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As a child, I believed that worship was something confined within the walls of a church, reserved for a particular people at a particular hour on Sunday morning and that the only mode by which to express said worship was through music. The truth that God continually leads me to, however, is that worship has no confines. It is neither bound by space nor time and most importantly, it is not something set aside for the saints. Worship is something that finds us all. We are all worshipers. Its inevitable, something or someone is always going to attract our attentions and affections. Louie Giglio in his book “The Air I Breathe” puts it this way, “Whatever we value most will ultimately determine who we are and what or who we worship. If we worship money, we become greedy at the core of our heart. If we worship some sinful habit, that same sin will grip our soul and poison our character. If we worship stuff, our life will become material, void of eternal significance.” What we worship, what we love, we become.

The truth that we are all worshipers takes on an even greater significance as a Christ follower. Worship isn’t confined to a 20 minute experience once a week on Sunday morning, but rather worship is the way by which we, as Christ followers, express ourselves to God, individually and as a church. Worship is a practice that forms us into Christlikeness. Realizing the significance of worship as a Christ follower should change us. The goal becomes not to simply get the church to raise their hands, clap, sing louder, sing the right songs or feel good when they walk out of the doors on Sunday morning, but for the church to become the kinds of people who use their hands for good the rest of the week. The goal is not simply to create a worship service, but for our worship service to create a certain kind of church in the world.

Perhaps the psalmist says it best in Psalm 115. “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name be glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.” The Psalmist goes on to contrast this first verse by exposing the idols and gods that we tend to give our attention and affection to.

“Their gods are metal and wood,
 handmade in a basement shop:

Carved mouths that can’t talk,

Painted eyes that can’t see,

Tin ears that can’t hear,

Molded noses that can’t smell,

Hands that can’t grasp,

Feet that can’t walk or run,

Throats that never utter a sound.”

And to sum it all up in verse 8, 
”Those who make them have become just like them, they have become just like the gods in which they trust.” Whatever we worship, and we all worship something, we become. We become what we love. So in the immortal words of Mr. Bo Diddley, “Who do you love?”

#digzpc | meditation

It’s been said that worry is a form of meditation – a very negative form of meditation. I learned that the world is not a safe place at a very early age. From the time I was born I was the target of my mentally ill brother’s physically abusive behavior. I have a scar on my mouth from an arrow that I took in the lip as an infant. My home was not a place of safety for me, although my protectors outnumbered my brother five to one, that ratio narrowed over the years as siblings grew up and left home. Other random acts of violence occurred in the form of head injuries (two separate occasions), from a neighbor child, and later from a complete stranger while we were vacationing. 

I’m very grateful for the love of my family because it made me resilient, even in the face of inexplicable evil, but it was only through the grace of God, and his Word, that I am able to turn my thoughts from worry to worship. Isaiah 26:3 (ESV) states, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." This isn’t just feel good advice - this is a serious and effective weapon against the darkness that tries to infringe on our minds. Meditation is all about our thoughts - what we allow our mind to stay on. There have been great Christian leaders over the years that have tried to continually keep the thought of God at the forefront of their minds. Brother Lawrence and Frank C. Laubach are two examples of this and their lives reflected the light of Jesus beautifully.

There is power in our thoughts. Thoughts influence our behavior; producing the courage to act, or the paralysis of fear. Our thoughts toward God, others, and ourselves determine the quality of our relationships…the quality of our lives. God's Word (the Bible) is living and active - it discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Meditate on the Word of God - it makes for a successful life (Joshua 1:8).  We can destroy strongholds by taking every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). When meditation on God's Word is coupled with prayer the resources of heaven are brought to bear.

The assignment for this week involves meditating on Psalm 8 throughout the day. As you think about the majesty of the Name Above All Names ask for God's kingdom and will to come to life in your circumstances (Mathew 6:10). God is trustworthy. Think about it - Jesus took everything we deserved on the cross so that we can have everything he deserves as the beloved Son of God. We can trust in that perfect sacrifice.

Posted by Misty Soderstrom with