Weekly Overview:This week we'll look at a vital spiritual practice to all those seeking to grow in God: tilling the soil of the heart. Jesus spoke in Matthew 13 of two different types of soil-- hard and soft. God longs for us to till the soil of our hearts that we might be receptive to the seed of his word and bear fruit. May your heart become more responsive to the presence, will and love of God this week as our you cultivate good soil with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Scripture:"Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness." Psalm 29:2
Jesus We Love You by Bethel Music & Paul McClure
Devotional:One of the most powerful ways to till the soil of the heart is through worship. Authentic worship is a powerful exchange of God pouring his love out on us and us giving him our hearts in return. In worship, our hearts naturally become soft and receptive to God's love as we encounter his goodness and engage in adoration of the only One worthy of our affections.
God created music with an innate ability to affect us at our core. Music has the power to fill us with peace, joy and anger, cause tears to well up in our eyes and to even make the most mundane events beautiful. Martin Luther said, "Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us." By consistently engaging in worship through beautiful music, we provide a framework for the Holy Spirit to both till the soil of our hearts and fill us with the seeds of God's presence and perfect character.
The Bible is brimming with admonishment to worship. Paul tells us in Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Hebrews 12:28 says, "Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe." Scripture is so clear about the importance of worship because God longs for us to be a people marked by consistent reminders of his unconditional love. He longs for us to live in response to his presence and plans rather than struggling through life by placing our trust in the world over him.
God longs to reveal his heart to you in worship. He longs to show up and meet you in your room, car, workplace and house of worship. You were created to encounter God and engage in the cyclical act of giving and receiving love throughout your day. When you worship here on earth, you posture your heart towards eternity. Making the willful choice to give your affections to the One you will spend eternity with, you also discover your purpose for which you were made: to live in unhindered communion with your heavenly Father.
If you feel like the soil of your heart is hard, your life isn't marked by the fruit of the Spirit or you can't escape from a temptation-- simply take some time and encounter God in worship. God's presence is wholly available to you today. His love and grace are steadfast towards you. May your time in guided prayer be marked by the nearness and power of the Holy Spirit as you encounter the unconditional love of God.
1. Meditate on what Scripture says about worship and reflect on how beautiful music moves your heart.
"Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations." Psalm 100:1-5
"And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him." 1 Samuel 16:23
2. Engage in worship in whatever way moves your heart. Receive the presence and love of your heavenly Father and give him your heart in response. Remember the importance of giving and receiving love in worship.
"My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!" Psalm 57:7
"I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me." Psalm 13:6
3. Journal about the effects worship has on your heart. Reflecting on and writing down the things God is doing in our lives helps us to actualize that which is often left internal and forgotten.
Psalm 104:33 says, "I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being." Until your life is devoted to worshipping God, you will never find total rest. When we give ourselves to the things of this world it repays us with stress, burden and cares rather than unconditional love. It's only in devoting yourself to God alone that you will find satisfaction and reciprocation for your love. Live today in full devotion to God. Do everything as an act of worship. And find that God repays your adoration ten fold by pouring out his wealth of affection over you. May today be filled with presence and power of God as you give and receive love.