Sunday, December 14, 2008

Worship

Thoughts from: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.

We live in what one writer has called the "age of sensation." We think that if we don't feel something there can be no authenticity in doing it. But the wisdom of God says something different: that we can act ourselves into a new way of feeling much quicker than we can feel ourselves into a new way of acting. Worship is an act that develops feelings for God, not a feeling for God that is expressed in an act of worship. When we obey the command to praise God in worship, our deep, essential need to be in relationship with God is nurtured.
I think this applies to a lot of other areas as well. I have many days where I don’t feel like going to work. I may feel sick or my back may ache but I go to work because I have to. I don’t have sick days and no one else is going to help my customer. What I have found is that most of the time once I get going I feel much better. My back loosens up and I forget I wasn’t feeling well.

I could call to mind so many other things as well. So many times all I need is to get going. I will never feel like doing many things, especially if I don’t want to do them. I will always feel like doing the things I want to do. That is a recipe for disaster. That’s how little kids live.

Jesus dealt with feelings and actions when He chose to take up the cross. In the garden He made it clear that He didn't feel like being crucified. He put aside feelings and chose to act on our behalf. Hebrews 12:2 says that for the joy set before Him He endured the cross. He experienced incredible pain and torture because He looked forward to our redemption. That was the joy.

So, I push myself. I take the first step, I write the first word, I open the book, I get ready for work, I go to the meeting, I make the phone call. And once I have done those things I feel better and am glad I took action rather than operated by my feelings.

How about you?

Philip

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