“You are what you love” says James K.A Smith. We are defined not so much by what we think, or what we say we believe. We are defined by what we love, what we long for. Our lives are pulled along by our desires, our affections, our longings. We are fundamentally lovers.
Jesus wants more than just our minds. He wants or hearts. He wants our affections. And we want to give him those affections. But we don’t always know how. We want what we want, and we can’t just choose to desire something or someone we don’t desire.
But we can cultivate our desires and our longings. You can learn to love broccoli. You can come to appreciate exercise – even get addicted to it. And we can grow our love for God as well. How do we do that? Worship. By the practice of worship.
If you haven’t already, watch the sermon below to learn more about the importance of worship in our day to day lives as followers of Jesus.
Worship of God is a matter of the heart. The only worship that matters to God is the worship that comes from the heart. Jesus quoted Isaiah “These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Matthew 15:8)
So the question is “What practices allow you to experience true worship?” Do you find you are grateful to God and truly worshipping God while singing worship music? Do you find your love for God growing while at a worship service? Does your affection for God grow through imaginative meditation on the stories in the gospels? Does music help you pray? Do you truly worship God out in his creation?
Most of us are in the rhythm of Sunday morning communal worship. If you can give your heart to God during a church service – that’s great. If that’s the case, this practice is already built into your regular rhythms. But if you find you can’t give you heart to God Sunday mornings, then explore other ways to worship him – meditative prayer, gratitude, involving music, or seeking him out in the creation.