We spend so much of our lives accomplishing goals.
Graduate middle school, high school, college. Land a high-paying entry-level job and work your way up the ladder. Go to church each Sunday, our weekly spiritual shot in the arm. Sing hymns, make it through announcements, pay attention to the sermon, go home feeling encouraged and ready for another week of taking care of business.
Maybe you wouldn’t feel too bad about the thought of ending up at the pearly gates after such a life. But according to Scripture, we’d be in danger of hearing God say he never knew us.
God doesn’t want converts to Christianity.
He doesn’t want every person in the world to pray a prayer of forgiveness on Sunday and then go about their business the rest of the week.
God wants lifetime worshipers.
Another way of thinking about it would be that he wants to transform us into his intimate lovers. People who would abandon anything just to love and cherish him.
The simple, yet profound, message of the Gospel (which really just means “good news”), is that Jesus died and rose again to empower us to experientially know him, and to choose him over everything else in the universe.
If our daily life is not built around spending time worshipping God, our life is a waste. Modern Christian spirituality has been perverted by Western culture. God doesn’t give a crap about how much money you make or how successful your ministry is if you ignore him in your personal life. If that offends you, you’re in deep trouble.
Life is not about writing uplifting songs for other people, or doing good work that has a positive impact. Life is not about following your dreams, or “doing you,” which was the original sin. It was also what got Lucifer shot like a bolt of lightning out of heaven.
If we pursue a life of empty platitudes and hard work, we shouldn’t wonder why we feel like chaff in the wind.
A constant grinding at the millstone of success leaves us hollowed of meaning and emptied of substance.
God made us to be filled with his Spirit, not filled with busy-ness. Unless we embrace worship as a daily focus, we will be throwing our hours into the proverbial toilet and happily smacking “flush.”
It’s so basic a concept repeated endlessly through Scripture. And yet we forget it.
What will be left after you die save the hours you spent in God’s arms? What thoughts will endure beyond his all-seeing gaze? What behavior will delight our all-powerful Creator?
Worship. Not success. Not positive encouragement. Not personal gain. Not even what you gave to others.
Worship is our lasting legacy.
And if that is our focus, our lives will align themselves into a much healthier balance.
God wants us to serve him because we can’t help not serving him. He wants joyful givers, not dutiful givers.
Duty is not greater than voluntary submission that flows from a heart brimming with love for God and others.
In our fallen nature, we hate God and we hate each other. There is no human who can force love. Love flows only from our Creator, and any small amount of love you are capable of exuding is a gift from him.
So the only hope for us to really live a life of true Godliness is to moor ourselves in worship, allowing his Spirit to transform us by renewing our minds and spirits.
Because the pull of our sinful nature is constant, and because we are immersed in the dirtiness of the world, we need to constantly re-center ourselves in God’s grace, love, and mercy.
As long as we live on this side of eternity, our hearts are prone to wander.
Battling the wayward spirit takes healthy habits formed through discipline, hearts set to longing for our Creator—or at least to mourning that we don’t long for him more deeply—along with the divine work of the Holy Spirit, which cannot be controlled.
Luckily, Scripture promises that if we seek him, we will find him. If we knock, the door will be opened. So daily let your knees knock on the floor of worship, and he will open the floodgates of glory. Seek his goodness and cherish his person, and he will wrap his arms around you.
What I have found in my own life is that I need at least a single hour every morning (7 days a week, 365 days a year) dedicated to reading Scripture, soaking myself in prayer, and worshiping God.
That’s my minimum. It’s just where I’m at. The more I talk with others, the more I see it’s pretty much everyone’s minimum. We just don’t want to admit it because our flesh hates God, and our sinful nature blinds us to seeing how much joy he promises us when we meet him in that sacred time.
I generally wake up at 5:00am to have this focus time, long before anyone else in my family awakens.
Though, to be honest, sometimes I fail and sleep in. The Scriptures I read during this time are taken from several areas of the Bible. Some passages from the Old Testament, some from the Psalms, some from the New Testament. It varies, but the focus of that Scripture reading time is to renew my mind and center myself in the truths of God’s person. Absolutely vital.
My prayer time is mainly focused on thanking him for who he is, and cherishing his patience with me.
I also spend time focusing on how I want to be transformed into his image, and asking him to help me embody the attributes he tells us we should embody in Scripture (such as the fruits of the spirit). My prayers are always simple. They are never profound. Always like a child smiling at his daddy, working with crude tools to express his love and thankfulness. God is impressed with neither our wit nor our vocabulary. Instead, he’s impressed with our desire for him.
Despite playing music professionally, my worship time hardly ever includes music.
It’s more so an extension of my prayer time, and is focused on enjoying his person. I marvel at his goodness and mercy, enjoying his presence, thanking him for his faithfulness, smiling at his wonderfulness. Once again, there is nothing profound taking place, save the work of the Holy Spirit. It is not a glamorous time, or a time to seem spiritual. It is a time to actually be spiritual. It is a time where we are focused 100% on God, and 0% on ourselves.
Worship is the merging of self with God in true intimate love and acceptance.
I suppose I should make a note that we cannot truly come to God in prayer and worship without first repenting of our sin and turning away from evil. But we must also remember that God is the one who empowers us to repent and turn away from sin. That we can do nothing apart from him.
So, whenever we experience forgiveness, the gift of renewed strength, or the goodness of God’s closeness, it is an occasion for celebration.
Meaning it’s just another reason to worship him!
Praying for blessings on your life today. Thanks for reading! If you found this post helpful, let me know by commenting below, or by sharing it to social media by smashing the social media icon buttons on the side. Also, if you want more content like this bi-monthly, feel free to subscribe to the blog.
About Brennan McPherson
Brennan McPherson has always wanted to tell stories, but it wasn’t until his junior year in college that he built up the nerve to try. Three years and several failed attempts later, Cain, his first novel, was born. Brennan is married to his best friend, works full time at a small nonprofit, and plays the drums in his spare time.