Monday, January 11, 2010

For What it's Worth - Our God is an Awesome God

Worship - the word comes from the Old English word, "worthship." It simply means to honor God by giving Him worth or value. Christians have come to know worship as primarily singing praises to God. That is tragic, as true worth-ship is everything that we mindfully do to honor God with our actions. This week your faithful Kingdom Bloggers are going to talk about a time when their worship had a profound affect on them.

As I thought about worship, I started to recall some of the most moving worship services that I have been to. I suppose I get a little confused with worship that I do, and God's amazing presence, which is what He does. In my own mind I connect the two.

I thought about the time that I went to a conference and the worship team was playing "Our God is an Awesome God." The fear (reverence) I felt for God that night was so intense that my knees literally shook as if I were before a high court judge. It was powerful (and positive). That same night I was healed of two physical aliments and delivered from a 20 year bondage to cigarettes. More on that HERE.

At another service I got about 10 feet into the sanctuary and the conviction of God was so great that I almost ran to a seat so could get on my knees and repent. I remember that I felt that God meant business. After a few minutes of "getting right" with God, I stood up and looked around. Just about the entire sanctuary was on their knees and only the worship team was playing.

Worship is just the way in which we acknowledge God's value. One time I was quietly able to write a large check to further a ministry, and it felt terrific. Other times I am able to sing His praises so easily that I don't need words, nor am I conscious of time.

I just love those moments when I can slip away, put on a CD, pray or read the Bible and be filled with God's Spirit - as my actions give Him value. Many times over the years, I have been giving thanks, or praying my way through some disaster, or just enjoying His presence when I simply overflow with the living water.

It seems that the more I make time to worship God, the more profound my experiences with Him have become.

I guess what I really wanted to talk about was my work, a form of worship to my Lord. In 1994 I went to a Career Counselor - a Christian one. He did all the testing, the interviewing, the data crunching and pulled together a preliminary report. After he went through the results, he asked if we could pray about it. "Sure." I said.

As we opened our eyes at the end of a pretty Plain-Jane prayer, he looked at me and said, "You know, I feel that the Lord wants you to learn computers - especially Photoshop. You were a photographer (at the time I had just been laid off from that position), and I think God wants you to build on that experience. Be sure, that computers is an ever changing field, and it should keep your interest."

Here we are 16 years later and let me tell you how that turned out. I went home, looked for Photoshop jobs in the newspaper and found only one. I was trying to see what sort of market there would be for my new skills. I had some retraining money from unemployment, and they funded a computer school for Photoshop, a few other graphics packages, as well as some business software for the Macintosh such as Quicken, databases, word processing, spreadsheets and the like. I called my mother, and before could tell her what was going on, she said, "you know I have been talking to your step-father and he thought that a career in computers might be a good change for you. We'd like to buy you a computer."

"Well isn't that interesting." I replied as I relayed the rest of the details of my career counseling.

I went out and bought my first PC the next week. I started school a week or so later, and was at the top of my class. My instructor was a digital artist with a computer science degree from Cornell, and a designer for Disney. The owner of the training company and I became good friends. So good in fact, that he hired me to teach classes for him, as well as recommending me for a teaching job at another school in the area.

I ended up being a consultant because there wasn't any work at the time. I dedicated my business to the Lord and gave thanks every day. Like most computer folks, I would get in a jam that I didn't have an answer for. I would simply ask God, and He would show me a dialog box, a hidden menu, or provide some other piece of wisdom that would get things going again. Over and over again, these little prayers worked. I would ask God, and just "know" what to do.

I loved the work, the freedom and the money!

You see our work is worship. We don't have a job just to make money, although that is a byproduct of the work of our hands. We are to do everything unto the Lord. I believe one of the most overlooked blessing of being a Christian is offering our work to him. What better place to worship Him, than at work? It is chance for us to show Him excellence, witness to others and find joy in the day-to-day.

My little business grew from one neophyte computer user; out of work photographer, to 16 employees at our peak. Some were Christians and some were not. One of our guys prayed for a woman with skin cancer. When she arrived at home a few hours later, the growth had fallen off and she was completely healed!

The Lord showed me and those that worked for me many things. Our season came to a close when we were purchased from another Christian company. It was then that I went off to Brazil.

Today I work for someone else, but I strive for the best possible results - I believe in excellence, I enjoy the same passion for my work, and I am constantly reminded that it is the Lord who provides the expertise, the know how and the keys to unlocking solutions in my job. For me, a successful day of programming is as refreshing as some church services that I have attended - especially the ones where God shows me something that I didn't know a few minutes before.

Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

If you are interested in the world's view of my business, HERE is an old story from about 10 years ago.


Joyce Lighari said...

I love the focus on work as worship - I believe as well that everything we do, say and are should be offered up as worship. The chief end of humanity is to glorify God and enjoy Him for ever (from the first question of the catechism) - and I believe that is so true.

David said...

Yes, working for Him is the best job I have ever had. It's creative, fulflling and some days it glorifies Him - well, the days that is doesn't glorify me. :o)

Joyce Lighari said...

can't it glorify God and you at the same time?

~ Jan ~ said...

Four years ago, I belonged to a prayer team in an outreach program at my Church. Mercy Works, now called the Healing Center, offers food, clothing, job coaching/placement and so much more, including prayer. Many of our guests would ask prayer for a job. On behalf of all those that I prayed for concerning employment, I always asked that God would lead them to a place where He would be glorified and they would be satisfied. I think that is what you are experiencing, Joyce. Ain't God good!

"...true worth-ship is everything that we mindfully do to honor God with our actions". This is so poignant and gives me hope. Some of my Facebook friends know that I am disabled. Today, my body is weak, aching and racked with severe pain, yet, what little I am able to do, I can find comfort in knowing, as you said, David, " my actions give Him value". In turn, this makes me feel valued in His eyes and I am moved to tears at this realization. Thank you for the words of encouragement.

I pray that all those Who read "Kingdom Bloggers" are touched by the Holy Spirit as I have been. Also, I pray that God continues to give each and everyone of you "nuggets of truth and wisdom" to edify the Body of Christ.

Be blessed, my friends.

David said...

@Joyce - well, I am part of the nameless faceless generation. As long as God is pleased, I am not all that worried if folks even know my name.

@Jan - I feel terribly that we can't make progress in the health area for you, but I do appreciate your very thoughtful words of encouragement. We all covet your prayers, and we know that God hears you. Many blessings, David

Chris Denning said...

Great post! I am reading a book on worship by the Soul Survivor group and it's amazing how close in message you are. Sometimes God speaks that way, when everywhere you turn, you hear the same insights.

photogr said...

Even in our work professions, we can be ministers to others and not even realize it but I would imagine it is noticed by God each time we give Him glory.

Tony C said...

Very fresh perspective David! Most of us spend a lot of time at work and might even spend a lot of effort to separate our work lives from our personal lives. Shouldn't be that way! God is with us always...even at work.

Great post bud...I'm piggybacking on my Friday post!