Day thirteen of The Purpose Driven Life begins with telling me that God wants all of me. He wants me to serve Him with all of my heart, all of my soul, all of my mind and all of my strength. Warren offers four characteristics of worship that please God.
- God is pleased when my worship is accurate. I need to worship God as He is revealed Himself in the Bible and not create my own version of God - a version that suits my needs and tastes.
- God is pleased when my worship is authentic. God loves honesty and authenticity. He is not honored when I worship Him in a manner that is fake. If I am simply being emotionally moved by music, that is not true worship and He does not delight in it. Though my worship may not be perfect, it does need to be authentic. This is not to downplay the importance of worshipping God in the ways He has commanded. I am still responsible to search His Word to discover how He wants me to worship Him. He lists several ways people worship God. Though these are not directly drawn from the Bible, they are interesting. For example, he says that some people best worship God out of doors (he calls these people naturalists) while others best worship God by loving others and meeting their needs (caregivers). I am interesting in reading Sacred Pathways, the book he uses as his basis for these ways people draw to God.
- God is pleased when my worship is thoughtful. Worship is not only emotional or physical. Worship needs to involve my mind. God wants me to think. To fall into using the “vain repetitions” the Bible warns of is not honoring to God.
- God is pleased when my worship is practical. I am to offer myself as a living sacrifice. This means that I need to live my entire life for Him. I need to offer Him all of me.
The chapter ends with the story of Matt Redman and how he came to write “The Heart of Worship.” Warren closes with the cute (but rather meaningless) statement, “the heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.”
Warren quotes the Bible over twenty times using six translations and paraphrases. Interestingly, he quotes John 4:23 two times, each in a different translation. He also quotes 1 Corinthians 14: 16-17 as support to his statement that “worship services must be understandable to unbelievers.” Though I agree with him, the passage he quotes is very obviously speaking to the issue of speaking in tongues. It has nothing to do with making our worship services appealing to unbelievers.
Point to Ponder
Today’s point to ponder is “God wants all of me.” When I first became a Christian there were parts of myself I held back. I’m sure if I closely examine each and every part of my life I would find that there are still many parts I hold back from Him. I am thankful, though, that as I look back over the years I can see that God is working in me to dedicate more of myself to Him. I think this is part of the process of maturing as a Christian. As I mature He shows me more and more areas that I need to let go of in order to truly surrender myself to Him. It is my prayer that He will convict me of any areas I need to release to Him so I can be truly and fully His.
Tomorrow’s topic is When God Seems Distant