It may seem cliché to start a list of yearly resolutions with daily worship …
So I almost didn’t begin with it on my list of strategies for a simplified 2017 for precisely that reason.
But never in my life have I been so deeply convinced that daily personal worship is the hinge on which the Christian life rests. My nearness or distance from God–as well as my love (or lack of it) for His people–draws a straight line to how much I am treasuring God above all things.
Maybe you’ve found the same to be true?
Daily worship of God acknowledges (and even impedes) my natural, shameful tendency toward self-dependence. To the degree that I love and worship Jesus, I’m not loving and worshiping self and vice versa.
We are made to worship
The issue isn’t whether we will worship, but Whom we will worship and how.
So herein is the challenge, isn’t it?–to be certain the object of my worship is Christ. I must run, as it were, from the impulse to construct and worship a golden calf of my own making in lieu of falling at the feet of Jesus.
Daily worship includes much more than Bible reading, but here are 5 practical strategies I am using in 2017 to prioritize quiet, daily time with God–
5 practical strategies
1. I will purpose to read the Word every morning. As a night owl, I’ve often found my sharpest hours to be long after the sun sets, yet prioritizing morning worship has become increasingly practical. For one, if life circumstances ransack my schedule, delay doesn’t need to mean skipping. Also, reading in the morning sets the tone for my day. It validates and consecrates my day’s activities as from and for Him.
2. I will read the Word for refreshment as much as for study. We are more naturally prone to be faithful to something we enjoy, aren’t we? When I struggle for consistency in the Word it is most often because I have started viewing it as mere duty and not delight.
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a JOY and the delight of my heart (Jeremiah 15:16).
3. I will meditate on what I read. George Mueller explained it best as–“not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.” May it be so.
4. I will read the Bible until I find at least one truth to cling to for the day. Years ago I made the decision never to close my Bible without finding a single truth I could write down. I also decided–though there is nothing magical in the number–not to listen to a sermon without making at least 5 notes. These decisions have forced me to listen and think differently (and proactively).
5. I will not allow a stumble or misstep in my consistency to become a reason to quit. The reality is, this year will have its pitfalls and disappointments like every other year. If (when?) I have a bad day, the worst thing I can do is fail to return the next day with new morning mercies (Lamentations 3:23).