Bored in Heaven [Worship]

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“For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.”

Psalm 47:7, KJV

Human beings are meant to worship. And specifically, to worship God. If we choose to deny this salient fact, we change nothing. Worship defines us, and who we worship is our decision. But it will happen. Our very DNA includes this proclivity.

Among believing Christians there can be an ‘oh hum’ attitude toward ‘worship’. It seems to us to be a tolerated part of our gatherings. Often worship is nothing more than a sequential chain of events that must be endured, for ‘religious reasons,’ but seldom for an authentic spiritual purposes.

The worship of heaven still worries some. It seems too intense, and a bit (shall we say) fanatical for our likings. Our standards are high, after all it will be eternal. At our very best worship is not of an ‘eternal grade’. It may be good and all– but we envision something more, a thing that engages us on an eternal level.

The fault can be with our ‘earthly’ levels of worship.

Many are busy with their own life, with all its all consuming issues. They find time to interrupt their day, perhaps to lead a feeble congregation into something more. They quickly learn to mollify and ‘reduce’ their approach, to the ‘lowest common denominator’.

But worship still sizzles, and the ‘need’ to worship is embedded inherently within. If we don’t choose to worship idols, we take on the task of worshipping the real God. And that real adjustment will truly change us.

If worship is boring, you’re doing it wrong. You see boredom and worship are antithetical. They are  ‘miles’ apart. Worship must be an exclusive focus of a ‘burning heart’ not bound with the mundane occurrences of the day. If you are  an average ‘joe, or jane’ worship leader, you will understand this.  At times you may experience this ‘tension’ of earth and heaven. But remember, heaven begins now, and not later.

Be encouraged, boredom is not your fault. It is the “spirit of this age.” But, if I might suggest, more grace is given to those who lead us. Competing with a people fully enamored with ‘entertainment’ will be hard (but not impossible for God.)

Will you be bored in heaven? I hope not. But remember this, ‘worship practice’ starts now.

“God is not moved or impressed with our worship until our hearts are moved and impressed by Him.” 

 Kelly Sparks

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Psalm 23, Understood

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Psalm 23, an annotated version:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.– That’s relationship

    He makes me lie down in green pastures.– That’s rest
He leads me beside still waters.– That’s  refreshment
    He restores my soul.– That’s healing
He leads me in paths of righteousness– That’s guidance
    for his name’s sake.– That’s purpose

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,– That’s testing
    I will fear no evil,– That’s protection
for you are with me;– That’s faithfulness
    your rod and your staff,  they comfort me.– That’s discipline

You prepare a table before me– That’s hope
    in the presence of my enemies;– That’s witness
you anoint my head with oil;– That’s consecration
    my cup overflows.– That’s abundance
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,– That’s blessing
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord– That’s security
    forever.– That’s eternity

Psalm 23, ESV

Jesus-Good-Shepherd-04We really do live in a world of uncertainty. Anything can happen (and often does) and at times we will struggle. Psalm 23 is something stable that we can latch on. It is a psalm of unparalleled comfort for the turmoil.

It is especially good to those of us who struggle with a mental illness. It is a tether for us that holds us in place. For those who fear death it promises us life– forever.

If you’re a broken believer who has issues, I encourage you to memorize this psalm.  As you commit it to memory it will instinctively draw you to reality. It will be something the Holy Spirit will use over and over in your life. I have been crippled with fear many times, and this psalm has protected me. I love the Shepherd of Psalm 23.

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Some Things Must Be ‘Prayed In’

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16 “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should,

  • how wide,
  • how long,
  • how high,
  • and how deep his love is. 

19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

Ephesians 3:16-19, NLT (My bullet points)

Paul has a ‘rocking’ prayer life. The church of Ephesus would have swelled on the spot with such an amazing prayer. I have to believe that sometimes preaching and worship isn’t enough. There is a need for intercessory prayer instead.

Prayer interjects what preaching can’t. Good worship is critical, but there are needful things that are only drilled in by prayer. Paul knows this, and even though he is quite far away, he can disciple that church at a distance– through prayer. Prayer is Paul’s way of touching the church, even across the ocean!

Paul's cell at Mamertine
Paul’s cell at Mamertine

Most of our Bible heroes had seasons of  intercession.

Abraham for instance, stood and begged God for Lot’s life. Moses beseeched on behalf of Israel. Of course, Samuel and David would stand on Israel’s behalf. These are men who regarded intercessory prayer as a critical part of their walk. They ‘stood in the gap’ so others might live.

In Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, it seems he wants to solidify some essential things within them. The prayer is marvelous. He has a confidence that he is making a difference in the spiritual lives of the church, even if he is chained to a guard in Rome. Ministry doesn’t have to be restricted by distance.

There are powerful truths in this part of Ephesians, and will penetrate the hearts of the hearers. With Paul confined and unable to visit the church, he must revive the heart of an intercessor. I hope you find someone to pray for.

”Jesus Christ carries on intercession for us in heaven; the Holy Ghost carries on intercession in us on earth; and we the saints have to carry on intercession for all men.”

Oswald Chambers

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