Sunday, June 21, 2020

Costa Rica and Morning Worship

When we traveled to Costa Rica in 2018, one of the things I loved most is also found at Christian

retreats, conferences, and summer camps: daily morning worship.
A clown in worship...
you don't see that everyday.

Since my first summer camp experience, I have loved corporate worship. I had grown up in church, but I have never known worship like that before. To this day I love seeing people lift their voices and hands in praise to God. I love seeing how God speaks when we are willing to listen. I love seeing differences dissipate, sometimes even our spoken language, as we focus on God. Yet in my personal life I struggle to develop the same daily habit.

If we model our faith life on scripture, there is no denying that God wants a daily relationship with us. Over the two decades we have been married, my husband has often worked night shifts. In our early years, we were like ships passing in the night; I'd come home from work and he'd hand me our son so that he could leave for work. If I worked late, he'd leave our son with his mother, and we wouldn't even see each other. Our relationship suffered, and still suffers, when we don't have time together every day, even if only for a few minutes.

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He asked that God would "give us today daily bread" (Matthew 6:11). When the Israelites wandered through the desert, God literally gave them daily bread called manna. It was no good the next morning, "it was full of maggots and began to smell" (Exodus 16:20). Moses was angry with those who didn't trust him, or, more accurately, didn't trust God.  Maggots and stench revealed the hearts of the Israelites who lacked faith; when we lack faith, it's not quite as obvious. Too often I think the faith I had yesterday will be sufficient for today, but it never is.

In Proverbs 30:8, Agur prayed that God would not give him poverty, and not give him riches - ever prayed that before? - but only his daily bread.  In Job 22, as he defended his faith to Eliphaz, Job says that that he has valued God's words more than his daily bread. In Acts 2, we read about the Holy Spirit coming to believers.  The crowds did not understand and made fun of them. Peter defends the believers' actions, and he uses the opportunity to teach many about Christ.  

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
(Acts 2:46-47)

They met together every day.  Every day.

The power of "every day" is not in checking something off your to do list.  I love to do lists; they show what I have accomplished.  I can get a lot done when I make a list. No, "every day" is not about what I have done.  It is about God.

The first few chapters of Leviticus outline the offerings that should be presented to God, but in Leviticus 9:24 we read that the fire that burned the offering came from God.  Not even our offerings are acceptable without God's help.

The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.
(Leviticus 6:12-13)

Even though the priest added to the fire every morning, the fire burned continuously.  The same is true with our faith.  Daily prayer, worship, and Bible study are only opportunities to add to the flame that God has placed in our hearts. As believers, we must tend the fire of our faith.  It must not go out.

No comments:

Post a Comment