Worship

Worship is an expression of the heart. John 4:24 says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
 
Worship is an essential aspect of intimate communion with the Lord. I think of the words to a song: I worship You, Almighty God, there is none like You. I worship You O Prince of Peace, that is what I want to do. I give You praise…
 
Worship is drinking in the Presence of the Lord, and lifting our heart up to Him through words that express our wonder and awe. It is acknowledging who He is through our heart-lips.
 
It is all about being and not doing. It is abiding vitally united to Him, spirit, soul, and body. Worship is as natural as breathing. Acts 17:28 says, “For in Him we live and move and have our being…”
 
Colossians 3:2-3 says, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
 
Worship is an expression of love through spontaneous words that bubble up from our heart. It isn’t rote, or canned, or forced. It is like an artesian well. It springs up from our inner being. Here is a new song.
 
The Embracing
 
You call me to Yourself O the wonder of such love. You draw me close to You. You whisper words that transform and strengthen my faith. You reveal truths that set me emotionally free. I grasp each one in a joyful embrace. You delight my heart and fill it with peace.
 
You give me songs of deliverance and songs of grace. They are new songs to worship You. As I focus on You all else fades. You’re my center thought as I run this race. I keep my eyes on You and I dwell in Your nature. My thoughts explode and expand their space.
 
O Your fullness is beyond my understanding. I only touch the surface of a depth unending. Take me deeper Lord in intimacy with You that nothing on this earth can rival. In Your Presence is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. I embrace You as You are embracing me.

Established Hearts Part Two

Colossians 2:7 Amplified says, “Have the roots (of your being) firmly and deeply planted (in Him, fixed and founded in Him), being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.”
We can draw insights from this verse on what will establish our heart. It is all about the depth of our relationship with the Lord. Fixed, founded in Him are words synonymous with abiding.
Intimacy with the Lord is a progressive deepening. You don’t arrive. It is a wondrous journey of Heart to heart communion, in a living expression of a love relationship that has no end.
Luke 4:4 Amplified says, “…Man shall not live and be sustained by (on) bread alone but by every word and expression of God.” It is living, breathing, touching, tasting, drinking in the very essence of His fragrant Presence.
Psalm 45:7-8 says, “…Your God has anointed You with the oil of gladness…All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia…”
David expressed his relationship with the Lord in Psalm 63. Verse 3-4 says, “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.” Verse 5 Amplified says, “My whole being shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.”
Verse 8 Amplified says, “My whole being follow hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me.” It is His heart reaching out to caress our heart through His words of love for us. Everything is from Him. He is the Initiator, and we are the responder.
Psalm 25:14 Amplified says, “The secret (of the sweet, satisfying companionship) of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its (deep, inner) meaning.”

Established Hearts

Ephesians 3:17 says, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love.”
 
Our heart is our belief center. The roots of our heart’s belief become established through the nutrients of God’s word. The world has no life-giving nutrients for our heart.
 
1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Romans 12:2 JBP says to not let the world squeeze us into its mold.
 
David had a great prayer. Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.” Remembering the song: Give me an undivided heart, that I might fear your name.
 
Here is a great verse to embed in your heart. Psalm 112:1 says, “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments.” Verse 2-6 define the fruit.
 
Verse 7-8 says, “He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established; he will not be afraid, until he sees his desire upon his enemies.”
 
We never need to be afraid. Why? The Lord is always with us. Always. His promises are eternally true. They ground us in the truth of who He is at all times.
 
Hebrews 13:9 says, “…For it is good that the heart be established by grace…” We are saved by grace, and we walk by grace. We are bid to come boldly to His throne of grace to find the help of His unending mercy and abounding grace.
 
Another way we establish our heart is to gaze upon the Lord. We become what we focus on. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Roots Part Three

Roots are strengthened and established in good soil. If there is no fruit, then the soil needs to be amended. Amend means to improve. John the Baptist said in John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
 
Roots are hidden. All their work is done in secret. We can call it developing a secret history in Jesus. We serve before an audience of One. Everything we do is for Him.
 
We decrease the more we exemplify the Lord. 2 Corinthians 2:14 says, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. We are a fragrant witness.
 
A fragrance is derived from something. Ecclesiastes 10:1 says, “Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor; so does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.” That is the wrong fragrance!
 
