The doldrums of winter can be tough. We become restless and negative. Inevitably the winter blues can sadly impact our worship together as a church body. We get complacent.
Instead of entering into Sunday morning worship with "thanksgiving in our hearts" and saying "this is the day that the LORD has made", we can easily enter the assembly with hearts as frigid as the temps outside. And, a pattern can emerge: we enter cold and empty, and demand to leave warm and full.
The problem with this paradigm is it makes worship primarily about us. What we need....what we get. Yet it was never about us. Worship is about God.....about reminding ourselves and those around us of His great name.
As people of resurrection, worship is ultimately about lifting up Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It's about giving God all He's worth.
Ironically, the person who worships to get "filled up" will never be filled. Rather, it is the one who empties himself of all he has that walks away filled. This is the way of the gospel.
A friend of mine recently shared with me that he used to come to church empty and demand of God and others that he walk away filled. However, one day he decided to take five minutes in his car on the way to church to pray that God would fill His heart with the grace of Jesus Christ...that he would be filled with gratitude for all that God had done for Him. He prayed that he might be able to focus on the Lord and empty himself in worship to God during the Sunday morning service. Needless to say, this weekly prayer has radically changed his prayer life. He no longer leaves the services griping and empty.
The doldrums of winter can be tough. And, it can impact how we encounter God. And, we can shift blame of our inner emptiness on the church music or the preacher, or even the members of the Body. But, the real blame lies within our own souls.
Worship simply stated is "giving God what He is worth". When we consider all that God has done for us through Jesus Christ, how could we ever come to church empty without something to offer the one who emptied himself for us? How could we not desire, even hunger, to give God all that He is worth?
I challenge you to be in prayer in your car this Sunday that God would give you a heart to really want to worship Him. And, that we walk away full on Sunday morning, not because we came empty, but rather because we emptied our selves out in praise, prayer and adoration of our great God.
May God transform how we worship,