Today’s word is… “Surrender”
This is such an important word when it comes to worship. Joe spoke yesterday about the big “S” as well as the big “O” obedience and the big “C” commitment. I’ll focus on Surrender. We must surrender in order for worship to take place. In fact God says this through His prophet Isaiah
13 And so the Lord says,
“These people say they are mine.
They honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
And their worship of me
is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
I pray to my Father not to be guilty of this, but daily I find myself failing to but away the temptations that invite me to put myself first and ignore God’s voice. I am not first. I cannot be first. It is not about me. This life I have been given to steward is not my own.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. Our bodies, Our whole selves, inside and out, top to bottom, mind, heart, will and soul belong to God! We are just stewarding this earthen vessel. Daily, I want to acknowledge the truth of this and surrender my body, mind, heart, soul and my very will to the One who has saved me and loves me everyday. Echoing Paul’s words;
18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
When we surrender, this is what we are giving up. Nothing good lives in me (my sinful nature). That should be easy to surrender because I don’t even want that. Why is it not?
24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
So we MUST surrender. It is a prerequisite to worship. The very act of worship is acknowledging the object of your worship to be what you are giving your life to. When we give our life to Jesus, it is an act of worship. When we give our will to the Father, it is an act of worship. Too many times we define worship as a “feeling” or “emotional expression.” It is NOT. While feelings and emotional expressions may be byproducts of this act of worship, they are not themselves the definition of worship. Let’s think of it this way; Surrender and Obedience are the opening act of worship. Thanks and Praise and Songs are what follows.
Today’s word is… “BROKENNESS”
One of the things that make me more than a little OCD is my idea that the phrases or words we use have an effect on how we think about things. The more we speak negatively on a subject the more strongly we will feel, well, negative about it.I want to tread lightly here because sometimes we will dwell on an unbiblical idea such as “God helps those who help themselves,” hear it then say it and start to believe that it is a biblical principle.You get the idea.
This happened to me and Melanie once back in the day when we were young(er) worship leaders.Singing a song about brokenness being what we long for, you know the song, we received an “unpleasant” anonymous letter pointing out to us how wrong it was to make such a statement because God doesn’t want us to be broken, he wants to heal us.I can say that I get where mr/mrs anonymous is coming from, but they missed the point regarding brokenness.The kind of brokenness we were singing and speaking about was a (Psalm 51:16-17) version where David says this…
16For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Until we change the way that we think about our sin, God can not change the way our hearts view it.We must seek to be truly broken about our sinful state as well and about specific, recurring sin in our lives so that He can start over with us and make us into something beautiful, more like His Son, Jesus.
Transform: alter, amend, modify, adjust, bend, fine-tune, revise, rework, correct, change, revolutionize. It’s one of those words we use in worship – a Worship Word.
We have watched fall turn into winter and while I love the fall, I also enjoy the winter and all it brings.Living in the Midwest, folks can enjoy each season (not like my brother in MN who gets just 2 weeks of fall).But inevitably it seems I am never ready for the change.It happens too fast.Am I the only one who wasn’t ready for negative temperatures!?!
As Christ makes us into His new creations, sometimes we can think that He is moving too fast.Other times we wonder “What’s taking so long?”But God’s timing is always perfect even when we think it isn’t.If you think God is changing you too fast, maybe He is teaching you patience. If you think He is moving too slow, perhaps you still haven’t given Him everything.