The Way from Weary to Worship is the Restored Life

The Way from Weary to Worship is the Restored Life

Surely goodness and mercy follow me
Every moment I will dwell with You
You restore my soul
I’m Yours alone, Oh King of glory
When dark gives way to light
Your hope will rise, Oh King of glory

{lyrics by All Sons & Daughters}

When I first received a vision for this series six months ago in the Spring of 2017, I had a vision of doing a word study. I began praying about what it would look like and prayed specifically for the exact word themes to focus on. Gradually more clarity formed in my mind, including the four words we used in this study: wait, hidden, carry, rest.

I reached out to women within my circle of ministry as well as friends and readers to get a feel for the needs of my audience. The overarching theme has been weariness, including more balance in life and longing for closeness with God. As I prayed about the direction of these devotional word studies, I asked the Lord where he wanted to take us?

Overwhelmingly I had a sense that the answer to our weariness and our quest for balance is rest. Essentially the source of true rest is Jesus Christ. He is the answer to everything our hearts desire, what our souls hunger for. And the path to rest is the way of worship. We bring our weakness, our sickness, our brokenness, and lay them down at the feet of Jesus in humble submission to receive His perfect peace and rest.

Perhaps the most astonishing thing I learned through the process of writing this series from Weary to Worship is in recognizing the Lord as the God of restoration. From the beginning in the Garden to the life of Jesus…from the time of my birth until the day of my re-birth in Christ, God’s plan has always been one of restoring his creation to himself.

Most significantly, He is in all ways working to restore us, his children, into right relationship with our heavenly Father. Where sin and law drive a wedge between us and our Father, the Son became the bridge for all to cross in order to restore our relationship with God. Hallelujah!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

The hardest discovery is that the process of my restoration begins with my undoing. Yet I am filled with hope as the Holy Spirit unravels my tangled mess, and I am undone by the goodness and love of my Savior. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Romans 5:5 NLT).

When I am weak in my physical body and broken in spirit, this is the condition when I begin to give testimony to the power of worship in the process of renewal. Worship is an act of complete surrender of myself, laying on the alter anything that hinders my faith to lift up the Lord Jesus as my focus in worship and the Father who sent Him. We are given access to enter into the throne room of grace through the power of the Holy Spirit and the ministry of His comfort in our hearts and minds.

Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

{PSALM 51:16-17 MSG}

I have discovered that my weariness is the perfect ingredient for worship. If I come revived in my own strength and limited power, then what I give is noise at best, a display of my own works, what I can do for Him. Performance based works fall short of our truest worship. We bring our whole selves, all our faults and failures, and give praise for the forgiveness of sins. We worship Christ for being sufficient for all that we need. We worship through the Spirit and in the truth of His word. We worship the Father in the beauty of holiness!

The most beautiful offering I bring to worship is my wrecked-up self, humbled in the presence of my Savior.

When I bring my whole self as a sacrifice of worship, this is the most sacred act. It is the act of acknowledging my death, the death of self, that allows me to enter in to new life with the resurrected Christ.

Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it…But look for Christ and you will find Him and with Him everything else thrown in. –C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Death is where restoration begins. Yet as Margaret Feinberg so aptly poses, how often do we miss finding God in the graveyard?

Ten years ago my family stared death in the face of our younger brother in the most hopeless of all scenarios.  When a young person reaches the end of their rope and hell strangles out hope, the living try desperately to breathe life into dry bones. How then does one believe in the promise of restoration and new life?

We went to the graveyard with our questions, “Lord if you had been here, our brother would not have died.” Even then I was on a quest to find life. Like Martha at the tomb of Lazarus, I have said to Jesus, “But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” I was searching for the mystery of the resurrected life. I was dying for rebirth.

As Martha acknowledges her faith that the dead will rise again in the last day, Jesus assures her: “I am the resurrection and the life.” {JOHN 11:25}

So rather than spend my strength screaming at dry bones, I turned to face Jesus, the breath of life. I brought all my “whys” and wonderings to him and found my life was all along hidden in Christ.

Photo by Ruben Engel on Unsplash

He didn’t have to, but he answered me in the form of a new promise. Months after the loss of our brother, God sent me a dream. He had brought her to me, a baby girl, wrapped in the fabric of that vivid dream so that I would know the glory of God when the miracle came.

For three more years I waited and prayed into that promise. When we lost our first pregnancy, the Lord had given me a stone of remembrance in Psalm 40. The promise was of a new song, a resurrection song. Within the fullness of my womb he created life, a new baby girl. God was breathing His life and into our hearts and our home. He was restoring our joy in a most simple demonstration of His power to restore life from death, joy from mourning, beauty from the ashes.

In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. {1 PETER 5:10}

Just as Jesus had called Lazarus to arise from the dead and come out of the tomb, so He was calling me to step out of the darkness and into the light of His grace. He was calling me out of hiding and giving me freedom to bare the scars of my story for his glory. He was sending me an invitation to carry my burdens up to the Cross, with all my sins and shame. Then He welcomed me to set down the heavy things and enter in to true rest with Him, where He renews my strength and restores my soul.

Now, I offer that same invitation to you. The way from weary to worship is the Jesus way: from death to life. From waiting to worship. From hiding to finding ourselves in Him. From carrying our burdens to breakthrough. From the wreckage to being fully restored.

Are you ready to answer His call? He is calling you to come out of the tomb today.

The Bible says that God demonstrated His great love for us while we were still sinners and Jesus died for us. He is inviting you to step out of the dark and into His love light. Are you ready to receive the fullness of life in Jesus Christ?

If you answered yes, then I want to invite you to pray this simple prayer:

Lord God,

I acknowledge my brokenness before you. I am ready to hand over my sin and shame and receive true forgiveness. Thank you for your death on the cross and rising again to give me new life. I want to find my life in You. Please redeem me, heal me, restore me into right relationship with you, God. I give my heart to you in Jesus’s name. Amen.

For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. {ROMANS 5:10}

 

Photo by Adrian on Unsplash

Leave a Reply