Where’s Your Worship Focused?
By Susan Sage
Closing my eyes, I listened as a woman described what she felt worship meant. She spoke of the fluttering of wind in the trees and the crashing of waves upon rocks. She went on to talk about the quiet snowfall and the power of a thunderstorm. I wiped my eye sensing the wonder and experiencing the moment of worship through her words.
I think we all have different areas where we are touched deeply coming into God’s presence to worship. One of my favorite ways involves reading. To be moved in my soul by the words of someone sharing thoughts God has given them. To then have those views touch my heart and mind.
My mind has been toying with another type of worship. One of my favorite writers brought this pondering.
Max Lucado wrote that Jesus reached a point of knowing who He was. Was there really a time in His human life when He thought, “Oh, now I know who I am”?
I had to take time with that thought because it’s something I’ve struggled with. Did Jesus know from the moment of birth that He was the Messiah? Did He grow to the age of reasoning and suddenly realize His identity?
Does worship include understanding personal identity?
I’ve wondered countless times why so many of us struggle with knowing who we are. At some point in life, someone looked at me and laughed at what I wore. I didn’t know there was a problem with my clothes before that. Now I knew. Someone else laughed after I got a haircut. I felt so happy with that style … until then.
I started wearing hats and taking clothes in my backpack to school so I could change in the bathroom before I went to class.
But the laughter remained aimed at me.
I remember someone telling me I talked funny as she walked by with her friends. I quit talking around her.
Throughout life, I became who I thought those around me wanted me to be … or at least I tried.
Even as a writer, I have at times yearned for readers to say they like my writing or are moved by it. I can allow myself to become discouraged if no one has anything nice to say.
How I wish it had not taken me so long to wake up and say, “I know who I am. I am God’s baby girl. He made me just like He wanted me. He not only loves me, He likes me.”
The devil tries to make greater priority of other situations or relationships. We seek approval from this person or another. We desire recognition and identity in a job, or a ministry, or in what someone thinks and says about us. This has the ability to turn our worship focus from God, who deserves it, to self, who doesn’t.
I read a children’s book, again by Max Lucado, where one little character wasn’t bothered by happenings around her or what others thought of her. Why? Because she knew the craftsman who made her and trusted his love for her. She had confidence in belonging to him.
Difficulty in life can shake personal identity. I might even wonder if hard times come because I did something wrong or because I’m not good enough.
But, when my identity is in God, I can believe God’s words when He said He would never leave me to deal with life alone. (Hebrews 13:5) In trusting that who I am is in Him, I can take Him at His word when He said nothing would ever take me out of His hand. (John 10:28) I can trust Him when He said nothing can separate me from Him. (Romans 8:38-39)
By spending time in His word getting to know who God is, strength and confidence builds as I learn to worship Him. Then I come to understand who He says I am. For me, that’s where worship rests.
Maybe, that is a form of worship … finding myself so completely in Him that all else falls away including what someone else thinks of me. That’s where who I really am rests. Only caring about who He is. That is worship.
My focus goes back to Him when I quit worrying about self. It stabilizes when I see all He says I am because of Him. And I worship Him because of Who He is and who I am when I walk with Him. Centered on Him.
Meet the Author
New to north Idaho, Susan Sage and her husband are enjoying getting to know the new area. She continues to work on her craft writing about God’s purpose and sovereignty in all aspects of life. She enjoys writing devotionals and flash fiction. She enjoys mentoring other writers who are new to the craft.
She is currently working on revising her website, which should be up in the next few months.
You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.
You can read Susan's "Sunday Inspiration" column on the 4th Sunday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette.