Dear Kate & Annabeth,
I’m getting ready to leave tomorrow to go on our annual church women’s retreat, and I remembered something I wrote after last year’s retreat that I wanted to share with you:
I spent the past weekend at our church’s women’s retreat with some precious Christian sisters at a gorgeous location with two of my favorite things, water and woods. While there, I heard one of the simplest and most powerful Truths through an amazing Bible Study delivered by our women’s ministry leader, Tollie Meggs. And she brings the Word – in an awesome, anointed way. Just, wow! How blessed we are by the gift of her teaching.
So often, we tend to complicate motherhood. And you know what else we tend to complicate? Simply being – our entire lives. We were made for one purpose – to worship. Everyone who is alive is worshiping something or someone. Specifically, we were created to worship God – our Creator, Provider, Sustainer – and His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To do anything else is to waste our lives. To attempt to put anything else – work, goals, dreams – before worship is to totally miss the picture. Worship must be the origin of and must be pervasive within all that we are and all that the do. I can tell you what work, including spiritual service, will do to a believer who got worship out of order in the equation – It leads to exhaustion and burnout. I know this firsthand myself from past experience and know far too many other ladies who also know what it feels like to work hard for the Lord without having worship in its proper place… and it’s not a pretty picture. To learn and live out true and acceptable worship will first and foremost please the Lord, and it will also spill over and impact every single area of our lives. I am convinced that a person never be all she can be without worship at the center of her life. But we don’t do it for ourselves; we do it because God is worthy.
It’s life-changing stuff, if we will simply submit to the Lord’s leading, obey His commands, and make time to truly worship Him. And, despite our modern vocabulary, worship is not synonymous with music or meditation – nor does it require anyone else to lead us into it. There are no bells and whistles, no bright lights or fantastical out-of-body experiences – just simply surrendering yourself to spend time sitting at the Lord’s feet, praising Him for who He is and all He has done, as His Spirit meets you there. Because my words are pitifully inadequate in describing the depth and breadth of the command to worship and its accompanying promises, here are a few of many verses on worship.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10: 38-42
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. – John 4:23 (NIV)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. – Matthew 23:23-26 (NIV)
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. – Hebrews 12:28-19 (NIV)
My prayer for myself and your Dad, for both of you, and for anyone who reads this is that we will be filled by God with a renewed desire – a consuming hunger and thirst – for His Word and His commands, to seek His face and truly worship him with all we have, above all else for all of our days. To get that one thing right will be to have succeeded in all our roles in this life, as well as eternity.
All My Love,