Come and Worship
Open Your Bible
Romans 12:1-2, John 4:24, Psalm 95:1-11
Text: Romans 12:1-2, John 4:24, Psalm 95:1-11
As I sit down to write to you girls today, I have a confession. As I crack my knuckles, take a swig of coffee, and strap on my noise cancelling headphones, I have to tell you: this is attempt #14 at focusing long enough to appropriately meditate on and respond to these rich and right scriptures for today’s devotional. Talk about last minute: I am literally writing this 10 hours before it is intended to go live on the site.
My focus is off and my distractions number in the hundreds right now, it seems. And I need to repent.
Our family is preparing for a cross-town move at the end of next week and every utility company in the phone book requires applications and signatures and fees and phone calls. I’m getting texts from our builder asking “have you selected hooks for the mudroom yet?” and “it looks like you accidentally had some things delivered to a house that doesn’t belong to you yet.” I woke up no less than 4 times last night, working through details and decisions and checklists. (True story: two nights ago I actually dreamed I was taking a nap! That’s how exhausting these weeks have been—even in my sleep, I need more sleep.)
When I woke this morning, my thoughts immediately went to troubleshooting furniture arrangements. My waking (and sleeping) hours have been heavily focused on a to-do list that is all-consuming.
Now, there’s nothing innately wrong with a good to-do list—I’m not sure how I’d get anything done without them. But, I know the difference in my heart between managing tasks and throwing my mind, body, and spirit into something—and I know I’ve been fixing my whole heart on something that won’t last.
Have you read today’s scriptures yet? I have to tell you, Romans 12:1-2 is sure proof in my life that God’s Word is “sharper than any two-edged sword… discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Once I finally sat my bottom in my desk chair to study and pray today, I found myself reading it over and over again, checking it in various translations. And I repented for my heart that is too often “conformed” and not nearly enough “transformed.”
I loved what I found in the Message translation:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
I confess my attention has been fixed elsewhere, and I think I’ve been missing a lot of God-cues and opportunities to love His people well. Not because graceless guilt tells me so, but because the Holy Spirit has been faithfully convicting me of this for days. It’s between Him and me. I only share this with you today because I think I’m not alone, and I want you to know that you’re not alone either.
If you find yourself so wrapped up in a project or life event that things of eternal significance are cast by the wayside, sit still a moment. Fix your attention on the eternal Savior. If you are having a hard time “readily recognizing what He wants from you”, return to Him in prayer. Let Him change you from the inside out. Our heavenly Father is full of grace and mercy, faithful to forgive and redeem—faithful to transform our too-easily-conformed hearts.
And then comes my favorite part. We worship! We respond to the Creator and Redeemer with thanksgiving and adoration!
We confess and repent.
He forgives and transforms us.
And we worship!
Whether my eyes were fixed on Jesus this week or on boxes that need to be packed, whether my attention is on His unending grace or my need for uninterrupted internet service, He is faithfully transforming me from an earth-bolted girl to a woman with a renewed mind and spirit. And whatever your life looks like this week, He is doing the same in you. For that, let us say with the Psalmist, “Come, let us worship and bow down!”