Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Worship Fueled by Obedience

Have you ever felt like your daily worship is completely void of any transcendent connection to God? You walk day in and day out without any sort of divine revelation or spiritual nudge concerning small or large matters. Often times I find that these days leave me clouded and poised to make both common and critical decisions without any thought to what might be pleasing to God.

That leads me to the topic of discussion today…obedience. What role if any, does our obedience play in our acts of worship to God? If one merely sees worship as an emotional experience that happens when the music and lighting are just right on a Sunday morning, then our lack of Godward obedience could possibly never impede our worship. However, if we look at worship through the Romans 12 lens, then we would see that every act of obedience is in turn an act of worship to God. In addition, if we see our corporate worship gatherings as a place to outwardly express our worship to God from the overflow of an obedient life of worship, then how deep and how rich will that worship experience be!

Sometimes I’m able to use my Sunday morning worship experience as a sort of “obedience barometer” for my life. It is often very apparent to me when my lack of obedience is hindering my worship to God. There is a disconnect…short circuit…a real spiritual heaviness. It is almost as if I am not released to worship. Why? Because I am bound up by thoughts and problems that disturb my posture of worship. It says in Ecclesiastes 7:29, “God made man simple; man’s complex problems are of his own devising.” When there is a definitive dark cloud over my worship to God, most likely there is an obedience issue on my part that is of my “own devising.”

So where do we go from here? Search it out…come to grips with reality. I find that most often, I am well aware of where the disobedience lies. I just prefer to live in denial. Sometimes there is fear when I think about obeying...fear of the unknown or fear of losing control. Andy Stanley says this about our fear…

“You’re afraid. So what? Everybody’s afraid. Fear is the common ground of humanity. The question you must wrestle to the ground is, “Will I allow my fear to bind me to mediocrity?”

I recently saw an incredible picture of a person whose worship was fueled by obedience. Because I knew this person’s story, watching her worship on Sunday morning blew me away. Walking through the murky waters that lead to obedience, she finally relinquished control and obeyed what God was calling her to. That very weekend in our morning services, I saw her stand; arms open wide in complete worship to God. She was the only one standing…uncaring of her surroundings and unbridled in her worship. Why…because she was free! She stepped out and obeyed…and from the overflow of an obedient lifestyle came a worship experience like none other!


  1. "You’re afraid. So what? Everybody’s afraid. Fear is the common ground of humanity. The question you must wrestle to the ground is, 'Will I allow my fear to bind me to mediocrity?'"

    ok are you reading my mind or what? fear is no punk though.

    I am really wrestling with this...
    I'm trying to really block out that voice that says, "Really? Did God really call you to that? Do you really think that you are good enough to lead without Tim? Do you really think you have what it takes?" It's easy to let those questions discourage me from what I know God has called me to. It's even easier to believe that I'm not good enough. But its really about whether I am obedient enough, not whether I am good enough. God will be my enough.

  2. Good stuff Jen...listen to God's heart for you!

  3. well, I'm trying to listen. frankly God's heart for me is more than a little terrifying. does that make sense? did you feel this way when you guys started crossbridge? the "what the heck am I getting myself into" phase?
    did you go read my blog?