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Made to Worship – Part 2 – Preparing

What a tremendous discussion we had for Part 1 of my series on worship called, "Made to Worship" (thanks to all of you who participated). Yesterday, we talked about what worship looks like for the average worshiper, and we actually looked at some individual worship in other churches – we explained that because we are all created to worship JESUS, we all sort of have a "worship personality". Most people will work to grow in many areas (like discipline or prayer or bible reading) but never think about growing as a worshiper. As I said yesterday: If we want to we can GROW as a worshiper. (If you missed yesterday’s post PLEASE READ IT NOW.)

Today, we will discuss how to prepare to worship; the warm-up for worship. Although we are always "in His presence" omnipresently, if we want to sense Him in corporate worship, there is the need to prepare/warm up because many things can hinder the worship of a believer, such as:

  • Prayerlessness – I look at worship as a time of intimacy with God. Prayer is the constant conversation between us and Him; if we are not spending time in conversation, sharing our lives with Him we will find it hard to enter in during a time of worship. If you only spoke to your spouse 4 times a week, and everytime you did it was because you NEEDED something, something would be wrong.
  • Lack of study of the Bible – You won’t know God when you don’t know His heart – there is no way to know His heart outside of reading the bible. I wish I could give the person credit who first said, "When I close my bible, God closes His mouth."
  • Unconfessed sin – God is holy. If we are to enter into the place where He is, we must confess the sin that we’ve fallen into. When we do these things, this happens.

So Many people have written about this over the years, all of whom are deeper than I. I will tell you something that has been great for me – A great way to begin is to remember that Psalm 100:4 says, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.’. We begin by thanking Him for all He’s done, for Who He is and then we actually vocally give Him Praise. I’ve done this so many times – it’s David’s prescription for worship – if it worked for David…

Let me say it like this: If you wanna truly be a worshiper, there is a preparedness that must take place. Case in point: the 8:21 service at hyde park. If you attend any of the other 2 services we have you will find that they are more lively and seem to go to a deeper place than the 8:21; His presence seems more near in the other 2 services (which shouldn’t be, as 8:21 is when the "church" comes). You could make your arguments about why you think that is – I will argue that we’d be lucky if 10% of the people in the room on any given Sunday during 8:21 spent anytime seeking God PRIOR to their Sunday morning attendance. I believe that most crawl out of bed, get ready and barely make it to the service – that they have not worshiped as of yet, have not read scripture, have not prayed (except maybe to say, "Lord, let me get there on time" or "help me not to KILL them before we arrive!" :))…

they walk in, COLD, and expect to just enter into worship – no thanksgiving, no praise, they attend in body but many, because of lack of preparedness, have a dis-engaged spirit. (let me say, if you attend the 8:21, and this IS NOT you, then I’m not talking about you – you would be listed in the 10% – I’m talking about those who come in cold and remain cold).

My suggestion: get up earlier. Set the clock 15 mins before you would normally get up. Grap a cup of Starbucks, open your Bible, say to the Lord, "JESUS, I am here because I want to go deeper as a worshiper…"; read your scripture, and give Him thanks and praise. Get ready, take a shower, love the people in your household for JESUS, get in the car – put on your favorite worship music and praise Him all the way to church (be the worship leader of your car) and when you pull in the parking lot express the love of JESUS to everyone you come into contact with: DO THIS AND WATCH YOUR CORPORATE WORSHIP EXPERIENCE CHANGE!

Here’s another one: don’t save your worship for Sunday. Someone once shared with me that God is more interested in your Monday morning worship than your Sunday morning performance. OUCH! That personally hurt!

I’ll close today like this: worship is between you and JESUS – it’s an intimate act of love that allows you to express your thanks to Him; it doesn’t "just happen"; it’s not singing – it’s you, pouring your life out and allowing His Spirit to come in and cleanse you from all that is wrong in your life. There is a preparedness that must take place to worship – just as you would warm up to compete in sports there is a warm up to worship.

QUESTION: WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO WAKE UP A FEW MINUTES EARLIER ON SUNDAY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PRAYER AND SEEKING GOD IN WORSHIP SO THAT YOUR CORPORATE WORSHIP EXPERIENCE WOULD BE DEEPER? WHAT IS YOUR MONDAY MORNING WORSHIP LIKE?

6 Comments on "Made to Worship – Part 2 – Preparing"

  1. Adeana says:

    Ahh, this too, is something that I struggle with. I am so not a morning person, but am working on making Him the first thing that I focus on in the mornings. I actually did that this morning, which is why I am reading this at 7am and not sleeping, lol. This is a first for me in a VERY long time. Normally, I don’t get out of bed until the kids have hounded me about 10 times about something and that is normally around 9-9:30. I know that my prayer time, bible study, pretty much my time with Him alone is seriously lacking. I am striving to get closer to God, to get to know Him more and I know that in order to do that I have to discipline myself and ask myself what are my priorities? What is important to me. It is God and my family that are most important to me, yet those are the areas that I really don’t seem to spend “Quality” time with. God is definitely working with me in these areas :D
    Thanks again Mike, for a great post! Can’t wait for tomorrows. I look forward to them!!

  2. Laurie Ashley says:

    Mike,
    I like the analogy about talking with your spouse…I have often sort of thought of my marriage in relationship to my walk with Christ. Those daily things we all have to take care of–the kids, the dishes, the shopping, the bills. All those things can put a real strain on our relationship sometimes (speaking personally). BUT, when all is done, kids are in bed, and you finally cuddle up with your husband in bed–nothing needs to be said–it’s just those few moments before you fall asleep to “BE TOGETHER” in the quiet–to speak in whispers, to laugh about the things of the day, to show affection to one another privately–whatever–all married people get what I’m saying…that is kind of how I see worship. Throughout the day we’re all busy–running, speaking to God about what we need, asking us to help us grow…yadda, yadda, yadda, but worship–are those moments when you cuddle up to him and show your admiration, your affection–appreciation–have intimacy with your savior….You know if you dont’ have that intimate time with your spouse, your marriage will suffer–same with your walk with HIM!
    Nice analogy!
    Laurie

  3. Laurie Ashley says:

    Adeana,
    Boy can I relate! I thought I had that thing whipped at one time. Until about February, I got up every single morning at like 5am and spent a solid hour in prayer and Bible Study for over a year…I just felt so good about myself….laughing….February came and I got that school teacher’s disease..I got VERY tired and had no energy for that early morning stuff. Funny how when I stopped praying, I lost all energy….why is hindsight always 20/20??
    Let’s just start over….I have been up a few days now trying to rekindle things–trying to get back into the habit of getting up and really ENJOYING it.
    Laurie

  4. mike p says:

    Adeana – there you go, using the “D-WORD” (discipline). We spent most of our class time Sunday in my BFG talking about (and around) discipline and why it’s so hard. I’m thinking possibly (and this is just a thought) that discipline is formed through desire but becomes the “maintainer” – the glue, perhaps – when desire turns and goes into another direction. Any eles’s thoughts on that?
    Laurie – thank you for the compliment on my “spousal” analogy but honestly, your’s is MUCH BETTER – what a unique way to explain the intimacy of worship! Kudos!

  5. Laurie Ashley says:

    well, honestly, Mike….I wonder every day why a wonderful man like my husband loves me….I disappoint him so often, I fear…but he is so faithful and so loving and so forgiving all the time to me…I have a great spiritual head in my husband and all of my pastors…I praise the Lord all the time for that man….he shows me a little bit of God’s grace every day…and it makes the very, very hard part of believing that God really loves me, a little easier.
    Laurie

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