.

If what we give our hearts to and spend our time on is what we give glory to then I’m found wondering at how I’m glorifying the things of this world. The things that waste away. The things that are temporary.

The Lord wants us to worship Him with our whole being. Mind, body and spirit. To be living sacrificing for His glory.

How we choose to do that will look different but in its truest expression worship is just living as an offering to Him and allowing Him access to all aspects of our lives.

I’ve tried to make it way more complicated in my life. I’ve had boxes to check; prayer, bible reading, ministry projects, etc., when the truth is that worship is not about checking boxes but just about living for Him.

There is a passage in one of my favorite books A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman that I just LOVE and has changed how I think about worshipping God:

We are colanders filled with glory-water. Our best efforts are spent trying to cover the seeping holes with not enough fingers. God’s glory demands display. Yet sometimes when we get a glimpse of it, when we taste something we come alive doing, when we feel that sense of purpose wake up within us, we become terrified. And so instead, we spend our time looking for plastic bags to catch it before it pours out, wasted.

We want to be something more sensible, more practical. Something like a jar with a lid. No holes. No glory leaks.

Let’s control it, contain it. Let’s be reasonable.

In this action, we have forgotten who we are.

Surely God has another way to display his glory. Surely he doesn’t intend to do it through me.

Is there anyone else in all of Scripture who can declare glory like a living, breathing poem? There is only one other place this exact word poiema, or workmanship, is used.

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made [poiema], they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. (Rom. 1:20) A Million Little Ways p. 27-28

Can you see why I love this SO much?

Oh that I could have even more holes in my colander life through which to let His glory shine through.

So during the weeks left of Lent, these weeks leading up to the journey of the cross, maybe we can be extra mindful of the things competing in our hearts that are taking the place that only the Lord should have.

My prayer is that our hearts, souls, minds, spirits could go back to the true heart of worship and that we would be free to use all of the gifts, talents, desires, longings, and unique characteristics that He created in us to worship Him.

Let us take off the things that bind us and be free to express worship to God not because of what He does, though surely he deserves that But because of WHO He IS. Always.

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart

I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
 
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
 
King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath
 
I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
 
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
And it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
Michael W. Smith- The Heart of Worship

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8 Comments

  1. Zohary, that your little one adores you so is such a beautiful thing. That you desire to point him back to Jesus at every opportunity is even more so! I love your words here – but I especially latched onto the idea of our lives being like collander holes to let God’s light shine through! Worship is such a thing of intensity and joy. I was eating these words right on up. (And, Peter Kreeft has written some of the most insanely amazing books. That quote is fantastic!)

  2. Love this: “Oh that I could have even more holes in my colander life through which to let His glory shine through.” Glad to have linked up behind you at #TellHisStory. Blessings on the journey!

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