Monday, May 18, 2009

Last night was the last RITV of the year and it was awesome. The theme of the night was worship. I got to witness and participate in God moving it peoples lives. The whole night flowed into a message of living obedience. There was a student testimony, a pastor/artist sharing about worshipping and listening to God. Then a time of worship plus two stations to write/draw/shout/sing/kneel. In between music three people shared about the purpose of worship, the posture of worship, and prayer in worship. We had five minutes, I was the last; this is what I said (for the most part):

Worship is a lifestyle. We’ve heard tonight that the purpose is to give God glory. And that what we do with our hands or whether we are standing, kneeing, or lay face down before the Lord because what really matters is the condition of our heart. Worship is a lifestyle. When we live as worshippers, we make a commitment to live for an audience of one –to live fully 100% for God.

This choice affect everything we are and everything we do because all we do becomes about God. We choose to put our best in to each and every moment –to live pure, true, honest, good, right so that at all times our lives are giving praise to God. Therefore it doesn’t matter if we are singing with a crowd, painting a picture, hanging out with friends or cleaning the toilet because our mom’s asked us to. Everything is done for the glory of God.

This lifestyle of worship is interconnected with a lifestyle of prayer. The two go hand in hand. Prayer now becomes more than rote graces and duty guilt filled lines whispered as we drift off to sleep. Prayer becomes our daily, ongoing, moment by moment communication with God.

When we speak up or cry out to God –it is an act of worship. We invite God to be apart of our lives. And He listens. When we are still, seeking his will, and listening –it is an act of worship. We are waiting in faith ready to obey. And He answers. When we are open with God speaking honestly about our fears, failures, even our doubts and anger –it is an act of worship. We are living like the shepherd-king David, known as a man after God’s own heart.

This is worship.

Prayer is us asking God, the Creator, to show up in our mundane everyday ordinary activities and be with us. The best and craziest part is HE wants to be involved. When we are joyful he wants to celebrate with us. When we are hurt he wants to comfort us. He’s also given us the invitation to know him. To learn what makes him happy and what breaks his heart.

It is beautiful. It is amazing. It is a God thing and I struggle to express it clearly. The closest I can get is this. Last night just after 11:30, I called my best friend, Steph. And we talked. It was so good to hear her voice. We just shared what has been going on in our lives, the joys and frustrations, the silly things we had done, the shocker from the season finale of our favorite shows. We laughed, we cried…no I don’t think we cried but we would have if that was where the conversation had taken us. More then once we both said wow, its late we should go…but we kept talking. It was just so good talking with her. It was well after 1:30 when I finally hung up. She is my best friend and I could share anything with her. It is wonderful.

And yet our friendship is just a shadow of what it is like when I give my whole self to prayer and trust God to do what he says he will do. Worship and prayer are important because they are primary ways in which we connect to God. I invite you to take the next step in your journey with God. If you’ve been listening tonight you already know it. It is time now to obey. Embrace this lifestyle of worship. After all we are here to pray and thank and praise and invoke and bless and sing and encounter God.

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