In the message, Louie talked about worship, the many different styles from the hymns of old to contemporary praise. Then he explained what true worship looks like. I can't begin to cover everything his message covered, but if you get the chance to check it out you should. Here's what stuck out to me.
When we go to sunday morning worship, passion, overflow, etc we like to walk in and think, I hope the worship is good this morning or evening. Man it'd be awsome if they did some third day or hillsong. We walk in and begin to look for what God is going to do for us. Is this worship? Hearing a meaningful song? Being able to sing along or clap our hands to something upbeat?
In Isaiah 58, God speaks to the prophet Isaiah. Once again Israel is seeking the Lord, and are wondering why God is not listening to their prayers and their fasts. Among God's answers to them, He says in verse 3 "Yet on the day of fasting you do as you please" and that God did not intend for fasting to last for one day, which many of the Israelites considered sacrifice enough.
Then down in verse 7, God lays out what fasting, and what i believe worship is.
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter when you see the naked to clothe him, and not to turn away for your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear, then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say Here am I.
Last wednesday I had a meaningful day of worship. I spent an hour alongside fellow beleivers praying at the cupola asking for God to work on our campus. Then I took a friend over to wal-mart. Then came back met with a guy I'm leading 2:42 Bible Study with to lay out our next few weeks of meeting. Then I headed to overflow, then aftwerwards to baptize a friend who had made the decision, and then we went out to IHOP for his first meal born again, and spent an hour there just talking about the Word.
I didn't say all of that to boast. But i remember feeling at the end of the day, "How great was today? God really blessed me today." The reason i see now, is because i poured myself out to God that afternoon and evening. I gave myself solely to Him, and to His agenda, and what ever i wanted to do, I set on the back burner.
Paul said the same to Timothy is one of his farwell letters:
For I am being poured out like a drink offereing, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:6-7
Worship is devoting our lives to God. Allowing ourselves to be completely spent for the one who was pierced, crushed, wounded, and ultimately put to death. Jesus spent three years before that moment, fasting, praying all hours of the day, healing the sick, one after another after another, teaching his disciples time and time again. Never once did Jesus decide to take a vacation on the beaches along the mediterranean, or to sleep in a king's palace.
That is the life of worship. A life that God smiles down upon. A cry that He will always answer.
I spent the last 27 hour fasting. No food just water, a little apple juice, and some smoothie. Did good up til this point. For now I'm going to declare this fast a good first step into the discipline, and declare it over. The reason for my fast, I'm going to continue to pray over. But I'm going to pour myself out to God through service and ministry while I seek direction on a mission trip oppourtunity I'm considering. I'm going to try the model in Isaiah 58 and truly fast, and our myself out for others.