After I graduated from high school, I was stuck in a dark place with no plan for what comes next. I’m a planner, but every turn I took led to another closed door.
My name is Elizabeth which means “consecrated to God”. The hymn I’ve picked for my life is “Take my life and let it be”. The first verse says “Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee. Take my moments and my days; let them flow in endless praise.” So on my 18th birthday, while battling anxiety I laid my heart before God offering him whatever came next.
I spent the next 3 years serving him even in the midst of a lot of spiritual abuse (10 out of 10 don’t recommend, but it was part of my journey). It came at a high cost, but the closeness I found with Christ even in the struggle, has become the foundation my faith rests on.
Worshiping God in the middle of hard months and years feels costly, but it transforms every aspect of our existence.
Christmas is our Commission
Psalm 95 asks us to witness the work that God has done through the Old Testament and to move from that into worship. As believers after Christ has come into the world we have also witnessed his birth and work on the cross. So how much more should we move into worship?
The words bow, worship, and kneel are important here because they show a changed posture. It is a physical movement into submission to the will of God. This Psalm is asking us to show that what God has done has captured our hearts and is valuable to us.
Like Israel in the wilderness, it’s easy for us to return to complaining, and apathy cyclically. We allow things to capture our attention, and we forget God’s good plan for human flourishing because we forget what he’s already done for us. When we forget we move away from worship of God and into adoration of self.
Worship in the context of the Psalms wouldn’t have come for free, it was tightly intertwined with sacrifice. Usually, that came at the cost of the person sacrificing. Either the financial cost of doves, lamb, or flour, in addition to the cost of time and effort to walk to another city where the temple was located.
How does what we learned change us?
The past 5 weeks have been a pause to remember what Christ has done, and an invitation to carry that knowledge into the new year with us. To worship is a sacrifice and demands discipline. But when we live with what God has done for us in view it transforms the way we live. When we live a life transformed by his love it gives us and those around us into what God’s coming kingdom will look like.
The obedience of Israel led to their moving into the promised land, but it ultimately only pointed to what was to come deep spiritual rest, through Jesus’ finished work on the cross.