The book of Psalms, written by Israel’s shepherd king David, is full of words that fill our hearts with praise as they speak to God’s forgiveness and grace lavished upon us. There we read about God’s mighty works and majestic ways, the wonders of His creation and wisdom, and His loving mercy poured out towards the rebellious children of Israel (by the way, that’s us). If ever you find yourself discouraged and wondering, this book is one to turn to find comfort in the arms of our Lord.
Scripture tells us that David was a man after God’s own heart. There is so much we can learn from him as we too desire to be men and women after God’s own heart. Today I want to focus on a verse found in Psalms 19:14:
I think David realized that it isn’t just the outside of a cup that should be pretty and shiny. I think he realized that God desires a purity which stems from a heart that is humble before the Lord. One that comes from rushing streams of living water. In this world it is so easy to put up a beautiful exterior wall to hide the mess that is stirring inside us. We walk through the doors of a church building, lifting our hands to praise our King, shake hands and smile . . . we know how to play the part don’t we? But where does our worship stem from? Are our words and actions flowing from a life pure in thought and motive? Or are our words of worship flowing from a proud, rebellious or even unrepentant heart? This isn’t to say we need to be perfect, it is to say we need to be true…genuine….real.
For as long as I can remember Sunday mornings have been the most chaotic and stressful morning of the week. I am a preacher’s kid, and always felt these “stressful” Sunday mornings were just a sign that the enemy was trying to stall the good news my father was sharing later that morning. It was as if the worse our Sunday morning was the more we knew God was about to do something big that the enemy didn’t like. As I have grown up and moved into my own life and little family, those Sunday mornings are still just as hectic. Is it that way in your family? It’s like all the forces of temptation and distraction rain down on Sunday mornings. Kids are grumpy, everyone is slow and sleepy, arguments and temper run hot, and it would just be easier if we all went back to bed right? For some reason I found this surprising in my adult life. Why is it like this on Sundays? I am no longer living in the preacher’s house. Why is the devil attacking my house on Sunday mornings?
As I read this verse from David it occurs to me that eve though I may not be front and center stage leading people in worship this morning, my personal worship to God is just as important. How many times have we rushed around to get everyone loaded up and in sped down the road to church, frustrated by the cars in our way and the lady taking too long to turn. We practically throw the kids in their classes and speed walk down the hall to the worship center, most of the times arriving half way through the music set. We find a place to plop our stuff down and whew….we made it. We are sweaty and winded from the morning rush but there we are, ready to worship our King. Really? Is that what He deserves? Is this really the best I can do for my King? What kind of worship am I really giving to Him in that moment? Is my heart pure in motive and thought? Is this acceptable in the sight of God Almighty?
I sit here reading what I am typing and it appears so obvious that Sunday mornings are an open battlefield for the enemy to attach every aspect of our lives. It’s like we are standing in the middle of that field with no defenses up, just oblivious to the attack that is coming. Why is that? Why do we do that? Why don’t we approach our corporate, Sunday morning worship time with the same intensity and commitment that we would if preparing for “battle”. Our enemy wants to steal God’s praises from His people. Our enemy will do all he can to distract us from being one with our King. We must be intentional about our worship, clearing our minds and hearts from this inside out to focus completely on who Christ is.
David had it figured out. He understood the need for a cleansing from within, purity on a day-by-day basis. A life completely governed and sanctified by God. I want to be like David. I want the meditation of my heart, the thoughts of my mind, and the motives of my inner most being to be pleasing and acceptable in the sight of my sweet Savior.
So here is my challenge to you this week. Be aware that the enemy is out there and he is seeking to distract your innermost focus on God. He might be okay with you looking the part on the outside, but believe me he is terrified for you to get right with God on the inside! Whenever you worship corporately with your church family, I challenge you to be aware of the condition of your heart and spirit. Do what ever you have to do to make your Sunday morning flow more effectively. Plan ahead. Get to your seat 5 minutes early and spend that time in prayer preparing your heart to let the words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart be acceptable to the heart of God. And then do it. Forget about who is around you and what is going on in the nursery. Lunch will work out and the to-do list will wait. Now is God’s time. He deserves it. Do not rob Him of your true worship.
Can you relate? Are your Sunday’s as wild as mine? Can we hold each other accountable to this?