In the small, traditional church where I grew up, they passed out bulletins every Sunday. The service order always began with the call to worship. It was almost always a piano solo, which caused everyone to quiet, find their seats, and prepare their hearts and mind to worship. Recently I read Psalm 89:15 (NLT) that says,
“Happy are those who hear the call to worship, for they will walk in the light of Your presence, Lord.”
When I read this, I couldn’t help but stop and ask myself two things: Am I hearing the call to worship? And if so, what is my response? In life’s day-to-day circumstances, am I hearing the call to worship? Do I view the call to worship only as the times when everything falls into place? When the stars align, my children are perfectly behaved, I get that job I’m perfectly gifted for, when my husband is ‘perfect,’ loving and responsive? Or – could it be that the call to worship is there regardless of my circumstances?
Here’s the hard truth: worship really has nothing to do with me, or anything going on in my life, but everything to do with Jesus.
Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods. … Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in His dwelling place. … Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
1 Chronicles 16:23-29
You see, the call to worship is based entirely upon Jesus’ work on the cross. The end. Nothing more, nothing less. So, what is my response to His call to worship? What is the lead story in my life? Because, I know I hear it. Life happens and He’s calling me in every circumstance good and bad. Is my first response to draw near to God and ultimately walk in the light of His presence? Or am I so focused on me and the circumstances surrounding my life, that my lead story becomes all the tough situations and injustices in my life?
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
I am here to tell you, I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good!
He was good growing up under a broken, cruel man that eventually rejected us,
He was good during the heaviest burden of my infertility years,
He was good when my brother went off to war,
He was good when I stood beside two of my best friends as they buried their sweet babies, He was good during the end of my parents 45-year-marriage,
He was good when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer…
and the list of tough circumstances will continue to go on until I see Jesus face.
Friend, there is a call to worship in every moment of every day because of the person and work of Jesus. He should be our lead story in every circumstance of life. He made us and He so loved us that He died in order that we might be free of the curse of sin. Listen to the call to worship Him. But, don’t stop there. Choose to respond by drawing near. His precious blood made a way that we might draw near and be called His sons and daughters! Are you catching this?? We can draw near to the Creator and Sustainer of the universe! Miracle of miracles! When I draw near Jesus, I can’t help but walk in the light of His presence. He is our only hope in this broken world. Glance at your circumstances, but your fix gaze upon Jesus and worship Him today!