As I was going through some of my old “stuff” the other day (you know, the ever-present need to throw some things away!), I ran across an issue of “The East Texas Christian Monthly” newspaper from January 1996. I used to do a regular monthly column on worship in it and, sure enough, after thumbing through the pages I found the following which I wrote 18 years ago! I decided to share it with you as I think it is as relevant today as it was back then. I hope you will be blessed by it:
A Word About Worship
As I was contemplating what type of New Year’s resolutions to try and make (or better yet, try to keep!), I thought of ways in which my worship times with the Lord could become more meaningful this year. I know that our quiet times alone with God can mean the difference between being productive in His Kingdom, and never really accomplishing what He intended us to do with our lives.
With this in mind, I wrote down four guidelines that I feel are essential to true worship—things that mean the difference between knowing the Father’s heart and will for us, and just haphazardly wandering through life never knowing God’s perfect will and plan for our lives. Here are the four guidelines to help in developing a worship time with the Lord:
1. Be consistent. Make time each day for worship. This is not easy to do in our hectic “rat race” type lifestyles, but it can be done if we determine it as a priority in each day.
2. Make quality time for the Lord. The quantity, or amount, of time is not as important as the way in which we spend it. Some days we may be able to sit in His presence for an hour or more, reading the Word, meditating, worshipping, singing to Him, letting Him speak to us, etc.; and then, there may be those days where we have only a few minutes while driving to work or getting ready for our day in which to talk to our Lord and listen to His voice in our hearts. However, if we are sincere, He will speak to us, and we can commune with Him even while going about our work. We can catch quiet moments alone with Him that are precious beyond description!
3. I must realize that to be truly effective in ministry to others, I must first worship privately. I am only as effective publicly as I have been privately in my worship time.
4. Be obedient to His voice and the impressions given by the Holy Spirit during my worship times. We can gain much direction for our lives and ministries through His Word and that “still small voice” speaking to our spirits during these quiet times. This will often be the beginning of direction from God for the plan He has for us and the way in which He wants to use us in some area of ministry. Always be sensitive to His leading in this way!
I challenge you to begin to have a quality worship time with God this New Year. Your Christian life will never be the same!