I go to church on Sunday and I raise my hands to the music as it moves me, sometimes I sway a little bit, and once in a while I may even shed a tear. But…it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard I try I cannot get into it and then the message comes. Sometimes the message is powerful and it really makes me think and yet others I really cannot relate. I go to church because it is what Christians do, but sometimes I wonder if I really need to go. After all, I don’t really need to be at church to be a Christian or to experience God right…
Most of us at some point in time or another in our life have felt this way and if you haven’t then you have truly been blessed. Sometimes this even happens to us in the middle of our walk, things have been going really well and then all of a sudden….BAM…we are in a “dry spell.” I have personally experienced this and know that it is no fun, but is it me or is it God? I would submit to you that it might be both, there are times when God becomes silent and causes us to go through a time of testing; however, I would say that more than likely it is us.
So if it is us then how do we change it? Where did we go wrong? The answer is probably simpler than we think, yet more challenging than we think. The answer lies within our worship of God. Joshua knew what it meant to worship God. He met with God on a regular basis when he was Moses’ assistant. When the pillar of cloud would descend on the tent of meeting he would go in with Moses and even when Moses would leave to give the people a message from God Joshua would stay there as long as the pillar of cloud was present (Exo. 33:7). Joshua met with God regularly and knew what it meant to worship Him; he had learned from Moses to trust God and to give Him all the glory.
Joshua was so familiar with worshipping God that it became a priority in his life. When God had instructed him to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River one of the first things that he told them was to “consecrate ourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (Josh. 3:5). He was making sure that they were prepared for God to be in their presence. Then as they began to cross the Jordan which had been overflowing from its banks the river stopped and created a wall of water that stood up and made way for them to pass through on dry ground (Josh. 3:17). In the midst of this occurring, once everyone had safely passed through the river, Joshua commanded that one man from each of the twelve tribes go back to the dried up bottom and get a boulder and bring it back to where the priests stood with the ark of the Lord as God had commanded. When they returned Joshua built a memorial in which all of the future generations would be reminded of how God had stopped up the waters of the Jordan and had provided safe passage for them (Josh. 4:1-24).
Joshua was more than familiar with the importance of worshipping God. It took priority in his life and as a result God continued to bless him. He also understood the importance of consecrating himself by repenting of his sins and seeking forgiveness. For Joshua worship was a lifestyle. God desires his people to worship Him and when they do He responds, but He wants more than for us to simply feel moved to worship on Sunday morning at church. He wants for our entire lives to be an act of worship. As Paul stated we are to offer up our bodies as a living sacrifice that is hoy and pleasing to God for that is our spiritual act of worship. He followed that up by saying that we must not be conformed to the world, but must test and discern what is the will of God (Rom. 12:1-2).
So how do we begin to worship God and offer our bodies up as a living sacrifice? The answer will be different for each of us, but it starts with meeting with God regularly and learning to discern His voice. It starts with the heart. Just as Moses and Joshua would meet with God in the same place every time it is helpful to create a private place to worship God; a place in which we can go to everyday and put aside the distractions of our day and truly worship God. The more that we do this the easier it will become and soon a habit will form, just as it had with Joshua. We must learn to consecrate ourselves to God daily and to seek forgiveness for where we have not met His standard. By doing this we begin to actively see what God desires for us and as our lives begin aligning with His plan we will begin to see more of His hand in our lives, but it takes practice, it takes honesty, and it takes commitment. We all have a choice as to how we will respond just as Joshua had given the Israelites a chance to choose for themselves who they would serve, God or the gods of the world. Joshua stood and proclaimed that he and his house would serve the Lord (Josh. 24).
How will you respond? Will you and your household serve the Lord?
If this was helpful or encouraging to you please feel free to share it with others. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to make a comment. We all have a purpose and can be used to help others draw closer to God. God bless you in your journey to knowing Him deeper than before and accepting yourself with all of the qualities that God desires for you to have.