Monday, July 26, 2010

Worship Audit

Jesus said that before all else we are to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength. That is what a lifestyle of worship looks like. And he wasn’t just saying the same thing in four different ways to underline his point. In the Bible, the heart refers to our making choices; the soul refers to our having emotions; the mind refers to our ability to think and learn; and strength refers to our physical nature. Worship involves each of these things.

Here are some questions to help you to think about how worshipful your life might be:

Heart

We are created to be worshippers, and what you prioritise reveals what you worship. Do you choose to prioritise meeting together with others to worship God, or are there other things that are more of a priority to you?

When we take a good thing – like family, or work, or rest, or possessions – and make it an ultimate thing – what is most important to us – the Bible calls that thing an idol, a false god. What good things have become idols in your life? Are you willing to give them back to God, with thanksgiving for the gift and repentance for having elevated the gift above the Giver?

Soul

Are you able to bring both joy and sorrow to God?

Are thanksgiving, praise, confession (saying sorry), and intercession (asking God to bring good out of bad situations) all part of your lifestyle of worship?

Do you hide behind a mask, or find certain emotions harder to come before God with than others?

Mind

What have you learned about God through worship over the past year?

How has this helped you to know God better?

Strength

Do you worship God by what you do with your body?

Are there things you do with, or to, your body that you know God is saddened by because they are neither healthy nor helpful to you, and as such do not glorify the God in whose image you have been made?

Are you held captive to addictive, or in other ways self-destructive, patterns of behaviour?


Where we wrestle with any of these questions, the devil seeks to bring condemnation, but God’s desire is to bring conviction of our need for his transforming work in our lives, in order that we might respond and enter into greater freedom than we currently experience. The most effective way I know of engaging with that invitation is to go through the learning circle – observe-reflect-discuss-plan-account-act – with friends who will commit to supporting each other’s growth to maturity in Christ.

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