Sunday, April 22, 2007

God Wants His People Flambe!

As I start this blog post, I'm not even sure what I'm going to talk about. I had a few ideas yesterday, but the day has brought new topics of discussion. (This post could also be called "The Mental Wanderings of Sam"!) So, I'm just going to type and see what comes out!

I was thinking about worship the other night. My ideas of worship have been overhauled several times now. I used to think that a really good worship service meant it was easy to get swept up into the singing. Somewhere along the way, that idea was discarded. I'm not even sure how I stopped thinking that way. I began to feel like I should step out more in the singing; stop being so conscious of the people around me and focus more on Jesus. When I started doing that, I found that it didn't matter how good the musicians were or how touching the music was, I got something from thinking about how wonderful Jesus is!

Good right? Very good! (I'm not "grading" myself, or saying it was wrong to feel that way. I just want to present another veiwpoint.) But what if worship isn't about "getting" something from God?

I was listening to a sermon in the car on the way to my brother's school. The minister was talking about how when the Israelites went into the temple to meet with God, they always took a sacrifice. They wouldn't think of going without having something to burn for God. Later they found out that God didn't really care about the burnt offerings, it was their hearts He was watching as they came before Him.

How's your heart as you come before Him? On Sundays, or whenever you've got some time set aside for worshiping God, do you lay everything else down and devote yourself to Him? Maybe you have a bunch of kids who hang on you and bug you all the time, or maybe you have money issues that are clamoring for your attention, or maybe you're struggling with some emotional problems? Lay it all down.

Worship isn't "needs" focused. Worship isn't "me" focused. Worship is an offering to God before you accept the word He has provided for you through your pastor's preaching. It's saying, "God, I love you. I think you're amazing. I don't care about anything else right now; I just want you to know how wonderful I think you are!"

It's not always easy. But, that's why it's called sacrifice of praise!

Hebrews 13:14&15
For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name.

Sometimes, putting all the distractions out of your mind is an uphill battle through a flesh forest while it's pouring emotional rain. But when you push beyond your comfort zone, God will come and set you ablaze!

Remember Elijah and that bunch of baal priests? They were trying to decide whose god was the true god. The priests of baal had spent all day trying to get baal to burn up the animal on the altar, with hilarious commentary from Elijah. Nothing happened. When it was Elijah's turn, he decided to make things interesting.

1Kings 18:32-35
With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood." "Do it again," he said, and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.

The wood was soaked. The whole thing would probably take days to dry out naturally. But in verse 38, we see what happened when after Elijah called on the Lord:

Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

Our God is big into bringing more than enough! No squabble with your mother-in-law can put out the fire He starts in you! Nothing your boss says can dampen your wood to the point of making a spiritual blaze impossible! If we trust Him, He'll bring the increase! Get out of your comfort zone, and you're into the supernatural!

So there we are. That's what I've been thinking about. Since I've been having growing season (>_<), this message is for me too! To be completely honest, all of my posts challenge me, so don't feel badly if you've got some things to work on!

Hope this helps and have a GREAT week!


Sabra said...

This is an inspiring posting, Samantha! What you're saying is that praise and worship is all about LOVING THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD! When you start out loving God's presence, and you allow that love to usher you into continual praise and worship of Him and His awesome works, then you walk with a continual awareness of His nearness, His love, His majesty, and His power. I know that God is pleased when we focus on Him and when we exalt His Name and His works. You're doing that very thing with this blog, so you can know that God is pleased with you!

Samantha F. said...


I'm glad you liked the post!

I love you!!