In continuing with the series, “Whole Life Worship 101,” I’m going to dive into talking about Personal Worship Time – our one-on-one time with Jesus. (If you missed the previous blogs in this series, click here)
Having a daily, one-on-one time with Jesus has been the most impactful spiritual rhythm in my life. I find that when I devote this time to the Lord, it affects the rest of my day: it gives me a positive attitude, gives me resilience during hard times, and helps me to be more present and loving to others. But over time, this joyful morning experience became more of a dutiful obligation of tasks. And I noticed that I was skipping more and more of these times with Jesus.
That’s when I read a little booklet that changed my one-on-one times with the Lord: “My Heart, Christ’s Home” by Robert Munger.
This little booklet is a story that describes Jesus coming into a person’s heart. The “heart” is described as a home that has rooms representing the components of our life. One chapter is devoted to the “Living Room,” the place where the new follower and Jesus agree to meet every morning for one-on-one time. What hit me was Jesus’ reply to this young disciple, who was sorrowful over missing this time with the Lord:
“The trouble with you is this: you have been thinking of … the Bible study and prayer time, as a factor in your own spiritual progress, but you have forgotten that this hour means something to me also. Remember, I love you. I have redeemed you at great cost. I value your fellowship. Now,” He said, “do not neglect this (time) if only for my sake. Whatever else may be your desire, remember I want your fellowship!”
Wow! Jesus desires our fellowship! The key to a powerful one-on-one Personal Worship Time is keeping our attention on Jesus, not the tasks. It’s all about keeping the Relational Focus at the forefront. (BTW, if you would like to read “My Heart, Christ’s Home” – it’s short – click here)
For those of us who want to start a Personal Worship Time (PWT), it starts with intention. I’ll talk more about it in a future blog, but for now the most important thing is to set apart a time that you can commit to (like 30 min, 3 times a week, at a certain time of day that will be uninterrupted) and a place that has no (or few) distractions to meet with Jesus – and turn off your devices (smile).
But what I want to share today is how we can focus (keep our eyes) on Jesus during our PWT. For me, this involves four important mindsets:
1. Anticipation: Whole Life Worshipers have a sense of expectancy that they will really encounter Jesus during PWT. Anticipation is a component of faith: “being sure of what we hope for” (Heb. 11:1). I start with my PWT with some silence (to clear my mind) and a prayer like, “Lord, I believe You are here with me. Make Yourself known to me.”
2. Attentiveness: Whole Life Worshipers keep their spiritual eyes and ears open to the Holy Spirit’s voice during PWT. Psalm 123:2 says, “As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters…, so our eyes look to the LORD our God.” PWT serves to sharpen our awareness of the Lord revealing Himself to us and speaking to us. This often comes through promptings in our heart, mind and soul. So, be attentive. As A.W. Tozer writes, “The tragedy is that our eternal welfare depends on hearing the Voice of God, yet we have trained our ears not to hear.” PWT helps unclog what we have clogged through distractions and neglect.
3. Humility: The object of PWT is not merely to relate with God, but to relate with Him properly. Our encounter is with the One who is the Majesty of the Universe. Humility is a necessary attitude before the Lord Jesus Christ, who opposes the proud. Humility enables us to see His greatness and transcendence. Humility ultimately opens the doors to all the richness we enjoy with God: intimacy, truth, revelation, perspective, transformation and blessing.
4. Surrender: The goal of worship is to “offer our bodies (whole lives) as living sacrifices” to the Lord (Rom. 12:1). God wants me to have an attitude of surrender, not because he is a control-freak, but because it is the only way He can transform me. As Whole Life Worshipers spend PWT with God, they keep in mind this question: “What does God want me to surrender to him today?”
Having these mindsets and attitudes during our PWT is simply a part of “renewing our minds” (Rom. 12:2) and it helps keep our focus on Jesus. Having a meaningful, relational connection with Jesus is everything in the life of a Whole Life Worshiper.
1. What part of this blog speaks to you?
2. What helps you to keep a relational focus in your one-on-one times with Jesus?
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