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Oh for Joy

Oh for Joy!   by Terry Dashner

“Joyful Worship”

May I ask you a question? What does worship mean to you? Is your desire to worship God similar to King David’s? The Psalmist said that he so desired God that his heart would “pant” like a deer that thirsts after water. David praised God precisely for the joy of seeing and savoring God! Worship is nothing less than obedience to the command of God, “Delight thy self in the Lord…” (Psalm 37:4).

Here’s an interesting thought. Pastor John Piper says, “The great hindrance to worship is not that we are a pleasure-seeking people, but that we are willing to settle for such pitiful pleasures.” Some would rather stay home from church and work the yard than attend worship services. The message being sent is that yard work is much more pleasing than God. Again, we settle for far too little pleasure. The greatest pleasure on earth can be experienced in 30 minutes of radical, heart-felt praise unto God. In His presence is joy. At His right hand are pleasures forevermore. The greatest reward we can receive in this life or the next is God Himself.

Many Christians think “things” can satisfy their souls. They go to God with a heart-felt request for some “thing.” When God, in His infinite mercy, gives it to them, they rejoice over the “thing.” The answer to their request becomes the reason for their joy. They never advance beyond seeking the HAND of God when they should seek first His FACE. If you ask only for a HAND-out, God gives you only what’s in His hand; however, if you worship the Lord simply for the sheer joy of His presence, you’ll get not only His presence but what’s in His hands also. It’s time for the Body of Christ to start panting after God. He’s looking for radical praisers.

May I make a suggestion how you might transform a superficial praise into life-changing worship. For powerful worship in church, I recommend that you come famished for God. Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life, and I’m a big bread eater. I butter bread. I toast bread. I sop bread in gravy. I prepare my bread with jelly and honey, and I scarf it down. Yes, I’m a bread eating man. When I go to worship, I’m hungry for a move of God. I’m praising Him, hoping to be enveloped in His manifested presence. When His presence falls on me, my words and actions are different. They are anointed because of His presence. The Holy Spirit moves upon me, and then I move against the enemy. The devil hates victorious praises unto our God. Because of that truth, I want to live in a state of worship and praise.

I want to give you one word of warning in closing. You simply can’t say to God, “I want to be satisfied in You so that I can have something else.” That would mean that you are not really satisfied in God but in the something else. And that dishonors God. Genuine affections for God are an end in themselves. I cannot say to my wife: “I feel a strong delight in you—so that you will make me a nice meal.” That is not the way delight works. It terminates on her. It does not have a nice meal in view. I cannot say to my son, “I love playing ball with you—so that you will cut the grass.” If your heart really delights in playing with him, that delight cannot be performed as a means to getting him to do something.

Life in Christ is good, but there are many battles to fight because we are at war. The casualties are millions, and the stakes are eternal. What we need today is not a call to simplicity, but a call to war. We need to think in terms of a “wartime lifestyle” rather than a “simple lifestyle.” Paul said in I Timothy 6:8, “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.” A life focused on God--making God the central issue of our lives—is a life that is victorious over every battle in life. Why? Because a God centered believer knows that only God can fight his battles for him if he expects to win. I think it’s time to worship. So, I’ll leave you for now and return tomorrow recharged and ready to take on a new day.

Keep the faith. Stay the course. Jesus is coming soon. Pastor Terry Dashner. (Sources cited available)

About Author Terry Dashner :

Pastors a small church in Broken Arrow, OK. He is published in several law enforcement magazines. He retired from the Tulsa Police Department in September 2003. (918-451-0270)

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