Sunday, March 3, 2013

on worship // battle.

Absolutely: worship is a battlefield.  And not just the allotted time of worship on Sunday mornings (because let's face it - we do get distracted here and there), but a lifestyle of worship.  With all the demands of the day, and all the emotions and thoughts we've had to carry, we find ourselves too drained and too discouraged to press in to worship.  What?  Read the Word?  Sing?  We fall asleep.  Or we sing a lyric and our mind tangents off to areas that vie for our attention: relationships, responsibilities, imagination.

But all these things - distractions and discouragements - they flood our mind only because the enemy will do what it takes to prevent us from taking up weapons of warfare that is found in Worship and the Word.  The enemy wars for our attention.  He's after our focus.

Anything can steal our focus.  A troubled mind.  A heavy heart.  Temptations of selfishness and pride.  Bitterness or resentment.  Affections.  Hopes and fears.  Anxiety.

And yet, the key remains, that the only way to grasp an undivided attention is to press into worship.  Yes, it is going to prove itself to be a difficulty.  But this is why we refer to it as "a sacrifice of praise" - because it is will cost us something.  It is costly to push our agenda aside - our thoughts, our feelings, our motives - all for the sake of honoring one who is more worthy of our thoughts, feelings, and motives.  It is to die to our flesh, to fully surrender, to lay it all down.

We sing a beautiful chorus and as it repeats and the lyrics become memory, it embeds into our spirits and we catch ourselves singing it throughout the day, throughout the week, sometimes subconsciously. And without realizing it, these repeated Truths transform into our second nature.  In the moment of struggle, and doubt, and anxiety, the lyrics become weapons: "God I look to You, I won't be overwhelmed...." Suddenly, our spirits are uplifted, and we have joy again.  We hope again.  And this is the power of worship - these are the repercussions of worship.

And you see, it is not that we hide our struggles, or ignore them like infected wounds.  No, these things matter to us, and we matter to God- He is in the business of taking care of our hearts.  The honest surrender in worship, of putting His agenda before ours, is saying, "I trust You, Jesus, to fight for me."  And the beautiful thing is, He does.  And He wins.

He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me...
- Psalm 55.18

In the place of difficulty and suffering, giving God the honor and praise in our worship is the way that we battle the enemy.  We recognize that we are weak and frail and failures, but that our God is strong for us, and that His grace covers our sin, and that His love goes beyond our capacity.  We recognize that He has made us to live free and to receive His goodness, and to let this gift of love overflow.

I may be weak, but Your Spirit's strong in me
My flesh may fail, but my God, You never will.
- "Give Me Faith," Elevation Worship

The Scripture passage to meditate on is Psalm 57.  David was fleeing for his life, and yet his response was to worship God and to recognize His faithfulness.  Ask the Lord what He wants to show you through this chapter.  And remember- you are more than a conqueror.  Not will be, but you are.

My heart, O God, is steadfast; my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make music.
Awake, my soul!  Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
- Psalm 57.7-8

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.


1 comment :

  1. I read this aloud lest I be distracted by my thoughts and wander off. I cried half way through your words. In my suffering, I am brought to God's feet once again. Bless u sis.