*On Monday, 3/10/14, I will be posting a review of Jenifer Jernigan's book Dive Deeper: Finding Deep Faith Beyond Shallow Religion, which is part of inScribed: A Collection of Studies by Women.
But today, I'm excited to have Jenifer as a guest here. I'll turn things over to her...you will be blessed by her message.
What does worship look like? What is its posture? Is it even visible to the naked eye?
The temperature read a frigid 17 degrees. Shards of ice blanketed the windshield. The air blew cold around my frame. But my heart? It was ablaze. Burning with anticipation for what the impending hours would bring—hours of worship, glorious, beautiful worship. Its beauty would abound all the more when partnered with the family of God joined as one because of One.
As we reached our destination, I saw that others had also come, many, in fact. They’d come to worship. Or maybe they’d come in search of that something that their heart desperately longed for or possibly wasn’t yet aware of. But either way, whatever the reason . . . they’d come. And I prayed their hearts would never be the same. I prayed my heart would never be the same. Melodies. Choruses. Harmonies. The room, our warehouse, the shell that hugs the body of Christ, was filled with voices lifting high the name of Jesus. Glorious, beautiful worship.
Hundreds upon hundreds gathered as God’s servant stood to proclaim the magnificent Word of God. Except we didn’t sit. We couldn’t sit, because there were no chairs. No place to cradle our frames.
We were led to a corner in the back of the warehouse. And we sat. On the floor. And we listened to the living Word of God as it was spoken.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
—Luke 9:23–24 (esv)
Becoming like Jesus is not a deed, it’s a death. It’s complete self-denial.
Following Jesus is surrender. And the surrendering is never complete this side of glory, but still we’re called to it—daily. It is the mission. It is worship.
Positionally, as a child of God, I am always in Christ. But, practically I must daily remain in His presence.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
—John 15:4–5 (esv)
What I want to accomplish in my flesh can only be accomplished in my death.
To be like Jesus I must die to self. My rebirth, my revival from the dead, must be a life lived in Jesus, for Jesus. I must surrender.
Now standing in the corner to which we’d been led, I was oblivious to the hundreds that surrounded me. It was our corner now. It was our warehouse now. God’s and mine. No one else’s. And I surrendered.
I surrendered my will, my dreams, and my plans. I surrendered it all. I will daily follow after His will. I will daily live out His dreams for me. And I will daily accomplish His plan for my life.
I will surrender. Daily. It is my heart worship.
What does worship look like? What is its posture? Is it even visible to the naked eye? Worship is the attitude and surrender of our hearts and lives. Hearts and lives that are visibly seen by the Lord lifted to and prostrated before Him at the same time in respect, reverent fear, and complete surrender to who He is. Worship isn’t merely the sound of beautifully tuned instruments or voices exactly on pitch standing in a room together praising God. True worship can be described as developing tunnel-vision, for that time of worship, while I sat in my corner all that mattered was me and my God, and what can be more valuable than that.
Jenifer Jernigan - As founder of Diving Deeper Ministries, Jenifer’s passion is to equip women to d.i.v.e. (define.investigate.visualize.embrace.) deeper into God’s Word. She is co-owner and regular writer for Internet Café Devotions, and is part of a team of writers creating curriculum for Journey Church in Raleigh, NC. Jenifer loves hanging out with her man, homeschooling their three kiddos and guzzling delicious cups of her favorite coffee. Jenifer is the author of InScribed’s Dive Deeper : Finding Deep Faith Beyond Shallow Religion which is available now.