I’ve been going through some old writings.
Pretty sure that I am not alone in wondering how we can know these things for so long,
and yet still struggle with them.
Can any one relate?
The following is pretty much un-edited.
Small group teaching.
Originally written in 1997.
Friendship, Praise and Worship
In order to be able to have true praise and worship, you must first have a relationship, a relationship of the highest calling. Does it seem impossible that the God of the universe wants us to have a relationship with Him? Webster’s dictionary says relationship means to be of the same family. The same family!!! The same family with God!!!
It also says relationship is a connection, s in a thought. Did you know that God wants our thoughts to be His thoughts? How is this possible? God is holy. God is perfect. God’s word says He wants us to renew our thoughts. Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
When we allow (when you allow something, it takes effort) i.e. our thoughts to be renewed, we are building a relationship with God. Think of some people in your life that you have relationship with. Are they good ones? Some are, some are not.
Let’s talk about the good ones first. How do you become friends with someone? You might go where they go or do an activity with them. You must speak right? If you were in a group of folks and never said anything how would you get to know them? How could they find out about you?
Everyone find a partner. (This partner should be someone you don’t know well, or aren’t friends with) ((Bloggers ~ please remember this was a small group setting.)) Move if you have to, it’s ok. Now I want you to look at your partner, and think of the most wonderful thing that has ever happened in your life, without saying a word! Do they know what your thought is? How could they? Now, one at a time, I want you to tell them your thought, out loud. Good for you. You just started a relationship. WOW! Was that easy or what? I don’t mean you have to chatter on and on like some folks that we know, just be open with your feelings.
There are two things we must do to build that relationship with God.
#1 is to read His Word. Now God can and does speak to people, it’s just not the norm. So He sent is Word to tell us all about what He thinks. It’s all there guys. Anything you want to know. But how can we know if we don’t read it?
#2 Is to spend time with Him every day. The Word says to pray without ceasing. Psalm 55:17 (NIV) Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. (One gets the idea David was in a bad mood). This prayer builds the relationship. Webster’s says is to talk to God in worship or to ask for something. Why not ask God for wisdom? Wisdom on how to build this relationship! He would love to tell you. How do I know? I asked him!
Let’s read Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
. If you are talking to your friend you might say, “Well Violet, you handled that problem with the children well. You sure should work with them more.” What did Violet do? She helped the kids. You just let her know that you noticed, and at the same time encouraged her to further use her gifts. The same prayer to God might go like this, “God thank you for letting Violet help those kids today. Bless her God. Help her to use her gifts for your glory. Please show me where my gifts are God, I want to be used by you.” Do you know what you just did? You praised God for Violet, you blessed Violet with your mouth and you asked for wisdom. Not too tough eh?
Let the relationship begin! Once this relationship has begun, you will begin to know the God you are friends with.
Now you can begin to praise Him. Psalm 150:6 (NIV)Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.Praise the Lord. Webster says that praise is to say good things about, or words that show approval. We can show approval of God by thanking Him for what we have. Thank Him for friends, family, food, shelter, transportation; virtually everything we have is a gift from God. We also need to thank Him for sending His Son to die for our sins, sins too black to mention. But Jesus cleaned them up on the cross.
The trick is to b grateful for what He has given us and not crank about what we don’t have. This is where it gets tough, but by His power we can do it. Praise = Thanks.
Next is worship, showing great love admiration or reverence for God. I like to refer to it as a state of awe. Ah…………… I used to think that going to heaven and standing around all the time singing holy, holy, holy would be boring. (Boring means dull and uninteresting) But ah…….., was I ever wrong. It is peaceful here. Sitting on my Daddy’s lap and adoring Him. Letting His peace flow over me like a flood. Letting it get down to my insides. Being quiet and letting Him fill every corner of myself with His love. Being at peace is being free from war and fighting. We are safe sitting on Daddy’s lap. (This is the best!)
Growing up in my family, the daddy was pretty bad, and then he wasn’t even there anymore. He left us. I thought if God was like a daddy then I didn’t need anything from Him. I know many of you had the same experience. Believe me, if you think you don’t need Him, you couldn’t be further from the truth. God says He will never leave or forsake you. Even if your daddy was great, your Heavenly Father is better. Who do you think taught your daddy to be one? Your Heavenly Father knew you before time began. Before time began folks. Imagine. He knows what you need. (What do you need? Do you have something in mind?) Think of yourself sitting on His lap, and Him giving you every good thing. He loves you and wants the best for you!
The Word in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. See? It tells us to pray without ceasing. I believe this prayer is a combination of praise, worship and prayer.
You can do this daily, grow in the wisdom of God, and build relationship with Him.
I double dog dare you to try this for a month.
If God has not shown Himself to you, feel free to stop.
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made