Our worship leader at Rockhills Church, Josh Nuñez, taught this week on the topic of worship. He started with a question about why it is that multiple people in the same worship service have completely differing opinions and experiences about sensing the presence of the Lord? He suggested that whenever we enter into the presence of God, He is there. That can be in church, or your car, a board meeting, or anywhere. The question then becomes, how do we cultivate the practice of entering into His presence in these different types of environments and circumstances?
Josh used Revelation 3:20 as a source for learning to come into the presence of the Lord wherever we are: “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door., I will come in and eat with him and he with me.” Josh pointed out sometimes we focus on the wrong thing, such as WHAT we are eating and ignore WHO we are eating with. Rockhills (or any church) isn’t just about the lights, or what the song set is on any Sunday, or how good the childrens program is – – it is an encounter with God. Every moment can be holy as you seek to enter into the presence of God. That is worship.
INVITATION: Josh stressed the importance of 1) Look; 2) Listen, and 3) Learn when it comes to cultivating a practice and a discipline in life of being in the presence of the Lord. Are you ready to pursue the presence of God on a regular basis no matter WHERE you are or WHAT you are doing? Are you ready to cultivate a life of worship? Join us this week as we look, listen and learn how to do just that. Entering the presence of God and participating in worship is a bridge to help take the focus off of self and put it onto God. This can occur at any time and on any day. It is not just an event that happens on Sunday at church. How will you enter into the presence of God for worship this week?
MONDAY: Exodus 3:1-5: Moses looked. In some translations it says he “turned aside.” This is more than a quick glance or a slight nod. Moses paid attention to what was going on. Josh used the example of the common complaint often heard about church that sounds something like this: “I just don’t get anything out of (fill in the blank).” Have you ever thought about how many of these types of opinions are focused on the word “I?” When the focus is on God and not yourself, it becomes a completely different experience. It becomes worship rather than “what’s in it for me?” What is your focus when you attend church? Is it all about you? What would it look like today if you went about your day seeking God in each and every person, place or thing? Pay more attention to what is going on around you. Look; turn aside in a new way. Participate in worship all day today.
TUESDAY: Exodus 3:4: Josh used the example of parents wanting their young child to look at them before they say what they wish to tell them. When someone is looking at you, there is a much better chance they are listening. This verse indicates that God waited (and it could have been MANY years as Moses tended sheep on the mountains for decades) for Moses to LOOK before he spoke. God knew Moses would be listening because he was looking. He had turned aside. Could it be the reason you feel you don’t hear from God is because you are not looking at Him? Helen Lemmel (1863-1961), a gifted singer, was born in England to a Methodist minister and his wife. One of the famous hymns she wrote has the words: “turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.” When you begin to look at Jesus more and more, you will be better able to listen (and hear) what he has to say to you. Do the words of this hymn speak to your heart? What might it be like to have worldly things grow dim in your sight today? Take that into prayer as you begin your day.
WEDNESDAY: Psalm 100:2; Psalm 9:3; Psalm 16:11: These verses have a few things to say about being in God’s presence. Psalm 16:11 in particular speaks to “pleasures” in the presence of God. Where do you seek pleasure in this life? Can you imagine that being in the presence of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit can actually be something to seek out and and look forward to, similar to the way we might a fun event or a good meal? Next time you are feeling bored, try talking to Jesus rather than surfing the internet. Ask God to meet you where you are – even in your bored state!
THURSDAY: Psalm 68:8 and Acts 3:19: Even the lonely and prisoners can be in the presence of God. Refreshment comes when we are in right relationship with the Lord and are seeking him. This Acts verse (and other places in scripture) talk about the importance of repenting – or turning away – from our sins. Any of us can come up with a laundry list of things we “should” or “ought” to do or not do, but have you ever thought about asking God to reveal your sins to you rather than you coming up with them? This is not about some morbid exercises, this is about freedom in Christ! Often we bog ourselves down with the false guilt of things the Lord isn’t even speaking to us about. This week during your times of confession, ASK THE LORD to bring your sins to mind.
FRIDAY: Besides LOOK and LISTEN, Josh encouraged us to LEARN. Psalm 103:7: God made His way known to Moses and many others in scripture. He will make his way known to you as well as you seek to look, listen and learn. He is not in a hurry. The life of faith is a daily journey, not a quick destination. It is a marathon, not a sprint. All you have is the moment you are being given right now. How can you seek Jesus in this moment?
SATURDAY: Psalm 73:1-17: These verses aptly describe what most of us have caught ourselves asking before: “WHY ME?” Notice, however, the shift that occurs in verse 17. Where can you find your sanctuary – – at work? At home? In the car?