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July 29, 2011

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
 Worship the LORD with gladness;
   come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
   It is he who made us, and we are his;
   we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
   and his courts with praise;
   give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
   his faithfulness continues through all generations.

-Psalm 100

i’ve always connected so much to the Lord through worship. lately, however, i feel like i have lost some of that fervor. it’s been an ongoing struggle seeing as how i relied very heavily on that connection, once it felt lost, so did i. through that, i think the Lord has been trying to teach me the importance of relying on Him in every aspect of my faith-learning to connect to Him in the reading of scripture, in prayer, and in fellowship. worship has always been my go to emotional tie to the Lord, but i know i need to be seeking Him in every aspect of my life. and not just what comes naturally or is easy to feel.

it’s been a rough few weeks for me, as i’m trying to remodel my relationship with my Father in a way that is pleasing to Him. i’m learning to be more disciplined and to see God in every part of my day and let Him into every corner of my heart. i’ve been discouraged a lot by my own sin and my actions, and by the fact that i feel like i can’t worship with the same passion as before. i don’t know why, but it just doesn’t feel the same since i’ve made this shift.

here’s what i’ve realized though: i don’t have to sacrifice a part of my relationship with God to grow the others. they need to all become one in this never-ending lovestorm of His grace poured out on me, and my weak human heart bowing in reverence. that all-consuming love and desire for my Father should be seeping out of every pour whether i am worshipping, reading His word, spending time in prayer or spending time with my brothers and sisters.

all of this seems to simple and obvious to me as i am typing this, but sometimes it’s easy to allow a clear view of God to be muddied by my distorted view of myself, my sin, and things of worldly significance. but as always, God knows my heart and mind so well that He will lay things in front of me so that i might see what He’s really trying to reveal. here’s what went down…

sometime last week, i was driving in my car and trying to find a different cd to listen to because i was bored of the same old catchy summer hits. so i put in a kristian stanfill mix i made a few months ago. and i heard this song:

i love this song. but normally it wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary. this time around though, my eyes were tearing up as i worshipped my whole car ride home to this song. incredible! i finally felt this lost connection between me and God. i felt so relieved that somehow that wall i had built up had been broken down. praise God! that was not the end of it though. that night, i was spending some time reading in ephesians (which has been rocking my world!) and i read chapter 5. this whole chapter is great, but can you guess why verses 14-16 really stuck out to me?

   “Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

seriously, God? could you make it more obvious what i need to hear? in case you didn’t listen to the song…verse 14 is the very first line of the song. it’s taken me about a week to process why God chose to reveal this particular message to me. and there could be many more than what i’ve come up with. but i think He wanted me to realize that He speaks to my heart in the Word and in worship, and i should be utilizing anything and everything that i can to seek God. you know, making the most of every opportunity? opening the door to all possibilities God could have in store for me and remembering all that He has already done for me.

all in all….God is good. so so so good. and i will praise Him in prayer, in song and in endless love. and i am so grateful for Christ’s atoning sacrifice, without which, i may never know the power of God’s grace and fierce love.

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