Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.Psalm 95:1-3
Growing up watching a lot of TV during a time when there were only four channels to watch, I remember watching a lot of local newscasts around dinner time with my parents. Most of the news bored me at the time, but one segment always caught my attention and that was the weather forecast, for two reasons: the TV weather guy always made jokes and because he ended up being wrong half the time. When I asked my dad why the weather guy was the only funny one on the news and how he could keep his job being wrong so much, he answered, “every weather forecaster is wrong half the time, but he’s funny so you forgive him for being wrong.” He continued, “anyone with a barometer can predict what the weather’s going to be like in the next 12 to 24 hours. I was so curious about this device that I got a Galileo thermometer and Goethe barometer for my birthday, both modeled after the primitive instruments that would have been used hundreds of years ago to predict approaching weather by measuring temperature and changes in rising or falling air pressure.
Worship is a barometer of our faith. The way we worship forecasts how things are going in our relationship with God. We tend
to decide how we are doing spiritually based on how well we worship. We may get frustrated with ourselves because we try to pray but just don’t know what to pray about, or because we want to get up early to study God’s Word but we just can’t seem to get out of bed. We say, “I wish I were closer to God. I wish I could hear him more.” If that’s you, you’re not alone. We are all human and weak, and we all need more of him.
Truth be told, though, there are times we slip up, times we aren’t as faithful or thankful as we want to be, times we doubt that God will help us. We want more of him in our lives, but sometimes the Bible overwhelms us and we don’t know where to start or what to do. WE BELIEVE IN PRAYER, BUT WE ARE MOSTLY PRAYERLESS, UNINSPIRED, AND TIRED. We want to make a difference in the world, but there just isn’t enough time, enough money, or enough energy to go around. We have mountaintop moments—spiritual successes and times of great progress in our faith—but that’s the exception, not the rule.
But what if you could have more—more thankfulness, more faith, more prayer, more energy to study? Would you take it? Would you be the first to say, “I’m so in!”
The problem is that each us has a favorite idol—something that gets in the way of worshiping the one true God. It isn’t as though we go out to an idol shop, scour the shelves for our favorite idol, pay for it, and then take it home to sit on the little altar set up in the living room like an evil elf on the shelf. If only they were that easy to spot. No, our idols sneak up on us. They grow out of our affection for something and become an obsession. Personally speaking, I consider myself a constantly recovering idolater. For all of us, like alcoholics or drug addicts, we know we still have the tendency to bow down to our idols, so we are never completely free from the need to guard ourselves against them. That’s why thankfulness through worship is the way to smash those idols and give control of your life to God, doing whatever he commands, even at the expense of your little gods that demand so much of your time and mind. How and how often you worship reveals your level of thankfulness and vice versa. So if you don’t like the weather in your life, check your spiritual barometer and see if you become more thankful when your knees are falling and your voice is rising!
Questions to ponder
What are your favorite weather conditions? Least favorite?
When is the most difficult time or circumstances for you to worship God?
When you’re facing a difficult circumstance, how can focusing your mind and heart on worship change your outlook to thankfulness?