Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Captivation of the Heart

A good word from Paul Tripp:
This week I want to write to you about a word I think is poorly used and misunderstood in modern Christianity. It’s the word worship.
When we talk about worship, here’s what typically comes to mind – a Sunday morning gathering where we dress up, sing songs, give money, and take notes during a sermon.
There’s much to gain from that type of setting; I refer to it as ‘corporate worship’ and think it’s very necessary for the Christian life to be filled with gatherings, songs, and teaching. But, the Bible would define worship in a deeper way, one that happens more than just weekly in an organized environment.
Worship, according to Scripture, is an ongoing captivation of the heart that overflows into your life to produce desire, word, and deed. Everybody worships all the time. The question is: who, or what, is your heart captivated by that results in specific desire, word, and deed?Now, listen to what David says in Psalm 4:5 - "Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord." David's heart is clearly captivated by God. We don't know specifically what sacrifices David will make or how he will practically put his trust in the Lord, but we know where his heart is - captivated by his heavenly Father.
Context is key in this Psalm. Remember, David isn't experiencing blessing and prosperity; David is facing terrible hardship and suffering. Yet, in the midst of his situation, his heart is still captivated by the things of God.
How often is that untrue of us? I'll be honest - my heart is quickly captivated by other things when trial comes my way. Conversely, my heart feels more captivated by God when I experience his blessing. It's what I call 'conditional worship' - as long as God is good to me, I'll be captivated by him. What a mess!
David shows us that we can experience trial and still be deeply captivated by God. In fact, I think worship is rarely sweeter and more heartfelt than in times of trial, because when suffering enters your door, God is often in the process of removing physical treasures that compete with himself for the captivation of your heart.
Could it be that the trial you're experiencing is meant by God to produce a deeper worship in you than ever before? There's nothing in this world that can satisfy your soul like Jesus, so the most loving thing your Savior could do is take away those things that provide false hope.