(Continuing the thoughts begun last week on Sunday worship being a culmination and celebration of what God has done in and through our lives during the week.)
How can we make gathered Sunday worship a place to celebrate, rather than a place to get “filled-up”? How can we become more vibrant Believers who worship out of personal fullness, instead of people who are desperately seeking to get our "Sunday fix"?
I believe that gathered Sunday worship should be a culmination of our personal worship throughout the week. Here is what I personally do each week:
Daily Time Alone With God: This is worship time (for Him), not bible study time (for me). I begin my day using God’s Word to worship, praise and pray, and to give all off my attention to Him, not to me (my needs, my wants, my troubles). Instead of asking of our Daily Time Alone With God "What can I get out of it?" we should be asking "How can I give to the Lord?”
Listening To Worship Music: What better way to spend my driving time, running and workout time, manual work time (mowing, etc.), and “down” time than worshipping the Lord musically. These times have become valuable opportunities to focus on God's greatness, rather than listening to a popular song. This draws my heart consistently to God and who He is. Music that doesn’t exalt Him pretty much stays off my playlist.
Sabbath Preparation: We can learn from much the Hebrew people. On their sabbath day, they worship from sundown to sundown. Their rituals are designed to maximize their worship experience. Years ago our family adopted a Simplify Saturday Evening lifestyle, where we use Saturday evenings to prepare for Sunday worship: Minimal social commitments (we have learned to say "no" to invitations), a relaxed/stress-free atmosphere at home, practical Sunday preparation (choosing of clothes, locating Bibles, etc.), and early to bed (well-rested worshippers worship well).
Worshipping To Prepare For Worship: My Sunday mornings begin with worship (just like the other days of my week). I don’t wait until I enter the Worship Center to begin to worship, but I worship in preparation for worship, and on the way to worship. Yes, there are practical things to do, but my focus is on the Lord.
These simple practices have worked well for me in making gathered Sunday worship a culmination rather than a "filling-up" place. And if you notice, they all involve my attention on Him, rather than my attention on me. What can you do during the week in your personal worship to prepare for gathered Sunday worship? Lead Well!