The First 30 Minutes of Church

I sing “Christ is enough for me” but I don’t actually always live in that truth because I lack faith… and am constantly trying to come up with solutions for myself that make what I feel I am missing, “enough.”  If I look at it coldly, I don’t believe He is enough for me.
 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9

I sing “I will call upon your name/and keep my eyes above the waves/when oceans rise/ my soul will rest in your embrace”  but in reality, my eyes are not at all above the waves.  My soul is restless and seemingly fighting His embrace.  I drown in my sorrows and fears and I do not call upon His name as the oceans rise.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” Ps. 55:22

I sing, “God you pursue me… with power and glory…unstoppable love that never fails” but I only wish I lived like I knew His love is unstoppable.  I don’t though.  I live as if His love will end imminently, without warning and fully gone.
“Praise the Lord! He is good! God’s love never fails.” Ps. 136:1

I sing, “I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy” but I’m not actually bending!  I am standing straight up and staring at that wind and mercy and rebelliously shouting to God, “I’m the unbendable tree! You made me this way and I can’t bend!”
“Who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it?” Rom. 9:20
“Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Ps. 100:3

I sing, “My hope is built on nothing less/Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness/I dare not trust the sweetest frame/But wholly trust in Jesus’ name” but my hope has not been in Him “all the day long”  My hope has been shaken by drought and storm.  I doubt the name of Jesus.  My hope gets lost…
“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.” Rom. 5:5-8

This is the condition of my heart.  I fall again and again.  I forget to trust my Maker.  I forget that He died to set me free!  I forget His unending mercy and love.  I forget every day!  I hear His mercies are new every morning, but in the morning, I despair.  His praise is on my lips and in my heart….but life begins to happen and I forget!

In his book, The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence challenges himself to remain consciously in God’s presence at every moment.  Whenever he realized that he was not spending any given moment in God’s presence, “he addressed himself to God saying ‘I shall never do otherwise if you leave me to myself; it is You who must hinder my falling, and mend what is amiss.’  After this he gave himself not further uneasiness about it” (P.19).

Unless I practice what I am saying during worship, and truly worship in those moments outside of church…the situations when worship costs…I am just a clanging gong, noise, endless babble, useless, lying.

Worship at church is to remind us of Who He is so that we do not forget!
It’s easy to say those wonderful worship song words; it’s not easy to live them.

Live a day…. constantly in His presence.  Remembering every word you said to Him in worship.  Do you still mean it?  Do you want Him to “break your heart with what breaks His? Give everything you are for the Kingdom’s cause?”
So, my prayer today & this week & and this lifetime is:
Lord, make me aware of my afflictions becoming eclipsed by your glory.  Help me realize how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me! Spirit! lead me where my trust is without borders. Take me deeper than my feet would ever wander. Lord, if left to myself, I will forget that Christ is enough for me.  Hinder my falling and mend what is amiss. Drench my soul as mercy and grace unfold ~I hunger and I thirst. I know you hear my cry. I surrender. No turning back.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. Lam. 3:21-23