Slightly Obsessed #062 "Pure Worship" (Wednesday Devo) by Pamela Thorson on 2014-02-26 12:45:33
Present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, which is your spiritual service of worship. –Romans 12:1
The three huge screens beam the words so everyone in the entire building can see them. The worship team moves seamlessly from one song to the next as the service begins. A few people scurry breathlessly in and find their seats as the music plays.
A young woman in the row in front of me combs through her purse. She glances down at her daughter, who squirms and bobs in and out of her chair. The girl and her mom talk in stage whispers, fidgeting in unison. I close my eyes and redirect my attention back to the music. Are we already on the last song?
Too soon, it’s over. We enjoyed a beautiful song service. But had I worshiped?
In the Bible, worship is associated with reverence, obedience, and submission. It often followed a moment of revelation of the greatness of God. It came as the people faced terrible enemies and sought His deliverance. It became an expression of awe, a sign of surrender, a declaration of trust.
I love the praise service at church. I enjoy the music, the heart of the worship leaders, the fidgeting children, and singing my heart out with my friends. But I know that the call to worship is so much more. It commands our attention. It requires a change in attitude. It demands a decision.
In Genesis 22:5 we read that as Abraham prepared his beloved son for sacrifice in obedience to God’s command he told the others, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.”
As Moses interceded for the Israelites, he “made haste to bow low toward earth and worship” in the presence of God. (Ex. 34:8 NASB)
King Jehoshaphat and all of Judah fell down with their faces to the ground and worshipped the Lord before going out to war against their enemies. (2 Chronicles 20:18)
The disciples worshipped Jesus when He walked on water to reach their boat and calm the storm. (Matthew 14:33).
The most pure act of worship I was privileged to witness didn’t happen at church but in an intensive care unit. The young man in the bed was paralyzed from the neck down. He lay limply against the sterile white sheets. The ventilator keeping him alive pumped air into his lungs, which were now infected with pneumonia. He had just survived a respiratory code in which he had nearly died and had to be resuscitated.
When I entered the room, his two brothers stood weeping at his feet. My husband and I walked to his bed. It was the first time I had seen our son since his transfer from the hospital in Canada, where the accident had occurred.
Then he whispered a request. He asked us to lift his hands to God. His father took his lifeless right arm, I took his left, and we stretched our son’s hands toward heaven. Toward His Father. Like a child reaches for his daddy. I don’t remember what we said or prayed that day. It didn’t matter. We were worshipping.
God heard our cries and delivered our son. Eternity will not be long enough to serve such a King. How has God captured your heart and brought you to a place of pure worship?
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
Slightly Obsessed #192: Heaven Is Calling: Consider Jesus
Some days we can barely hear it. Other days it drives us to our knees. But it’s always there; that persistent tug in our souls. Whether we trudge through our days or chase the stars of fame and fortune, we can’t drown out the cry that sounds silently in the pit of our being, jarring us with its urgency and moving us with its tears.
No matter what you may be going through in life, I want you to know that God's grace is sufficient for you. You may have messed up, you may have failed, you may have gone the wrong direction, you may have gossiped, or much worse, but God wants you to know that it does not define who you are. He does. He and His grace is much more powerful than anything you might have said or done. Grace always shocks. It always amazes, and it always stuns. Grace is what we all need. It's what everyone groping around lost in the darkness needs to know.
Slightly Obsessed #191: You Can Give Others the Gift of Courage
My father lay propped up in the hospital bed, his face ashen against the white sheets. My step-mother and I huddled around him in the cramped space of the progressive care unit in which he was recuperating. He had suffered three heart attacks in the space of one month. None of us had gotten much sleep in the last few days. So far, we had seen little of either the hospitalist in charge of his care or the cardiologist on staff.
Slightly Obsessed #190: A Warbird’s Lesson
On a recent hot July day, we took in an air show in our town. Vintage planes, including a couple of impressive old warbirds, sat majestically on the tarmac for inspection as we darted from wing to wing to find relief from the withering heat.
These planes are still operable, so although some of them were open for people to walk through, the cockpits were off-limits for obvious reasons. No one wanted a tragedy to happen because an unauthorized person tampered with the controls. People who don’t know what they’re doing shouldn’t be in control.
Slightly Obsessed #189: The Calling
The sound must have been a maddening echo that haunted him at first, tormented by the rooster’s crow that mocked his empty proclamation of loyalty. For three days, his faith lay in the grave with the Savior’s body, darkened by the memory of his public desertion.
Slightly Obsessed #188: Freedom
He was shouting “Freedom” as he plowed his car at twenty-one miles an hour into the granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments.
A video posted on the suspect’s Facebook page depicted the man in his car facing the monument as a women’s voice, presumably on a car radio, asked, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?”
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