Sometimes words can unintentionally lose their meaning.
Even "I love you" can become just a greeting or a farewell when we stop really paying attention to the words. I know that we say it as we are walking in or out the door, when closing a phone conversation, etc... If we aren't purposeful with our words and how we intend them to be heard, we can easily just brush those words off.
We don't intend for them to mean less or have less impact, but when we aren't careful, they unfortunately do.
We have to stop, look the other person in the eye and make sure they are seeing heart-to-heart when we say the words. Don't let it be just a greeting.
It's the same way with worship.
It's the same with attending church.
We can get into such a habit that going to church can begin to feel like we are just checking something off of our to-do list. Getting up on Sunday morning can feel no different than getting up to go to work. It's something you "have" to do or something you've become so accustomed to doing that you really just don't think about it.
Unfortunately, I think we can all admit to being "there".
We can look at "worship" as just singing a song. Just going through the motions. We can even be "present" enough to let the words have meaning, but STILL not be present in worship.
Worship is more than just *that* portion of a service set aside to sing praises to God.
Worship is a lifestyle.
I love how our Pastor presented worship in his message this past week. Worship is an attitude of surrender, devotion, and obedience. A continuous offering. Worship is "MY response to God's love."
I've often heard or read the verse that says "offer your bodies as living sacrifices as holy and pleasing to God." (Romans 12:1) But for some reason, I've failed to "catch" the last part of the verse: "This is your spiritual act of worship."
It comes back down to choices again. (See, that word of the year is REALLY starting to sink in).
I must choose to have my heart open to Him ALWAYS. I must give Him more of me with every day that I am breathing. Actually, He needs to be as close as breathing itself.
Yet, it has to stay fresh and not just out of habit.
Each day, I must CHOOSE to earnestly seek Him.
These last couple of weeks, we've even made it more purposeful in regards to attending church. It's easy to just get up on Sunday morning out of habit. To set our hearts more in focus before then, we've started on Saturday night by getting out everyone's clothes, writing our check, gathering up anything the kids need, and having our Bibles out ready to go. Sure, this DOES make Sunday morning run more smoothly, but it's more than that...it's preparing. It's turning our hearts with anticipation and expectation of the day ahead.
I want my faith to be fresh each day. As I've said before, I don't want to live on yesterday's manna. Yet, it's so easy to fall into that trap.
I want to be in His presence. Purposefully.
I read a blog earlier today that talked about being like Zacchaeus.
"What I love about Zacchaeus, and always have, is that he wasn't willing to let Jesus walk by without making an effort to see him. Not just a glance from the crowd, but the best view he could find.
What about me? I have a choice. Certainly I could let Jesus walk by, with the occasional glance at my Bible, or I could eagerly pursue Him to be a part of our family. I choose to pursue."
That is how I want to be. I want to climb that tree and not miss a single thing. He put effort and was purposeful in making sure that he saw Jesus. He wasn't content with just letting Him walk by.
I want to climb that tree and lean far out as I can on that branch. To get as close as I can!
Tree Climbing. Purposefully.