Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Part 2: A Single-Minded Worship

"Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.  Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness."  -Psalm 29:1-2

"God said to Moses, "I am who I am."  -Exodus 3:14

"These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."  -Isaiah 29:13

I don't know about you, but I am excited to hear from God.  This book has already taught me so much on what I need to do in order to position myself better to hear from him.

In part 1 of He Speaks To Me by Priscilla Shirer, we learned about the first characteristic that we need to have in order to hear from God, A Simple Relationship.  We need to have a relationship with God. 

Part 2 introduces us to the second characteristic needed in order to hear from God.  It is a single-minded worship.  God loves when we worship him,however he wants us to worship him and him only.  This is why a single-minded worship is the next important characteristic we need to have to easily hear from God.  Priscilla Shirer writes on page 54:

"Single-minded worship begins when we concentrate on God's glory.  Giving God glory means giving Him the honor He deserves.  When we do this, we take our eyes off ourselves and turn them on Him.  God chooses to speak to those who focus on His glory."

There are four lessons that Priscilla Shirer teaches us about in regards to God's glory and Moses' encounter with the burning bush.  They are as follows:

Lesson #1:  God's Glory Often Appears in Desert Places
On page 55, Priscilla Shirer writes "If you are currently in a wilderness season, be encouraged.  You are in a good position to hear from God."  Are you in a wilderness season?  This is the perfect time to listen for God and focus on his glory.

Lesson #2:  God's Glory Is Beyond Our Comprehension
"God's glory is always beyond human comprehension.  An attempt to understand Him by restricting Him to the laws of nature or comparing Him to man minimizes His greatness and power."  (page 55)  Too often, we try to understand God.  We have this desire to want to "get it" and fully comprehend his power and proof behind.  When in reality, God is just so amazing that we really can't wrap our thoughts around it.  We need to accept that and fully trust in Him and His strength.

Lesson #3:  God's Glory Is Reserved for Only One
Be sure to give God all of the glory.

Lesson #4:  God's Glory Demands a Response
"I shudder to think of the times I may have missed the clear direction of God because I refused to turn aside and look."  (p. 57)

In chapter 5, we learn that God is the Real Deal.  God is faithful, all-powerful, and always present

By far, I, personally, got the most out of chapter 6, The Heart of The Matter.  Priscilla Shirer starts off this chapter by sharing with us the day her child was dedicated.  She described in detail all of the preparations she made on the outside to make this day perfect.  In the end, she forgot the most important detail, the Lord.  I'm sure this, or something very similar, has happened to us all.  We spend countless hours preparing things so that they look perfect on the outside, yet the inside is a mess. It's easy to do, even with this blog.  I could spend countless hours finding the best scriptures to post, the best phrases and summaries to give you.  When really, what matters most is my heart.  By speaking from my heart, what's inside will shine through.  That's what God wants.  God doesn't care what our "outside" looks like.  He cares about our heart.  Are we doing what He's called us to do happily and eager to please Him or are our hearts screaming with frustration, anger and bitterness?  Do we come to Him in worship because we love Him so or are we doing it because we want a prayer answered?  He knows our hearts.  Oh, how He knows our hearts.  I encourage you today, if your heart is not in the right place, pray for God to help heal your heart so that you can give it fully to Him.

We also learn in chapter 6, that God wants us to be focused on His priorities and His plans.  Priscilla Shirer teaches us how easy it is to be held in bondage over what she names "pharaohs" in your life.  The three main pharaohs that may be keeping you captive are:  The Pharaoh of Past Mistakes, The Pharaoh of Present Frustrations and the Pharaoh of Future Anxiety.  For me, my pharaoh is present frustrations.  I'm sure a lot of you are also struggling with this as well.  It's hard for me to get my eyes on God's plan when my child is struggling with autism.  It's hard for me to accept that God wants me to reach out to other parents when my child isn't feeling well.  I am help captive by the Pharaoh of Present Frustations.  The following spoke volumes to me:

"One of the best things you can do to worship God single-mindedly is simply to accept where you are and what He's doing for you right now.  Be alert.  Be present.  Don't miss out on what God is doing.  Sister, if you are in bondage to the pharaoh of present frustations, here is the Lord's Word to you today:  'God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.'  (2 Corinthians 9:8) "p74

She continues on page 76:

"Satan doesn't want you praising God because he doesn't want God to show up in your life.  He knows that if you ever break free from whatever is keeping you captive, you'll worship God wiht wholehearted devotion and begin to hear His voice.  And when a woman hears God's voice and obeys Him, she's powerful."

What is keeping you in bondage from hearing from God and what He wants to do in your life?

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