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June 12, 2007 / David Lindner

Letting Self Get In The Way of Worship

Last week I was talking about how some things in our attitude could be a hindrance to worshipping God. This week as I’ve been thinking about worship, I am recalling a talk that I had with my brother a couple of days ago. We were talking about a certain problem that we know of, and from what we can see the problem sustains itself because the people involved are refusing to die to themselves. We can see that if they were to get self out of the way, this problem could be resolved and people could get on with their lives. But, there is that problem of self, and it keeps getting in the way.

As I thought more about this, I started thinking about how my self gets in the way of my worship. It could be any number of things within us that may be a roadblock in our worship, but there are so many problems that we allow to be in ourselves that if we could simply lay them aside would no longer be a hindrance to our worship.

Most importantly I would like to talk about dying to oneself. We’ve all heard various scriptures on this topic through our lives, but how many of them sink in. Think of these listed below:

Romans 12:3: “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

John 12:23-26: 23Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

Philippians 1:21: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

What kind of Chord does that first Scripture strike. I’ve heard it many times, but how many times have I let thinking too highly of myself get in the way of my relationship with God, thus affecting my worship of him?

And how about the passage from John: Unless I die (to myself) I will not be able to produce (evangelize)? Isn’t that what our lives are all about? A large part of our purpose is the Great Commission, yet I cannot fulfill this commission if I am letting myself get in the way.

Have you ever had this thought? “God, please don’t let me die yet. I still want to do (Whatever it may be that I want to do: Get married, have kids, see the Bengals win a Superbowl) before I die.” What a selfish thought. This clearly defines our purpose in life at the time of that statement. At that point in time we aren’t here to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives, but our own.

And think about this last one, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” I have often prayed to be like Paul, to have that kind of passion driving my life. Once Paul was converted, his single most important pursuit of his life became Christ. It was within the name of Christ that Paul found his reason for living. And his passion is so strong, and his mind so strongly focuses on the goal (the right goal, not his own personal goal) that he is happy in life and death. He is happy to live on and continue to pursue Christ and share Christ, and he is happy to die and reach his goal of being with Christ.

Maybe it’s time for us to do some self-examination. I know in my life, I certainly don’t compare to Paul.

So what’s your point David? My point is that the way we live our daily lives will have a direct impact on our daily worship. Our daily worship has a direct impact on our corporate worship. And our corporate worship has a direct impact on our church. In times of prayer we beg the Lord to bring new souls to the church to hear the Gospel, yet many times we aren’t living out the Gospel in our daily lives. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone, getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life and not taking enough time for what’s really important.

So this week as we all worship together, let’s do some thinking about self and how self gets in the way of our worship of God. Am I living for me or am I living for Christ?

Nothing can some up my thoughts better than an old song from David Meece. I will leave you with the words to his Song: “We are the Reason” from his 1980 Album, “Are You Ready?” I just ask you to ask yourself one question: “What is MY reason for living?”

We Are The Reason
As little children we would dream of Christmas mornAnd all the gifts and toys we knew we’d findBut we never realized a baby born one blessed nightGave us the greatest gift of our livesAnd we were the reason that He gave His lifeWe were the reason that He suffered and diedTo a world that was lost He gave all He could giveTo show us the reason to liveAs the years went by we learned more about giftsAnd giving of ourselves and what that meansOn a dark and cloudy day a man hung crying in the rainBecause of love, because of loveAnd we are the reason that He gave His lifeWe are the reason that He suffered and diedTo a world that was lost He gave all He could giveTo show us the reason to liveI finally found the reason for livingIt’s in giving every part of my heart to HimIn all that I do every word that I sayI’ll be giving my all just for HimFor HimAnd we are the reason that He gave His lifeWe are the reason that He suffered and diedTo a world that was lost He gave all He could giveTo show us the reason to liveHe is my reason to live

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