I'm reading quite numbers of books recently and came across this particular book written by David Morris, 'A Lifestyle of Worship'. This book is really challenging right from the start. His struggles and his own doubts about his own faith is also similar to what I'm facing as one of the worship leaders, more over, as the one who is leading the whole team now. There are many times where I doubted and asked myself on my own capabilities, my qualifications, am I the right person to do the right position, and many more intimidating questions imposed to myself. What really keeping me going is definitely because of God's grace. Without that, I think I would have drown myself by all the doubts that I had. There are some reflections that I had from reading the book that I mentioned. I would like to share what David Morris had written and I'll leave it to you how you interpret it.
So, what about daily devotions? Unfortunately for many of us, they have been neither daily nor devotional - and there are a million reasons why! Perhaps we've looked at them as a chore, a discipline or a test from God. In any case, for most of us daily devotions have at one time or another been less than convenient - and sometimes even stressful. Adding one more thing to an already overcrowded schedule creates more unrest. If only we could be assured that the time we invest will be greatly worth our while. Carefully we whisper to ourselves, Besides fighting guilt and keeping God happy, what will this do for ME?
It's a Question of Ownership
First, we must understand that personal worship and private devotion are based on ownership. Let me ask you a few questions:
To whom do you belong? In he compartmentalization of your busy life, where is the greatest amount of your affection invested?
Is Jesus your Lord and Master, or is He an additive to your weekend life like golf is to a busy week?
Do you allow Him to speak to you at any moment of the day, or must He make an appointment?
Does He have permission to rearrange your time as He chooses, or must He sit through a negotiation procedure? (I get a little nervous when people talk about arguing with God. Who do you think will win?)
If the earth is the Lord's and everything in it, that means I belong to Him as well. That's why He is a "jealous God". I'm His and that's it! My choice as to how I respond to His ownership can bring either joy or sorrow to my life. The real question is not, How much of my time will I give to Him? No, The real question is, How much of the time He has given me is under His lordship?
In our western culture, independence and arrogant self-centeredness have embraced the late Frank Sinatra's "My Way" as a theme song. Independence from anything that hints of improper control is quintessential to our comfortable existence, which is partly God-given in His "free will" package to humanity. Hoever, in its inflated humanistic stage, it shakes a fist in God's face and says, "Who do You think You are? I'm in charge of my own life."
At some point we must come face-to-face with God's ownership. It's really the only way we can tryly receive His love. If we can embrace the fact that the blood of Jesus purchased us for God, we will find greater peace in knowing He has our lives in His hands, If He owns us by way of la legal purchase agreement, then He must have a vested intrest in his possession. After trying to govern my own life and failing miserably, it's a warm comfort to trust in Someone bigger than I!
The faith factor comes in trusting the God who made me, redeemed me as destined me for sonship from the beginning of time. If what He did on the Cross was just for me (which it was), then His pursuit of me was not finished when He died. He knows I desperately need help applying the power of the Cross to my daily life. My responsibility is to say yes to Him. His responsibility is to do the necessary work: "For it is God who is at work in [me], both to will and to work for His goo pleasure? (Phil 2:13).
He draws me to Himself and I respond by following. Yes, I make the choice to be led like a sheep, but He does the leading like a shepherd. He pursued me first, whether I see that or not. He didn't wait for me to beg for mercy but He died for me before I knew I needed Him. What an incredible love! With a working revelation of His pursuit of me, I find the often hidden desire rising to the surface that must give way to reciprocate the pursuit.
It's as simple as seeing Him show up in an otherwise ordinary day. As you become aware of His presence, it suddenly dawns on you - God is here and you respond, "Oh Lord, I'm once again overwhelmed by Your obvious love for me. My heart cries out...How I love You, Jesus". The pursuit becomes a two-way street, bringing completion to the circle of the relationship. Oh, if only it were like that always...for everyone..