As we wrap up The Joshua Project, I pray that the words resonating deep within you are these:
“I’m coming back to the heart of worship and it’s all about you — it’s all about you, Jesus. I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it; when it’s all about you — it’s all about you, Jesus.”
Our last post concerning “The Heart of Worship” may have described what occurred in Matt Redman’s church, but it also describes what must occur throughout the whole body of Christ. We, as believers, must return to true worship. Just as Joshua allowed himself to be used by God to bring this state of true worship back into the hearts of the people of Israel, so too do we and our spiritual leaders need to allow God to do the same in the church today.
In closing, let’s recap briefly what we have covered:
– Article 1 took us through the five megathemes (as laid out in The Life Application Study Bible [NIV]) of Joshua’s life. Each megatheme (success, faith, God’s guidance, leadership, and conquest) became an illustration of how Joshua’s life was indeed a life of true worship.
– Article 2 had us come to the understanding that “worship” is both noun and verb; that “worship” is tangible as well as something we must participate in. The blending of these two sides of worship was accomplished through a formula — a formula that required the attributes of God (faithfulness, hope, and love) and our acknowledgment of those attributes to produce the actions that equal worship.
(attributes of God + acknowledgment and application of God’s attributes in us = worship)
– Article 3 tackled the arduous task of setting our attitude of worship right. A right attitude of worship is an understanding that it’s 10 percent God’s call in our lives and 90 percent how we will respond to His call in our lives, as a right attitude of worship is ours to choose or reject.
We had to also come to understand that to have the right attitude of worship requires both a preparation for and a response to worship; remembering also the five orders of worship (confession, gathering, giving, rejoicing, and studying) which help us prepare for and respond to worship, whether individually, corporately as a family, or corporately as a church body. A review of the three ways in which to prepare for and respond to worship was laid out as well: the physical, the mental, and the spiritual, all noted as important to fulfilling God’s purpose in each of our lives.
– Article 4 was a celebration of faith, obedience, and peace. All three of which lead us to learn how to experience real joy in our lives, even while in the midst of the hardest of trials and tribulations. An acronym of J.O.Y. — Jesus, Others, and You — was laid out to help explain that only in God’s presence can we receive true joy, and giving of ourselves in submission to Christ’s will and serving others is what ushers us into God’s presence.
– Article 5 revealed to us our real purpose for existing — to worship our Creator and to glorify Him among all of His creation. We examined the eight reasons we as human beings need to seek out our purpose and worship God daily:
1 – It connects the Creator to His creation
2 – It focuses our attention on God
3 – It testifies of God’s goodness and mercy
4 – It reflects God’s glory to the nonbeliever
5 – It maintains joy in our lives
6 – It reminds us of God’s sovereignty
7 – It allows all of creation to fulfill its purpose
8 – It helps us to rightly respond to God’s calling
– Article 6 brought us back to the heart of worship — God Almighty! It also revealed another key element of worship, our obedience to our Creator’s call of worship. We studied twelve ways that we could begin to develop the discipline of being obedient to God, the Father, in our daily worship:
1 – Through the reading and studying of Scripture
2 – Through prayer
3 – Through the playing and singing of songs
4 – Through the family
5 – Through our physical health and rest
6 – By physically working and laboring for God
7 – Through our love and faithfulness to God
8 – Through sacrifice and trust
9 – Through the fear and respect of our Creator
10 – Through celebration and rejoicing in God
11 – By being a peacemaker
12 – Through our individual and corporate worship of God
There you have it — the roof to our temple of worship has been set into place. God’s worshipful dwelling has been built to completion. Now it’s up to you to invite Him in; He wants to, you know.
As lyricist and composer Will L. Thompson penned, “Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling; calling for you and for me. See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching; watching for you and for me. Come home, come home; you who are weary, come home. Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling; calling, ‘oh sinner, come home.’” God, the Father, longs to be given full residency in our heart of worship; that temple of our soul. Let Him in, won’t you? Allowing God back into the center of your worship is, after all, what your heart was purposed for.
Congratulations to those of you who have returned your heart and focus back to God. You are now ready to journey on in life as Joshua did — as God’s true instrument of worship!
The Joshua Project by J.Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com.
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If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason Ministries‘ Twitter account or Facebook page.