When worship is a ’10′

I’ve got emailed this byte size sermon called a “Devotional” by John Fischer. It was fantastic as I’ve felt this way for long, had a burning desire to write about this but I could have never expressed myself so well.
I often wondered why I don’t pray as ‘hard’ as other christians…now I know it is because (in my case anyway, and everyone is different) limited praying has given way to this bigger relationship that is going on all day, everyday. Or, in the words of Fischer:

How many different ways are there to worship God? Probably as many ways as there are people who worship him, because worship is primarily a relationship shaped by who we are. Worship is the shape of your life lived in awareness of God. It is uniquely your – a reflection of your personality, your gifts, your needs, and your passions. Your worship has your own stamp on it.

We are so used to thinking of worship as a corporate, unified thing that we reduce it to a shared experience of songs, liturgies, and orderly services. This, of course, is a part of worship, but it is not the whole thing. It isn’t even the half of it.

Worship is ultimately a state of mind. In its broadest sense, it is the totality of our relationship with God. It involves talking to him, listening for him, and looking for him behind the scenes of things. It is being aware of his presence and acknowledging and evaluating his purposes in all we do. It is chatting with him – reacting to the world around us and imagining his reaction. It is getting familiar with him through his Word so that we begin to know how he thinks and feels about things. It is, in its simplest form, a God consciousness that permeates everything we do.

In an interview once, a pastor asked me to put my relationship with God on a scale of one to 10 – 10 being warm, close, and in fellowship. I thought about the apparent arrogance of putting this at a 10, but then I realized 10 was the right answer, not because I had arrived at some superior spiritual status that warrants it, but because I live a life of such quiet desperation that I am constantly in relationship with God out of necessity. I am conscious of God all the time because I have to be or I fly apart at the center. I have nothing to hold onto without him. I know myself well enough to know that if I am not living my relationship with God at a “10,” I am living in some form of lie or denial. My need for him is the bedrock truth of the matter.

That is what worship is to me. And here is how worship affects me:
“To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, and to devote the will to the purpose of God.” (The late William Temple, archbishop of Canterbury)

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