Friday, February 7, 2014

bless the Lord, oh my soul!

Growing up in a very conservative church for over 13 years, my understanding of worship was singing several hymns in a Sunday service. It wasn’t until I came to ROCKHARBOR that I saw worship in a whole different way. Loud music. Hands clapping. Arms raised. Joyful singing. And so much more. It was different—way different—from anything I had seen and experienced growing up; however, there was something so intimate about how the people were singing. They weren’t just reading words on a screen; they were singing to God. It was beautiful, and I wanted to be a part of it.
So when worship pastor Keri Fox shared her first experience worshipping God, I was glad that I wasn’t the only one that shared a similar experience.
This weekend’s sermon was about why we worship. It sounds silly to think as Christians we should be asking ourselves that question; but if we really are honest with ourselves and really want to grow intimately in our relationship with God, than I believe this is a question we need to ask ourselves to keep us in check with where our hearts lie when we worship Him. Initially I thought worship was just singing songs at a church; however, worship goes beyond the words I sing in a building; it is a lifestyle, a calling … something we were born to do.
Keri shared these verses, which fit appropriately to this series:
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” -Psalm 100:1-5
We have a strong invitation to worship God because it is His will that we should serve Him, devote ourselves to His service, and employ ourselves in it.  We do not only serve Him in everything we do, but we also come before His presence in the opportunities He appoints us. God gives us joy. We rejoice in Him. And we always give Him thanks. It’s not about how good we sing, but remembering why we sing.
How often do we place ourselves in a posture of asking God to fix our silly problems? That instead of thanking Him for everything—for the air we breathe, for good health, for loving us, etc.—we run through our list of frustrations and “concerns”? The beginning of the passage begins with “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.” It doesn’t say, “Shout your frustrations to the Lord.” He is God and He is good. Because we acknowledge that He is the one who created us, we owe ourselves to Him by thanking Him.
God desires us to draw near to Him. As Keri said, when we worship we sing to someone. We’re being heard by Him; it’s the way we talk to Him. God delights in our praises. He doesn’t need anything from us, yet He allows us to praise Him. How crazy is that?
Sometimes it’s good to ask yourself this question: Why do I worship God? It’s easy for us to know what worship is and how we need to worship. And we become content with that. But we oftentimes overlook the why, which is just as important, and perhaps even more. When we begin our day thanking Him, that kind of attitude and posture will dictate how the rest of our day will look like. And God, because He is God and is so good, will take care us.