Abba.

Belated happy new year everyone! ūüôā I wanted to write a short post about worship & the significance of worship since we started out on this venture. Years ago the Lord showed me a picture of a young 20-something, listening to worship music with his headphones on… eyes closed. All around him were folk in pain, some crying, others trying to grab this guy’s attention. He couldn’t see them. I asked the Lord “what is this picture about?” and He replied to me “this is a picture of my church”. I immediately felt myself getting quite defensive. By this stage in life I understood that the church is not a “place”, or a one-day-a-week-thing -but that I am the church. So I replied indignantly to the Lord “but God, it’s not this guys fault that he can’t see these people all around him… he’s got his eyes shut! he’s worshipping you!” God replied: “he’s not worshipping me. He’s listening to worship music.” And in that moment, I understood what the Lord was saying. That we are called, yes, to sing & raise our voices to the roof in praise & thanksgiving & adoration & worship of the one who is our everything. But, that worship is not all about music. Worship comes from a place of having our eyes wide open, receiving the love of the Father & then loving the person in front of us.¬†And so, the journey began in me of: ‘what does it mean to be¬†worshippers¬†who worship in spirit and in truth?’

For years, after giving my heart to Jesus, I struggled to say “I love you” to God. Praising God, declaring His goodness, thanking Him, receiving His love for me came a lot easier than ever trying to express my love directly to Him. I could even tell other people how much I loved Him, but when it came to my own conversations with God I would say things like “Lord I am so indebted to you.. thankyou!.. I worship you!” But,”I love you” reminded me that I was often loving Him with only a part of my heart. I knew how deceitful my heart could really be & how much I needed grace! When I came to worship Him, I knew I could be “loving Him more.” He loved me without measure, yet my love for Him was so measured.

This all changed for me one day when our son Reuben was starting to speak & I happened to say to him, (as he’d heard me say many times) “I love you Reuben!” to which he responded “aah wuv youu maww” (translation=i love you more.) His brother Joseph says “I love you more!” when I tell him I love him, and so I knew this was a response Reuben had most likely learnt from listening to his big brother. My response? Well, every parent knows that first moment when their child expresses love for them verbally….you can’t contain yourself!! I scooped Reuben up & hugged & danced & kissed his head & blew raspberries on his tummy… until we were both thoroughly knackered. Then a light switched on in my heart. This is how our Father in heaven feels whenever we (in our broken language) respond with an inaccurate “I love you more” to His perfect “I love you”. He is more overwhelmed with pure joy & delight, than any earthly parent could ever be. (Luke 11: 11-13) In fact, with much excitement & whooping & waling He will eventually silence us with His perfect love.

Now, I know I’m incredibly biased to believe that my kids are the brightest 2 and 4 year olds in the world, however… I’m prepared to bet that although Reuben has experienced love, he doesn’t fully understand what it means to love someone with his whole heart. And that is more than ok. He is loved, and the love of a parent is not conditional upon that child making declarations of love. Whenever they do come however… (even if just repeated without any understanding)… there is nothing but pure delight in any parents heart. Even if it’s been one of ‘those’ days where a child’s behaviour has been challenging… it’s got absolutely nothing to do with behaviour. It’s simply pleasing the heart of God with our words of adoration.

Our amazing family bought me an electric piano years ago, which we then shipped to S.Africa. At night when the kids were asleep, I would sometimes worship with this song as it sums up everything we desired for ourselves, & the children, whilst living in S.Africa.

Abba Father
I fall at your feet
I’ve been forgiven much
I choose to love much
Now I receive
Your full love for me.
 
And I give you 
My trust
I give you it all.
As a Father
You take my hand.
Your arms catch my fall.
 
And it’s not by power
Nor by might,
But Holy Spirit.
Your love in us
Will change 
This world.
 

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