"You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you." St Augustine
Empowering Encounters from God and the Holy Spirit are something I crave today in my faith. To be newly awakened to His great love and divine presence in my every day living. To experience the supernatural and be freed from the traps of a boring, lazy and mundane faith.
Do you resonate with this? Are you finding yourself with the same desires? Restless for more of God? You're in a good spot, my friend!
Here's what I've learned whenever I crave new and empowering experiences with God...
- Receiving this fresh revival of faith almost always begins with worship. Intentional worship that sets my heart and mind in their rightful position where I'm more aware of, and open to receive God's presence.
- My worship cannot be dependent upon feelings. My feelings are in constant flux, therefore, making it almost impossible to experience authentic connection with God who is always unchanging and unwavering.
The unfortunate reality for many of us (myself included) is we have become convinced that worship is music and the worship music needs to make us feel connected to God for it to be good worship.
Eugene Peterson, in his book: The Pastor - wrote these prophetic and convicting words regarding worship:
By the time I arrived on the scene as a pastor, the American church had reinterpreted the worship of God as an activity for religious consumers. Entertainment, manipulation and cheer-leading were conspicuous in high places. American worship was conceived as a public relations campaign for Jesus and his angels. Worship had been cheapened into a commodity marketed by using tried and true advertising techniques. If so called worshippers didn't "get anything out of it," there had been no worship worth coming back for. Instead of calling people to worship God, pastors all over the country were inviting people to have a "worship experience". Worship was evaluated on the satisfaction scale of one to ten.
It struck me as a violation of the holy, a secularization of the sacred. Taking the Lord's name in vain. I determined to reintroduce the idea: let us worship God. I knew this wasn't going to be easy. The entertainment model for worship in America was pervasive.
Tough words, huh?
If you're craving a more empowering faith and find yourself desiring God to move through you in fresh, powerful ways; I strongly encourage you to join us this month as we dive into the topic of worship. Our aim is to explore the Bible and the many stories of genuine worship from regular, every day people AND to help provide you with a guide for living a life of worship.
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn how much God desires it and how we were made for it. See you this weekend!
Grace and Peace.