Here is the right one. Mary is our example. She sat at the feet of Jesus. She listened to every word with her heart. I love to think about this verse. John 12:3 says, “Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” She exuded the fragrance of worship.
 
Here is a new song about this verse.
 
Extravagant Oil of Joy
 
I lift my unveiled face to gaze into Your face. Face to face I behold You as You behold me. No veil separates us. No fear of being known. We have intimate communion. Our hearts are knit as one.
 
I stand O Lord in Your presence unashamed. All guilt is washed away. All condemnation is cleansed. Through the blood. Through the shed blood of Jesus.
 
With joy I lift my heart in song. A song that flows through me like a river. A song that cascades and rushes to be expressed. In pure worship knowing Your joy as You behold me.
 
O the wonder. The marvelous wonder and awe. All my sins are cleansed in the power of Your blood. Let my joy be a fragrance that delights Your heart O God. An extravagant oil poured upon Your feet in worship.
 
 

Roots Part Two

Mark 4:17 shows us how essential it is to have a root in ourself. I love David’s example in 1 Samuel 30. David and his men were exhausted from their travels back to their homes in Ziklag. I can imagine their anticipation as they came to the last rise before they would see Ziklag below them.
 
Verse 3 says that they came to the city. It was burned with fire, their wives and children had been taken captive. Verse 4 says, “Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.”
 
Verse 6 says, “Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him…” What? These were his army. They had fought shoulder to shoulder in battles. The end of the verse goes on to say, “…But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”
 
David’s roots were deeply embedded in the soil of God’s word. That is so evident through the psalms that he wrote. He was a shepherd. He understood the needs of sheep: quiet waters, green pastures, and time to ruminate. He applied the same to his own life.
 
After David strengthened himself in the Lord, he inquired of the Lord for clear direction. Verse 8 says, “…Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them? And He answered him, Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”
 
With God’s direction, David marshaled some of his men to pursue. They did recover their wives, children, their flocks and herds. Verse 19 says that nothing of theirs was lacking.
 
David’s strong relationship with the Lord, and the inner ability to strengthen himself through God’s promises, helped him to stand in the face of radical opposition.

Roots

Years ago I was in a spiritually dormant season. I asked my landscape architect friend about tree roots during the winter. He said that though there were no leaves on the trees, the roots were busily collecting nutrients from the soil.
 
Psalm 1:2-3 says, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whole leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”
 
Spiritual roots are fed by drinking in God’s word. They are our root’s Life Source. Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
 
Roots need water. Our spiritual water is God’s word. Without it we would dry up at the roots. There are three interesting verses in Job. It gives hope for those who feel spiritually dry, or who have prodigals in their lives.
 
Job 14:7-9 says, “For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, YET at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant.”
 
In Mark 4:13-20 Jesus explained the parable of the sower to His disciples. Some of the seeds fell on the wayside, some on stony ground, some among thorns, and some on good ground.
 
Verse 17 says of the seeds in the stony ground, “And they have no root in themselves and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises, for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.”
 
I encourage your to ask yourself this question: How deep are my roots?
 
 

Root Out And Plant Part Two

At my old house I had weeds with tap roots. It seemed impossible to get to the root. I could have removed what was visible to make the garden bed more acceptable, but that was only a futile cover up.
 
Do you have any stubborn behaviors that you have tried to get rid of and have not been successful? The good news is that the Holy Spirit is able! Progressive sanctification is getting at the tap root.
 
Hunters have blinds they hide behind. They can watch, but the prey doesn’t detect them. Deception is a blind that blocks and hides us from the truth that will set us free.
 
I have an ebook on Amazon called: Emotionally Indifferent: pretending you are not affected. Emotional detachment is a tap root. It is rooted in self-deception. A deceived person does not recognize they are deceived.
 
James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Jeremiah 1:10 says that we are to uproot and then plant. Allowing negative behavior to control our lives is manifest as the fruit of emotional detachment.
 
It is good to ask this question: What lies have I believed that are bearing the negative fruit of anger, bitterness, resentment, doubt, fear, unbelief, or unforgiveness? Everyone of these unresolved issues is addressed in God’s word.
 
We are to be doers of the word. 1 John 1:6 says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
 
1 John 2:3-4 says, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
 
Renounce means to disown. 2 Corinthians 4:2 says, “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”