Aug 17, 2012
[My wife and I are on vacation, so my blog posts will be brief, and maybe a bit inconsistent. We will be back the week of August 27th.]
Worship isn’t easy
Not because Jesus Christ isn’t glorious.
But because our sin so often blinds us.
Sin can dull our hearts so we love Facebook, Monday Night Football, or shopping more than Jesus.
So what can we do?
We need help to overcome the blindness and dulness of our hearts.
And the good news is that God gives us all the help we need so we can worship.
That’s what Paul tells us in Philippians 3, where he says that we “worship BY the Spirit of God” (Phil 3:3).
That crucial word “by”
Imagine that God said — “travel 200 miles by car.”
To obey this you would get into your car and drive 200 miles. No problem.
But what if you ignored the part about the car — and tried to travel 200 miles by walking?
But that’s what we do
Too often that’s what we do with worship.
We ignore the words “by the Spirit of God.” We enter into worship thinking we can worship by our own power.
But then — when we see our dulness, our lack of focus — we get discouraged or give up.
But when Paul says we worship BY the Spirit of God, he means —
- we are not able to worship God by our own power
- we need help to be able to worship
- the Holy Spirit will give us the help we need
How do we experience this work of the Spirit?
There’s no formula. The Spirit is not under our control.
But God has given us steps by which He will mercifully work in our hearts by the Spirit.
Here are steps I’ve found helpful —
Ask for the work of the Spirit.
In Luke 11:13 Jesus promises that when we ask — the Father will increase in us the work of His Spirit.
So as you prepare to worship — take time to ask the Father, in Jesus’ name, to pour His Spirit upon you.
Ponder the truth of who God is
In Gal 3:5 Paul says that God will provide us with more of the Spirit’s work as we “hear with faith.”
So set your heart on the truth of God — and behold Him. Think on Him. Trust Him.
Declare to God
Declare to God the truth of who He is —
You are glorious — loving — faithful.
It’s also helpful to declare the truth of your heart —
I am barely feeling your glory, love, and faithfulness. But that doesn’t change who You are.
Regardless of how I am feeling, You ARE glorious. Loving. Faithful.
Expect the Spirit to work
As you pray, ponder, and declare — you will (in time) feel the Holy Spirit changing your heart.
Like Jesus promised —
He who comes to me will not hunger; he who believes in me will never thirst. (John 6:35)
Try this — with the song “The Power of the Cross.”
Take some time to worship Jesus Christ — “BY the Spirit of God.”
Ask the Father, in Jesus’ name, to increase on you the work of His Spirit.
Let this song help you ponder the truth of Jesus Christ.
Then declare to Him the truth of who He is — and the truth of your heart.
And as you ask, and ponder, and declare — expect the Holy Spirit to work.
How did this impact you?
I’d love to hear — leave a reply below. Thanks!
If you know someone who would be helped by this, email it to them using the “share” button below — or use the other buttons to share it on your favorite social media.
If you would like to receive a Saturday email summarizing each week’s posts — subscribe here. (I will only use your email address for Living By Faith Blog communications — and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.)
And here’s some related posts you might find helpful —
Reorient Your Life With Worship ("At Your Name")
"God, You Are My God" -- A Powerful New Worship Song
Worship Christ as Your Treasure (4-Min Video "Knowing You")
A 4-Min Worship Song to Strengthen Your Faith ("God Undefeatable")
(Picture on everystockphoto by anitapatterson.)