Spiritual Formation — practices and habits that help us become more like Jesus — is what we’re talking about at Portage Free Methodist right now. We stated yesterday with the spiritual discipline of Worship.
M. Robert Mulholland defines Spiritual Formation as a process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others. Worship forms us into the image of Christ.
Many people have defined worship, including this guy (points to self). I owe my own thought development to countless books, articles, professors, pastors, and worship leaders who have influenced me over the years.
The definition I’m working with right now goes like this:
Worship is the full response of our full lives to the full revelation of Father, Son, and Spirit.
- Worship is a response, meaning that God moves first, not us (grace)
- God has revealed Himself to us as a community of Father, Son, Spirit (trinity)
- We respond, not half-heartedly, but fully. We are giving everything back to the one who gave us everything to begin with. (sacrifice)
Worship is a daily personal and (at least) weekly communal spiritual discipline. As a weekly discipline, we submit to the Lord and one another through worship together, aka “going to church”. As a daily personal discipline, we spend time in the presence of God, not conjuring his presence but becoming aware of it as we seek him in spirit and truth.
Spending daily time in God’s presence changes our perspective.
- We are born into our own perspective. Throughout every moment of our lives, we are pulled to see things from our own angle. When we focus our attention on God, we see things from His perspective instead.
- The way God sees me, my situation, my family, the people I serve, my past, present, and future, etc. is remarkably different from how I see it.
- When we worship, we get a glimpse of the eternal, which makes molehills out of mountains, pushes pride and envy aside as ridiculous, and reminds us that we were never in control to begin with, anyway 🙂
Five minutes. Start with just five minutes in God’s presence every day. Consider His attributes: good, gracious, holy, powerful, compassionate. Consider His rule and reign: King, Lord, Majestic. Consider His love: everlasting, perfect, self-giving.
Talk to Him about these things. Realize these things. And watch: the world will look different.