- Tara Joy Larrick
Who are you really worshiping? Reset your heart and home in 3 steps.
It happens so subtly, in the midst of taking care of the long to do list that has to be done, watching tv, scrolling our newsfeed throughout the day to "relax", or desiring the "perfect" home renovations; slowly our priorities begin to shift, our eyes come off of our Messiah and onto worldly things. Have you experienced this? I have been struggling with this recently - pushing off much needed time with God because I am worshiping and pursuing other things. I, of course, wouldn't tell you I am bowing down to my phone, my business and coveting things that I do not need because it would make me happy.
No. That's not worship right? I am just busy. Overwhelmed in this current season of child-rearing, taking care of my husband and home on top of running my own business. Too busy to slow down for anything or anyone. Hm...
Well, what is worship? I attended a women's conference at my church recently where we talked all about worship. It was defined as:
"an estimation of worth or capacity in comparison to other things."
That was a sword straight to my heart, if I was to look at my priorities (my day to day actions) would it say that Yahweh is worth more or less than my work, television, social media and other pursuits? Would it say that the children Yahweh has blessed me with are being shown how to love and worship Him? My heart breaks over the reality that I have created for myself. What about you? If you were to look at your day to day activities, thoughts, and priorities, would you be worshiping God more or less than other things? Would you be pursuing things God has called you or your own wants?
It's easy to make excuses and to rationalize it but, really looking inward at our own heart - are we really worshiping Yah all day? Are the choices we make training our kids to worship and know God more? Psalm 115: 4 and 8 (ESV) says:
4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. 8 Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them.
A good litmus test is: are we worshipping and becoming more righteous like Christ? Or are we worshipping worldly things that don't last and can be destroyed? Are we bathing ourselves and our families in the truth of God's word? Or are we showering them with fear of current events and to not trust God in everything? If you are feeling like I did at the beginning of my realization that my worship has gone askew and are heavy hearted. Good! We need to be sorrowful over our sin! If we truly love God our sins against him should hurt our heart - because it leads to repentance. Praise YAH that this is not the end of the story! Yeshua died on the cross for all of our sins.
John 10: 9-11 (TLV) says:
9 I am the gate! If anyone comes in through Me, he will be saved. He will come and go and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly! 11“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
We are not lost in our sin - we have the free gift of forgiveness through our Messiah's sacrifice on the cross. PRAISE YAHWEH! So what can we do? How can we throw off all of the sin that so easily entangles us? How can we stop worshipping worldly, created things?
1. Identify all of the ways we are putting our hope, trust and worship into things that are not God.
After looking hard at my daily routines and the routines of my kids, I have noticed that television and video games for them has become more common than saturating them in the word and teaching them how to worship throughout the day. As I am the one that Yah entrusted, to guide them in the truth and demonstrate how to worship, I and my husband are the ones responsible for implementing that. The kids being with me majority of the time, I far to often bend to what is easily entertaining so that I can focus in what I want to get done.... ouch. Am I really modeling worshiping, serving and obeying Yahweh? Or am I modeling how to worship the god of SELF.... ugh. Its heart looking deeply at our own sinful nature. Praise God for his new mercies every morning.
How are you worshiping other things in your life over God? Take a deep and raw look at the truth. Then let's go to step number 2.
2. Repent to God and Others
Luke 22: 31-34 says:
31 “Simon, Simon! Indeed, satan has demanded to sift you all like wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back (emphasis added), strengthen your brothers.” 33 But Simon said to Him, “Master, I am ready to go with You even to prison and to death!” 34 But Yeshua said, “I tell you, Peter, a rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.”
Peter told Yeshua that He would never abandon or deny him. Surely not one of the dearly loved disciples who was in the physical presence of the Messiah would deny knowing him. If he denied Jesus 3 times in a row, certainly we would as well. BUT GOD! I think we often overlook the emphasized part "when you have turned back". Yeshua knew that Peter would be sorrowful when that rooster crowed and TURN BACK away from that sin - at which he can then follow the command of strengthening his brothers. We hurt God's fatherly heart when we sin against him in disobedience, but all he wants is for us to turn back to him.
Oh Abba, Yahweh, I realize how I have been ignoring our relationship and worshiping other things. Created things. Forgive me for showing my children to do the same, please forgive me and guide me to adjust our lives to worship and honor you. Help me be a good steward of all that you have given me.
Next, we need to repent to those that we have hurt in our lives due to that sin. In my case, I needed to apologize to my husband and my children for not prioritizing my relationship with God and them before my own "to-do list" and allowing my attitude to rule my behavior towards them.
3. Create a simple action plan (with your family)
I am pretty horrible about holding myself accountable. If I was, I wouldn't have to reset my heart and home to worship God, right? I know the right thing to do and then... don't do it! Ugh, I know I am not alone in that struggle. All sin should be brought to the light and Yahweh did not design us to go through life alone without community. The best way to do this is by simple small steps created with those who will in fact check in and hold us accountable. In this instance, I went to my husband and told him how I have been struggling with this specific sin. As well as highlighted some changes that I would like to make, for example, starting our day with worship music and not television for the kids. Then I added a routine to our handy-dandy Alexa to start are day off right at 7:30 AM which includes the weather for the day, my daily scheduled events and then playing worship music. This may be a simple thing to do, but it has so far created a warm home focusing our thoughts on worshiping Yahweh and not immediately numbing our brains with screens.
It is a subtle reminder of what my priorities should be set for during the day. Some can be crazy when managing a household and raising 3 kids, but the music sets our hearts to look up and focus on who we trust to hold the day in his hands: Yahweh, creator of all. I don't have it all figured out, but I pray daily that God will guide my heart and day. Then I trust that He will, and ask for forgiveness when I don't.