I Need to Worship

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“I need to worship because without it I can forget that I have a Big God beside me and live in fear.

I need to worship because without it I can forget his calling and begin to live in a spirit of self-preoccupation.

I need to worship because without it I lose a sense of wonder and gratitude and plod through life with blinders on.

I need to worship because my natural tendency is toward self-reliance and stubborn independence.”

-John Ortberg

I used to think God must either be some sort of egomaniac, or the opposite, an insecure assurance addict, that He wanted praise all the time. I learned at an early age (and to my embarrassment now) that the best way to get something from my dad was to butter him up first. It’s the go-to weapon of choice for many people when they feel powerless. I hoped the same technique would work on God.

It wasn’t until I let go of the false definition of God that I somehow picked up in my early years that I began to realize how wrong I had been. God’s self-image is just fine, thank you. He doesn’t need anyone to create one for him.

Worship is about taking my eyes off myself and focusing on who he is. In the process of gazing on his beauty and concentrating on his attributes, I can begin to see myself in his eyes. It creates perspective.

Turning all our attention on who he wants to show himself as in this season of our lives can be like having a defining-the-relationship talk with the Almighty. God is God, holy other, far above any created thing. He knows us intimately and loves us deeply.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

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Morning Worship Service

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“Christ is wont to catch every man in the way of his own craft – magicians with a star, fishers with a fish.”

– John Chrysostom

It’s amazing how many people I meet whose favourite place to connect with the Creator is the great outdoors. That’s where they worship and that’s where He meets them. In spirit and in truth.

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The Deep and Secret Things

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“If when I am able to discover something which has baffled others, I forget Him who revealeth the deep and secret things, and knoweth what is in the darkness and showeth it to us; if I forget that it was He who granted that ray of light to His most unworthy servant, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

– Amy Carmichael

I once had a dream in which I saw how the selfish actions of one group of people loosed nasty consequences on other people like a multi-car pile-up. With a little research I found out the facts were in the public record, but most people were not aware of the evil that had been kept out of the light for years. I was shocked and upset by the dream and told a friend experienced in dream interpretation.

“The dream is not difficult to interpret,” she said. “The question is, why is God choosing to show it to you, and why now.” She smiled a knowing smile. “Ask Him.”

He was showing me the roots of a problem and giving me compassion for those whose actions I had trouble understanding. But what could I possibly do about it? As we chatted, the Lord and me, I realized it is not my responsibility to change people and situations. It is his, but he wants us to partner with him.

So often I feel like the child with a little lunch that Jesus used to feed thousands. My efforts are tiny in the face of an impossible task. All I can do is pray.

You know, sometimes, when we feel powerless, we say, “Well, all we can do is pray” and sigh heavily as if it probably won’t do much good. But God is showing me prayer is not meant to be a last ditch effort. Prayer is a first response effort. Prayer is a means of coming into alignment with what God is doing.

When I asked him how to pray about a current situation where he is beginning to shine his light on hidden evil I heard, “Give me a powerful yes.

My yes is powerful? How does that work?

Like a lunch of buns and fish.

I don’t know if we will ever know in this lifetime how often the darkness has been overcome by simple folk giving God their powerful yes in prayer, but I think we will be surprised.

Jesus takes what we offer and then multiplies. Our powerful little yes becomes his immeasurably mighty yes. He brings light to the deep and secret things and his purpose is to save, heal and release the captives.

Yes, Lord. Yes!

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

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