Scripture Reading: Psalm 95:6-7
Worship by definition means to assign or declare the worth of something or someone. According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. My pastor, Jamey Hunt, defines worship as declaring what we value most. Worship can be displayed and communicated in many different ways, but the point is worship is expressive.
The act of bowing down implies worship in that it is defined as a form of greeting, consent, courtesy, honor, acknowledgement, reverence, submission or veneration. Bowing down before someone is also an act of humility or the acknowledgment that you are in the presence of a celebrity, a sovereign, an authority, a dignitary, or other VIP. It is a sign of respect and honor for the position someone holds, not necessarily because his or her actions, behaviors or abilities are deserving of such esteem.
However, genuine worship of God is based upon who He is, what He had done and that fact that He is worthy! William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury described worship as, “the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His Beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose – and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.” Before we can worship God genuinely, we must first acknowledge our sinfulness and unworthiness; willingly submit to His authority; saturate our minds with the truth of His word; and have a sense of awe and wonder that we are in the presence of a Holy God.
The psalmist had not only come to an understanding of authentic worship, he also wanted others to join him in acknowledging the Lord as our supreme Master, our Creator and Sustainer, our Sovereign God, our Shepherd. As I meditate on this verse and contemplate the reasons for worship, I am reminded that Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep . . . My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:11, 27-28
Jesus gave His life for me so that my sins could be forgiven and I could be one of His sheep. He has given me eternal life, meaning even though my body will die, my soul will live forever in heaven with Him – I will dwell in His pasture. I am safe and secure because no one can snatch me from my Shepherd’s hand. Jesus knows me – He has counted every hair on my head and written my name on the palm of His hand. Because I am His, when He speaks I recognize His voice. When my husband speaks, I know his voice; when my Dad speaks, I know his voice. I recognize their voices because I belong to them. Likewise, I belong to Jesus, so when He speaks to me, be it through His Word, prayer or circumstances, I hear His voice.
God gives me the incredible privilege of coming before His throne, of entering into His presence, of listening to my hopes, dreams, desires, needs and often my ranting and ravings. Then He gives me exactly what I need – not necessarily what I want, but what He, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, has determined to be His perfect plan for my life. Because His plan for me is good, I follow Him trusting He will lead me beside still waters and in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. He restores my soul and is with me even when I walk through darkest valleys. No one else does that for me, or for you! He is my God, my Savior, my Lord, my King, my Master, my Father, my Maker, my Redeemer, and my Good Shepherd. He is my EVERYTHING and He is worthy of my praise because He is the great I AM! So yes, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God and only He is worthy of our worship!
Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:59-60
And the list goes on and on! It seems I am always in a hurry to complete the tasks on my to-do list and I never seem to complete it all. The phrase "so much to do, so little time" seems to be my life's theme. We are all busy, forced to live harried lives with full schedules! Many years ago,I heard an acrostic for BUSY . . . Burdened Under Satan’s Yoke! The reality of that statement rings true when I contemplate the stress and anxiety I sometimes feel when I fail to get it all done! With so many things vying for my time and attention am I neglecting the important because I am held captive by the urgent?
When Martha complained about having to do all the work while her sister, Mary, left her to serve alone, Jesus told her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) Mary’s priority was to be with Jesus! Nothing else mattered and nothing got in her way. Surely, she knew the meal needed to be prepared for their guests, but Mary was hungry for something more. Not wanting to miss anything, she positioned herself at Jesus' feet and hung on His every word. She was determined to enjoy the presence of her Master and feast upon His teaching!
While taking care of my family is the most important job I have; and having relationships with other people is a means of sharing God's love with them; and work, church and ministry are necessary, I cannot neglect the one thing worth being concerned about - my relationship with Jesus. Although the bent of my personality is to be like Martha, the desire of my heart is to be like Mary.
When I begin to feel the stress of my BUSY schedule, I need to take time to ponder the direction of my life. Have I allowed my adversary to burden me under his yoke? Have I become so busy doing and serving that I have forgotten the one thing I should be concerned about? That is spending time with Jesus - just sitting at His feet, enjoying His presence and learning from Him. Let me hurry, without delay, to obey the Lord's commands. When I allow Jesus to re-prioritize my to-do list I will find rest for my soul!
“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:29-30
Founder and President of Go Ministries, Inc.
Co-Founder and Secretary/Treasurer of Go Ministries, Inc