In my previous blog I talked about the need for keeping our first love, first. In this blog I’d like to share specific ways we can do so. Please know this isn’t about creating a yolk of slavery; one more thing to do. I’m interested in teaching how to walk in freedom and I believe it starts through genuine, loving relationship with the Lord. Intimate, undistracted time with our Abba Father, our true Daddy is the fuel all Christian leaders need to keep the needle from ever pointing to empty. To lead others well, I recommend everyone have some WAP in their daily life; the rich fuel of personal Worship, Appreciation, and Prayer. How that looks will be different for each of us. What matters is that we do it, not how we do it.
W orship – “You (God) are enthroned in the praises of your people” Psalm 22:3. The melody of worship shifts the atmosphere around us, because God is in the worship. When we raise our voice to the Lord in worship, even when we don’t feel like it, things move in our hearts, our homes, our families, and our churches! Do you have a few songs that when you sing them something moves in your soul? It is Well sung by Kristene DiMarco is one of those songs for me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Wb_WD1emFQ*Dr. Caroline Leaf says when we worship, “new brain cells literally grow (through) neuroplasticity”. We were create to worship God and when we do so, things change even in our brains. If you’re not already doing so, I challenge you to take a few moments early in your day to just worship the Lord, turn on a song you love or sing without music, just worship. Do so again in the middle of your day and again for a few moments at the end of your day. Notice the shift within and around you.
A ppreciation – We have a natural bent toward the negative things in life. It’s easier to focus on what’s wrong than what we’re thankful for. It’s not natural for us to go to the positive first, so it takes work to develop an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ and focus our eyes on the good in life.The other day while on a prayer walk, I got a vision for this idea. When my eyes were focused down at the dusty trail, all I saw was dirt, animal dung, a few dead mice, and some flies fluttering around their treats. As I lifted my eyes up, I noticed the green trees against a deep blue backdrop and rolling hills. Now, if my head was tilted straight up, I’d likely trip over or step into the middle of some of that doo. But when I kept my eyes up enough that my focus was on the beauty but still glimpsed enough of the path before me, I could maneuver around the pitfalls yet appreciate all of God’s creation! When our eyes are focused on the problems of this world, all we can see is the poo and we lose focus of the Lord.
P rayer –I’m not talking about interceding for others right now. I’m talking about a vulnerable conversation with God. The book, Papa Prayer written by one of my favorite authors Larry Crabb revolutionized my prayer time with the Lord. Papa refers to our intimate father, our Heavenly daddy. It also is an acronym for Present, Attend, Purge and Approach!
Present – share with the Lord where you are at, speak truth whether happy or full of disappointment.
Attend – consider how you perceive God at that moment; a close intimate father or a faraway being uninterested in you.
Purge – begin to acknowledge and remove the roadblock between you and God.
Approach – with the pathway clear, move in close to your daddy, who wants to hold you, refresh you and give you peace.
What if you’re so hurt, so frustrated right now you find it difficult to do any of this? I’ll pick up there next blog.
*You Tube – Caroline Leaf – Worship in the Brain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmaCLVuYwmI
Papa Prayer by Larry Crabb – available in hard cover, soft cover, kindle and audio