Monday, March 4, 2013
Prepare Your Heart for Worship
Job 11:13 (ESV)
Some people come to church totally unprepared to worship. They have gotten out of bed within twenty minutes of their arrival. This is not only true of those who are attenders only. Those who teach Sunday School, preach, lead worship, greet, usher and lead in prayer during worship are often just as guilty. It is no wonder that worship rarely occurs for most people.
Preparing the heart does not mean making sure that the heart is perfectly pure. It means to direct the heart. It is set on a path like a toy car is pushed by a child. It will go where it has been pushed. The heart needs to be set on the right direction and given the impetus to get there. This means that the heart is set on the path toward God.
However, most people wait to see what happens. They come without an expectation or having set their hearts. Thus, they are waiting for someone or something to thrill them. They want to hear a certain person sing their favorite song, they want to hear a good joke from the pastor, they want to sing the song that has moved them in the past. Their hope is that they will be emotionally moved but never changed.
Change does not require a prepared heart but a prepared heart ensures change. Often people did not see God coming but experienced Him anyway. One of the more famous of these encounters was Moses and the burning bush. But I don't think that believers should attend worship and expect God to perform. I believe we, as believers, should prepare to worship with the expectation that God will meet us in that worship. We are the performers in worship.
God sees right through our unprepared hearts. He knows what we are thinking and how we are concentrating on what we are doing rather on Him. He knows we are looking for the approval of others rather than Him. He knows that we have not set our hearts toward Him. This doesn't guarantee that we will never see Him. It makes it a matter of chance, at worst and requires God to bring us to worship, at best.
So, I believe that we should arise early before worship on Sundays. We should spend whatever time it takes to set our hearts toward Him. Then, when we should worship wholeheartedly and wait in wonder with expectation in what He will do.
Can you imagine what worship would be like in a congregation with their hearts set toward God before arrival? We will simply keep on imagining without realizing if we don't set our own hearts for worship.
This next Sunday is time change Sunday. You will lose an hour of sleep. Go to bed early Saturday night and so you can arise to set your heart toward Him. Prepare your hearts and you will reach out to Him. He will meet you and your worship will fill you.