Thursday, January 31, 2008

Private vs Public Place

I love this quote by Louie Giglio:

"We become what we worship. If you don't like what you have become, then take a quick inventory of what sits enthroned on your heart."

This quote reminds me of the phrase, "You are what you eat." I used to bring this one out on many occasions when I was younger. Almost as much as, "I know you are but what am I?" Picture it...someone would call me a doodoo head, and as soon as they were finished supposedly cutting me down, I would whip this line out against this unsuspecting fellow 12 year old. Then I would proudly lean back in my wooden desk and think to myself, "Whammy!" Other kids around us would say, "Did that just happen?!" Yes it did my friend...yes it did.

But in all seriousness, if I were to look introspectfully at myself using this childhood one-liner, I would say that I'm one big fat Frosted Mini Wheat, or maybe a big bowl of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream (I love that stuff. I could have both at every meal of the day!). But, I find myself lacking in the "eating the Word" department. Anybody feel me? Or if I were to use Louie's quote and look at my daily life, I would be either a nice comfy leather sofa or a nice flat-screen (LCD) TV. (Sorry, I had to throw the LCD adjective in there! So what, I have a nice TV...if anyone wants to watch the Super Bowl after Facedown Sunday night, just let me know!).

Lately I have been thinking a lot about my daily walk with the Lord and about church services on a Sunday morning. There is a rut that myself, and probably others too, get caught in. Which is, Sunday morning is my time to be with the Lord. Or, Sunday is my time to read the Word. Some of you might be in this category, Sunday morning worship is my time to really worship and adore God to try and get my passion revived again. All of those sound like decent reasons to go to church. But there is so much more. Charlie Hall said this cool quote one time, "Sunday morning services should be one big fat celebration for what God has been doing in our lives for the past week." Sunday mornings should put a big exclamation point on the sentence that is your week. For me, a lot of the times this is not the case. I find myself leaving Sunday morning saying, "That was a good sermon this morning", or "Man, the music was really good." Both of these are the complete opposite of what it should be. It should be, "I had a true encounter with the Lord today and it totally sealed what He has been doing in my life!"

So where does the problem lie? I'm going to venture a guess at what that might be. You see, Jesus is looking more at your private life than your public life. Peter missed this. When Jesus took him and a few others to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, he fell asleep. So, Peter failed in his private life. Later on as we all know, Peter denied Jesus 3 times (ie. public life). Jesus, on the other hand, knew the importance of developing the private life. If you look at Matthew 27 (verse 40) where Jesus was being crucified, the on-lookers yelled at Him to "come down from the cross" if He is the Son of God. This looks awfully familiar to the passage in Matthew 4 when He was being tempted by the devil. Jesus got it right in the private place; therefore, he got it right in the public place!

How do we develop this private life? We need to continually romance God. If we don't, our hearts will grow hard, dull and apathetic. God is praised when He is prized. In Matthew 13 it tells of a merchant that sold everything for one pearl. In today's society we are constantly being distracted from this One thing. Success, relationships, jobs, clothes, money and so on are stealing the passion for Jesus. We need to seek Him in our secret place, digging deep in the Word, praying, LISTENING, and worshiping throughout our week, not just on Sundays! John Wesley, a little bit of an extremist, once said, "Every morning I set my heart on fire for Jesus, then I go out and let people watch me burn." Whoa! Granted, John Wesley had a unique anointing, but he had it figured out. He understood the immense importance of the private place!

So, as Louie states, we need to take an inventory on what sits enthroned on our hearts on a daily basis. If it's not the Lord, then our worship will suffer. If we all make it a point to develop our private life, then Sunday morning worship services WILL be one big fat celebration! The worship we offer will be transformed! We will become like the merchant and worship and seek after that One Prized Pearl, giving all that we have in order to have a true encounter with Jesus...and we will!

Grace and Peace.

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