Friday, June 27, 2008

Honest Worship

Psalm 13

It is amazing to me how God teaches various people from all walks of life the same lessons at about the same time. For instance, for the last several years,
B. J. and I have truly felt that God is moving so strongly in the area of worship. We had discussed privately that we believed that the time of people coming to church to be "entertained" was coming to a close and that more and more people were seeking out true worship. Amazingly, I have heard many teachers and worship leaders say the exact same thing.

The same is true of the Psalms. Beth Moore's latest Bible Study was on the Psalms, Sheila Walsh has recently written on the Psalms, and even more recently a Birmingham Southern professor has published a book on the Psalms. Although, these teachers may differ on some areas of theology, their teachings of the Psalms being honest, human outcries to God are the same.

Many times in my life I have come to church, put on a happy face, gone through the motions of worship and be totally brokenhearted on the inside. But, instead of bringing that brokenness to God honestly, I missed an opportunity to praise Him corporately. God has begun to change that in me in 2008.

Now during worship if I do not really believe what I am singing or if I do not feel that right then and there, I tell Him in my heart. For example, a popular worship song says, "all of you is more than enough for all of me, for every thirst and every need. You satisfy me with your love and all I have in you is more than enough." Do we really believe that? Yes, we know it is true, but do we believe it? If I find I am struggling with singing to God honestly, I tell Him. I confess my unbelief, and I also tell Him I want that to be true in my life.

Today's Psalm has been so instrumental in this change. How many times have I felt like the psalmist? "How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever..." I honestly tell God how I feel even if it is so "unspiritual". I just lay it out there as humbly and reverently as I can. It is amazing what honesty with God does for your spirit. We see that after the psalmist has cried out to God in honesty something changes. In verses 5 and 6, he says:
"But I trust in our unfailing love, my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me."

Wow. The psalmist had truly experienced God. He came with a mind full of doubts and anxieties and left with a mouth full of praise. At the end of the day, He truly has been good to us all.

The next time we have the opportunity to worship God corporately, I pray that we will seek Him honestly and allow Him to truly change our hearts. Let's take the masks off in worship because while man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7)

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