Yesterday, we had a break from our gray skies. I decided to take advantage of the sun and go for a walk. It wasn’t a long walk, just down the street with not much to see. So I turned on my phone figuring I’d get one song in before I’d reach my house again. I saw an old playlist that felt like it would be appropriate and started it playing. Walking along enjoying the music, these words stuck: “Was my worship more than just a song?” (Sidewalk Prophets – Live Like That.)
Eternal One: These people think they can draw near to Me by saying the right things, by honoring Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me. Their worship of Me consists of man-made traditions learned by rote; it is a meaningless sham.Isaiah 29:13 (VOICE) Jesus quotes this scripture again in Mark 7:6-7.
It made me pause. I know what it’s like to sing a song at church by rote. I know the words by heart and love singing in harmony. I also know when I am truly worshipping. When my heart is longing for God’s presence. When I’m not focused on my performance.
I’ve been on worship teams for 35 years and I have sung in many different headspaces. There have been times when I’ve felt prideful, irritated, bored, distracted, judgy, unseen, unneeded, and under-appreciated. Not pretty thoughts and definitely not worshipful.
For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.I Samuel 16:7b (ESV)
Thinking about singing triggered another thought, I always jump to singing as equivalent to worship. Even though worship isn’t singing, I just don’t make the association with anything else.
Jesus answered him, “‘Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.”Matthew 22:37 (TPT)
Worshipping by singing is obvious. But “more than just a song” can refer to the condition of my heart or question the extent of worship into other areas of my life.
Do I feel like my life worships God? Honestly, I don’t know how to answer that. Part of me wants to say, “Well, obviously. Look at everything I’m doing. I go to church, I write a blog about my faith, I listen to Christian music,,,” That’s not it, wouldn’t you agree?
I feel God challenging me to go deeper.
Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:13 (AMP)
True worship is seeking God’s presence. Whether it is while washing dishes or talking to a friend. Whether I am folding laundry or writing this blog post. It is in always knowing I am his daughter and he is always with me. Even though I can’t see him he wants me to see him.
I wish it were that easy. My heart’s desire is shackled by my selfish nature. I understand why the Bible describes God as a jealous God. He wants me to be with him, not distracted, but fully aware he is there.
Thankfully this is his love for me:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.I Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
God rejoices when the truth of his presence wins out.
In this world where “mindfulness” is the new buzz word — Do you see him?
Grace & Peace,