Maranatha Vision Project
Worship Letter (Psalm 63)
Over the last few months, I have seen a lot of convergence in my conversations with leaders across the planet around the word WORSHIP. I believe many leaders, who have previously been creating their own empires, are converging around worship, ready to return to building Jesus’ kingdom.
One of my favorite worship songs from when I was a missionary kid living in the Philippines was “Heart of Worship” by Matt Redman. This songwriter experienced a drifting away from his walk with Jesus and wrote this beautiful restoration anthem >
I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about you, it’s all about you, Jesus. I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it, for it’s all about you, it’s all about you, Jesus.
Worship is the response of love and affection we express to God because of who he is and what he has done for us. Worship is a culture of our hearts, a spiritual environment whereby we rest in God’s presence, delight in his righteousness, and listen to his voice.
If I clearly understand the story in Ezekiel 28, worship was the reason Lucifer became prideful in his heart, led a rebellion of angels against God, and transformed from a beautiful cherubim into a wicked dragon. He grew weary of guiding the angelic host to worship the Creator, and instead desired to receive worship from angels and humans. The Devil decided in his mind that God was not the only one worthy to receive worship.
Authentic worship means I agree that God should be in control and lead me. I surrender my authority and choose daily to trust and follow him as he guides my decisions. I lay down my “rights” to do whatever feels good to me. I let go of the illusion that I am Master of my destiny, and I posture myself as a sheep to be led; a son trusting his Father’s will.
The Devil now has a stronghold in the Church and missions. He has diluted the vital role worship plays in every person’s lifetime. Our culture has embraced an environment where worship must compete with family, career, entertainment, recreation, vacation, and all the other ways we choose to use time. Worship is now a list line item, a discretionary variable on a strategic priorities inventory rather than an essential, indispensable lifestyle.
Something terrible has happened without us noticing, my brothers & sisters! Worship has lost her place at the core of our souls. In the aftermath of this heartbreaking loss, we find ourselves amidst a generation that praises God only when it is convenient. Let us listen together to a few stories where our Lord Jesus emphasizes worship’s centrality.
Deep Roots > As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continue to live in him. Keep your roots deep in him and have your lives built on him. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always be thankful. (Colossians 2:6-7 NCV)
Focus Above > Since you were brought back to life with Christ, focus on the things that are above – where Christ holds the highest position. Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things. You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is your life. (Colossians 3:1-4 NOG)
Glory Sanctuary > O God, you are my God; early will I seek you. My soul thirsts for you, and my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for you in the sanctuary, to see your power and glory. Because your loving kindness 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. My soul will be satisfied. (Psalm 63:1-5 NKJV)
Truth Guardian > When the Holy Spirit who is Truth comes, he shall guide you into all Truth, for he will not be presenting his own ideas, but will be passing on to you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He shall praise me and bring me great honor by showing you my glory. (John 16:13-14 TLB)
What will it take to restore worship as a way of life in our generation?
Step One: Let us dig our roots deeply once again into the rich soils of Jesus’ majesty.
Step Two: Let us recapture our heavenly sight, gazing always and only at Jesus and viewing everyone and all desires & decisions through the lens of his love & presence.
Step Three: Let us be satisfied only in Christ. Let us lay down all our idols at his feet.
Step Four: Let us renew our friendship with the Holy Spirit: our All Seasons Navigator, Destiny Revealer, Generous Advocate, Loyal Helper, and Wonderful Counselor.
Maranatha Prayer > Abba Father, we love you with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength. You are the Ancient of Days, the Creator of All Creation. We are here because you breathed us into existence. Our hearts beat, our lungs breathe because you hold all things together. Father, restore us once again to a way of living where we worship and praise your name with every breath, step, desire, decision, and dream. Lord Jesus, fill us every day with your Truth & Wisdom. Holy Spirit, lead, guide, and shepherd us as we delight in your presence, listen to your voice, and discern your revelations. We pray, trust, and believe in Jesus’ name, amen. Hosanna! Maranatha!
Maranatha Vision Project > teaching disciples how to walk in Jesus’ freedom.
+> James Harvey, Blazing Trees CEO/Founder, Twitter > @praytellstories
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