Sunday, May 22, 2016

Disciplined Worship

"The Lord is my Light and my Salvation--whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, [even then] in this will I be confident."  Psalm 27:1-3

This idea that discipline is a vital part of worship is a new thought for me and perhaps to you as well. So, I want to spend more time elaborating on it because I think it has powerful potential to improve your worship.

The Psalmist declares the Lord is his "Light and Salvation" and the Lord is the "strength of his life".  As he glorifies God in that state he also indicts himself. By acknowledging God as his light he also admits that he is darkness. When he commends God as His salvation he implies that he is lost without that salvation. With God he lives in light. Apart from God he dwells in darkness. Believing in God he has salvation but without God he is lost.

Therein is the need for discipline! To enjoy worship and to know God's light and His salvation you must discipline yourself to resist the darkness and come out of your lostness. You will only do that if you choose to believe what His Word says about you and choose to act upon it. That requires a conscious decision that goes against your human nature. That is faith! 

Faith takes discipline because it is not natural.

Discipline may have taken a negative context in your thinking because it usually is associated with punishment. When you were failed to discipline yourself as a youngster and did something bad, your parents had to do the disciplining for you. That was not pleasant for you or them. But let me give you another way to think of discipline - "discipline is saying no to one thing in order to say yes to something better".

So, if you want to become a better worshiper you must say "no" to your darkness and come to His light! That means putting down the TV remote, or the newspaper or the magazine or the video game control and pick up your Bible. It means saying "no' to the selfish desires and the destructive thoughts and "yes" to His Spirit.

Is your lack of discipline hindering your worship? Are you choosing His light above your darkness? Are you saying "no" to self to say "yes" to His Spirit. What should you pick up in order to worship better? What do you need to put down in order to worship well?