Okay, I sucked you in with the title.
I’ve always wanted to write a post that promised something extraordinary in seven simple steps. Like “Seven Simple Steps to Conquer Your Greatest Fear” or “Seven Simple Steps to Clean Teeth, a Clean Colon, and a Clean Credit Rating”. And maybe these things can be done in seven simple steps.
But worship doesn’t fit into that mold. Because there’s only one step involved. Coming.
A brief clarification: worship is both all of life and an event. When I serve my wife, that’s worship. When I read my Bible and pray, that also is worship. When I sing with others on Sunday, that’s corporate worship. In this post I’m referring more to the event of worship, such as Bible reading or corporate singing. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
My Sunday morning worship is usually a debacle. The band starts playing, I start singing, and within 25 seconds I’m totally distracted. The following thoughts pinball in my head:
- Wow, the band is rocking this morning! Is Foreigner on a reunion tour?
- Is it just me or did someone forget to turn the volcano off in here? I’m dripping in sweat.
- The bass guitar is just a hair too loud.
It doesn’t take too long for me to become aware that I’m no longer worshiping. Then the guilt sets in. I’m supposed to be worshiping God, but instead I’m performing an in-depth analysis of the sweat trickling into my eyes. It’s pathetic. And sinful. How can I worship God when I’m so distracted?
So what to do when I’m playing Captain Distraction instead of extolling the glories of God? Hebrews 4:15-16 provides the answer:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
When I’m distracted, the only thing I’m required to do is come to God again. I don’t have to work up more feelings of love for God, don’t have to feel anything spiritual. I simply return to worship, distractions and all. Why?
Because I have a high priest who clears a path to the throne of God.
Jesus makes it possible for me to come freely into God’s presence, again and again. I’m distracted, I repent, I come back. Rinse, lather, repeat. And my Father welcomes me with open arms every time.
Aren’t you grateful for our high priest who makes it possible for distracted sinners to worship God?
+photo by Todd Baker