Dluxe's World

Friday, February 17

Thoughts on "Give Praise to God" - Part 7 of 3278

People in business pay a lot of $$$ to people to write things for them. Though it's maddening, it certainly shouldn't be surprising. Think of the way our thoughts can be steered by one little word.

In the latest essay in "Give Praise to God", the author challenges us to reconsider our 'personal worship'. The majority of Christians probably think of this as our 'devotional time', 'quiet time', or 'personal devotions'. Do you see a difference between those terms? Is our quiet time worshipful? Yes. Valuable? Of course.

But do we really enter it with the same expectation and eagerness that (I hope) we typically feel on Sunday morning? Obviously, we should. If our chief end is to "glorify God by enjoying Him forever" [putting the Christian Hedonist angle on it], does our personal time with God shine with joy and eagerness?

It certainly should!! And, to me at least, the term personal worship is so much richer in that context. Perhaps this sounds naive, but I honestly can't recall hearing that term before - though that's what I would've affirmed my devotional time should actually be. For someone who doesn't get it, you can imagine how terminology could make drastic difference.

All this talk about seeing our private worship time for what it is runs outside the bounds of the corresponding essay in "Give Praise to God"... The author is mainly concerned with two things: First, that the regulative principle of worship (that God has defined the right modes through which we worship Him) should be applied to our personal worship. Easy sell, right?

The bulk of the chapter is aimed at flesh out point #2: Encouraging us to purposefully integrate all the elements of biblically regulated worship into our personal time with the Lord. This should be an easy sell as well, I think. It's our personal worship time, after all!

Rather than recount how we should leverage all these 'elements' in our private worship, I thought I'd bare myself again. That's always fun, right? Here's the things that I've been challenges to change about my private time with God. This has been an ongoing thing, but this chapter served, in some way, to hammer it home.
  1. Joyful approach - I do ok with the 'discipline' of spending time with the Lord. Obviously, I could do better there, too... However, the big hurdle for me is one of attitude. I want to recapture the joy of coming to Christ all by myself, one-to-one. I want to approach my devotional time with the same excited feeling I get for corporate worship on Sunday.
  2. More focused Scripture reading - I love reading the Bible, but I tend not to have a real 'plan of attack' for reading. Usually I migrate to something familiar, that I'm immediately interested in, or that I feel like I haven't touched in a while. For example, the other night at Bible Study someone suggested looking at the lesser prophets for a while. I got excited, remembering how much I've enjoyed reading Habakkuk or Zephaniah or others. Then, I realized how long it had actually been since I read them... I need to be more strategic in my reading.
  3. "Be still and know" - I need to shut up. I tend to come to God and lay my concerns before Him... But I certainly fail to give Him a chance to get a word in edgewise. To be honest, I'm not sure even how to be quiet before the Lord and just listen for Him... I'm not sure what that's supposed to look like. But, I am convinced that having a one-way conversation isn't having a conversation at all. So, I need to shut up.
And what an appropriate way to end this post! "Shut yer trap already, Dellinger!"

So, here's your chance to get a word in... What are the joys and struggles of your personal worship?

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1 Comments:

  • I don't mind it when you bare yourself... Whoa, did I just put that on a public forum??

    I have a hard time studying the Word without a "reason", like for a study I'm doing or something like that. I find it easier to be consistent by reading a book and learning what others have thought about it, instead of doing any inductive study on my own. I wonder sometimes if that's okay, or if I'm being lazy, or if my Scripture to Other Words Read ratio is too low. Hmm.

    By Blogger Eva, at 8:02 PM, February 20, 2006  

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