Friday, April 6, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: On Worship

On Worship

A devotional by Lisa Lickel

"God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."

~John 4:24 ESV

In his book Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster said, “Worship is our response to the overtures of love from the heart of the Father.”

As I develop a deeper sense of the with-God life, I find worship in general and corporate worship with fellow believers becoming richer, more personal.

There was a poster I saw when I was in college that struck me deeply enough to resurface every now and then, thirty-five years later. It was a photo of the inside of a richly appointed church during a service. A figure who was unmistakably Jesus was asleep in the front row. “Peace be within Thy walls" (Psalm 122:7 KJV) wasn’t meant for us to be that kind of comfortable.

Worship at its heart is communion with our triune God. We have awe and respect for God Almighty, the Father, and a deep abiding love for His sacrificed Son our Lord, Jesus, and the ability to come to our knees through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Being able to commune is a two-way street. If I don’t listen, how can I hear and know? If all I am is a noisy, clanging symbol, as Paul puts it in his letter to the Corinthian church, what am I telling God?

Like prayer, worship comes with vulnerability. Quieting ourselves might be unnerving if we’re used to working in a place humming with activity, or having a radio or television or music on constantly.

Questions run through my mind. What if I hear nothing from God? Or what if I do? Am I crazy? What if I don’t like what I hear? What if God asks me to do something I don’t want to do? How can I tell if it’s truly God?

Jesus reminds me, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:15 ESV). He reminds me that questions are good, but anxiety is a stumbling block. The purpose of Worship, I am learning, is to help me know God better. I grow in faith, in trust, by spending more time in His company.

Richard Foster says, “To worship is to experience Reality, to touch Life."

Worship heightens my senses in this new exploration of the with-God life. I am learning holy dependency, “to be utterly and completely dependent upon God.”

My reaction to that Love may be with praise, a hymn, a hallelujah, a dance, a prayer, an offering or a new understanding of Scripture. But the outcome will always certainly be a changed and growing heart for God. My desire to “seek first the Kingdom of God” is renewed.

My Prayer: Thank, you Lord for growing my faith, for surrounding me with your saints to uphold me and encourage me and challenge me. Help me hear you, live for you, love you, and share that love with others.

Author Bio:
Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in the rolling hills of western Wisconsin. 

A multi-published and award-winning novelist, Lisa also writes short stories and radio theater. She's an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and workshop leader. 

She is a member of Chicago Writers Association and part of Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp and Writing Retreat, Inc., mentoring writers from across the United States of America.

Connect with Lisa:
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1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Alexis and Lisa, for this wonderful post!


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