This Counting #1000Gifts (and beyond) has been happening around here for quite some time now.
I admit to going hot and cold in the actual writing of them down, but I encourage you to count - to take note of the small wonders and the ways that God is active in your every day life.
Once you train your ears and your eyes and your heart to seek them out... well, you know how He is!
He promises that if we seek,
we will find.
I downloaded the 1000 Gifts app for my phone and I use my camera to capture the ways I see Him... I also go old school from time to time because there is something tangible in the putting pen to paper and counting them off, one by one.
There is a gift that He keeps on giving and it's one that we are to turn right around and give back... it's the gift of Worship. He gives us so many reasons to worship... and in turn, we pour out our worship to Him because of all of those reasons, sure, but also simply because of Who He is.
But here's the deal... this is what He has been showing me lately:
You worship with all of your heart, soul, and mind
in reckless abandon... --that is the invitation anyway-- but not everyone enters in.
I'm not sure why that is, but I can tell you that it's easier to pour it all out when you actually know all of your heart, soul, and mind.
If you have been hanging around these parts for long at all, you probably have noticed that Identity is a life message for me... it's sort of my jam.
I love to talk about our Identity in Him... of how He has made us unique and one of a kind on purpose, for a purpose...
I love to tell of the passionate pursuit of Jesus, our Bridegroom... of how we are His Beloved... of how He really means it!
Lately, He is showing me how closely related Identity and Worship really is, for when we know --truly know-- our identity and who/Whose we are, we freely give Him all that we are... all that we have.
When we know the depth of His great love for us and we know that everything in our lives - every good thing, and even every hard thing --it all leads us back to worship, because through it all, He is good.
Through it all... He is God and He is good, and oh my goodness, haven't we all felt that this is maybe sometimes not the truth? And yet, we know. We know.
But it's when we can't feel it that we can start to doubt the truth of it... maybe not for others, but we doubt it for ourselves.
Can I gently suggest that this is when we must offer a sacrifice of praise... count gifts to stir up thanksgiving... and from there... wait.
Wait for your heart of worship to be awakened once again!
We are, as Sarah Bessey says it, happy-clappy worshipers.
It's just our way.
We were ruined years ago for a nice, clean little worship set.
We want to go all in and pour it all out.
We want to encounter Him and take our time in loving on Him.
We long for His Presence and His heart.
We know this worship is a dance, and oh how we love to dance with our Beloved.
I always remember Tommy Tenney talking in God Chasers about how worship is Gods' favorite part of our Sunday services... it's the only part that He gets anything out of! (He's never learned a thing from a sermon! wink.)
Worship to us is not the first part of a church service.
It's not something to be skipped over or cut short.
It is our meeting place with the Divine...
It's where Heaven meets Earth
...and worlds and hearts
and agendas and plans collide.
It's where, yet again - because always (in the end)
He wins us.
Our hearts are His.
How can that not stir up your worship?
But if we don't know who we are, that we are valued and adored... if we don't know - or easily forget that we are His and that He is good... we hold back. We aren't willing to press in, to wait, to linger. We self-protect and build walls and let our experience (or lack thereof) dictate our beliefs.
We take a step back... withhold our worship... open the door for doubt and fear to sneak in and whisper lies.
Sometimes we just need to sit in the midst of worship to let all of our dry places be saturated once again... to allow the Spirit to sing over us and remind us of who we are.
Whether you are an all-in kind of happy-clappy worshiper or you're needing to be reminded of your true identity, can I encourage you to set aside just a few moments today - turn up this song and let the truth of it wash over you... through you... become a part of you... and let your worship overflow and spill out?
Because, here's the other deal:
He is a good, good Father... it's who He is.
And you ARE loved by Him... it's who you are!
P.S. I'm linking up with these lovely writers:
The Community over at #SmallWonders
Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday