We've been spending some time in Psalm 4, learning from King David as he reacts to the hardships of life in a fallen world. If you've missed any devotionals, you can always catch up at www.PaulTripp.com/Wednesday.
This week I want to write to you about a word I think is poorly used and misunderstood in modern Christianity. It’s the word worship.
When we talk about worship, here’s what typically comes to mind – a Sunday morning gathering where we dress up, sing songs, give money, and take notes during a sermon.
There’s much to gain from that type of setting; I refer to it as ‘corporate worship’ and think it’s very necessary for the Christian life to be filled with gatherings, songs, and teaching. But, the Bible would define worship in a deeper way, one that happens more than just weekly in an organized environment.
Worship, according to Scripture, is an ongoing captivation of the heart that overflows into your life to produce desire, word, and deed. Everybody worships all the time. The question is: who, or what, is your heart captivated by that results in specific desire, word, and deed?
Now, listen to what David says in Psalm 4:5 - "Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord." David's heart is clearly captivated by God. We don't know specifically what sacrifices David will make or how he will practically put his trust in the Lord, but we know where his heart is - captivated by his heavenly Father.
Context is key in this Psalm. Remember, David isn't experiencing blessing and prosperity; David is facing terrible hardship and suffering. Yet, in the midst of his situation, his heart is still captivated by the things of God.
How often is that untrue of us? I'll be honest - my heart is quickly captivated by other things when trial comes my way. Conversely, my heart feels more captivated by God when I experience his blessing. It's what I call 'conditional worship' - as long as God is good to me, I'll be captivated by him. What a mess!
David shows us that we can experience trial and still be deeply captivated by God. In fact, I think worship is rarely sweeter and more heartfelt than in times of trial, because when suffering enters your door, God is often in the process of removing physical treasures that compete with himself for the captivation of your heart.
Could it be that the trial you're experiencing is meant by God to produce a deeper worship in you than ever before? There's nothing in this world that can satisfy your soul like Jesus, so the most loving thing your Savior could do is take away those things that provide false hope.
Paul David Tripp
- What do your desires, words, and deeds reveal about the captivation of your heart?
- Why is your heart continually captivated by the things of this world?
- What does Jesus provide in full that those things can only provide in part (if at all)?
- What has suffering revealed about the captivation of your heart?
- How can you minister to those who are suffering? Be specific and practical, then go do it!