Pure Praise – Week #3

“Find me a worshiper of God, and I will show you a stable man with his mind in control, ready to meet the present hour with refreshment from above.” – Dan Dehaan (The God You Can Know)

I think I mentioned in my first post on the book “Pure Praise” that I am currently taking an Online Worship Leader Class taught by Dwayne Moore. It’s been an eye-opening experience. I believe God is using this book, this class and all of the worship team at Academy to do a work of renewal in my spirit. As part of the requirements for Dwayne’s class I had to read Dan Dehaan’s book “The God You Can Know.” It really was an outstanding book focusing mainly on the contents of this week’s study from PP. If you found yourself longing to know more about God and His attributes as described in the readings for the week, then I strongly encourage you to go to Amazon and buy “The God You Can Know.” It will challenge and stretch your understanding as well as your response to God.

On page 52 Dwayne writes: As we get to know God through our fellowship with and worship of him, we begin to realize several benefits. Granted, we should worship the Lord simply because he demands, desires, and deserves it. However, there are some fantastic ‘perks’ to loving and knowing our heavenly Father. In The God You Can Know (Moody Publishers, 2001), Dan DeHaan lists several of these benefits. Just try and wrap your mind around this list:”

Here’s the list and some of my thoughts following each one:

  • Character Development – As a result of this study, I personally have a renewed interest in my own heart and mind to grow more like God, which requires a renewed commitment to the study of God’s Word and to prayer. Dwayne recommends memorizing 2 Corinthians 3:18. Here’s what it says – “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” My goal: people have to wear sunglasses when they look at me because the glory of the Lord is just too bright! (LOL) That comes from being present with God continually.
  • Freedom from intimidation – Colossians 2:6-7 talks about Christ-followers being “rooted and built up in [Jesus] and established in the faith.” In my mind I picture the giant redwoods in Northern California. I’ll never forget traveling through there in the summer of 1990 with the Continental Singers. I grew up in the desert of Arizona so I’d never seen anything like it! That’s an image of maturity, strength, and perseverance that I strive for – to be deeply rooted and strengthened in the solid foundation of God’s truth, unintimidated by the storms of this life. As my faith grows, so I grow. Maturity doesn’t come with a degree from college. It comes through perseverance. See James 1:2-4.
  • Compassion – With a stronger awareness of God’s character and a deeper longing to follow Him wherever He would lead, we no longer have to “work up a burden” (Moore, p. 52) for those who don’t know God. Instead we become fully aware of God’s heart as a Father to His children, and we naturally get swept up in caring for what He cares about – people and justice.
  • True satisfaction in God – Let’s unpack this piece together. Read what Dwayne Moore has to say on page 53: “Too often we begin to depend on our successes or other people’s opinions to fulfill us. More and more we base our contentment on something other than God. It’s no wonder that some people become disillusioned with ministry and fall into affairs or become obsesses with climbing the corporate ladder or drift away from the church.” I certainly don’t think we drift away from God intentionally. It’s a subtle shift, something we think we can contain and control, but it has the potential to ignite a spark that will eventually burn our house down. Coming back to a place of true satisfaction in God is a powerful moment in worship. I’ve witnessed it and I’ve experienced it personally! To be able to sing that our God is more than enough…and mean it. WOW! I believe that one statement would have a monumental effect on the church if it were true. But the question needs to be answered by each of us individually. Is God “more than enough” as evidenced by our attitudes and our actions?

Thanks for going through this study with me. I believe it has the potential to create a seismic impact on our team. May we be OVERWHELMED by our God’s grace, faithfulness, steadfast love, mercy, sovereignty, and so much more. May our worship reflect our encounters with God. May we illumine God as we “shine like stars” to the praise of His glory and grace! Amen.


6 thoughts on “Pure Praise – Week #3

  1. “To be able to sing that our God is more than enough…and mean it.”
    I am definitely not there in my heart. I’m there in my mind most of the time…I can reason myself into thinking that God is and should be enough. And I can look at other peoples situations and circumstances and I can see where a lack of contentment is missing or off center. But I don’t deal well with my own, even when my head tells me God and His love should be enough, my heart screams NO, IT’S NOT! Why does the world have to be so darn tempting?

    1. Check out this quote, Bryan! I just heard it and I think it applies to your comment: “The weakness of our hunger for God is not because He is unsavory but because we keep ourselves stuffed with other things” – John Piper

  2. This is a great opportunity for me to THANK YOU, Adam, for guiding us to this study. I’m using it in several ways, and I needed it!

    Adam, I can’t help thinking that you know your shepherd so well that you know how, when, where to ask Him to be ENOUGH! (Am I jumping ahead to week 4?) Well, I’m thrilled that God is using all this study for your edification and …inspiration!

    I often can’t remember when to ask Him specifically to provide what I need when I need it. Dang! Yesterday when I was dealing with an autistic boy yelling and hollering, I forgot to drop to my knees!

    Prayer request: My work dilemma: My boss doesn’t want me to talk about God in therapy, unless a patient asks for prayer, yet so many of the difficulties/patients I work with would really benefit from praying and a God perspective. I really need God’s guidance about how to help patients who need spiritual help. I need reminders that I can pray for them at other times than during their therapy session, and God will still find the perfect way to do the work!

    Here’s a really cool occurrence from my work yesterday: The little girl I was treating (5 y.o., wears a uniform shirt from Catholic school) was talking about toys, and it reminded me of all that the people of Sendai, Japan have lost. I mentioned that to her, and she said, “Will you help me pray for those kids?” (She was already on her knees with her hands clasped. — adorable!) So we prayed together, and then went back to picking little tiny gameboard pieces out for strengthening her hand muscles. Boy, what a lift! Thank you, God!

    Sorry, y’all. This was probably a little OT, but every time I study, this subject keeps coming back to me!

    Lesly

    1. Lesly, I’m so glad you are getting a lot out of this study. Worship is a big subject – it’s a lot more encompassing than just singing a few songs on Sunday, isn’t it? I think a proper understanding of worship is a key component of our “spiritual formation” as Christ-followers. Further still, our understanding of God is what provokes ANY kind of response in us. And our proper response to God (worship) is a critical component in who we “become” through the power of the Holy Spirit. I don’t know if that makes complete sense or not. I’m just really glad you are taking this book seriously and seeing it affect you in your “daily worship” which is loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. I’ll pray for you to discern when a patient needs you to share Christ’s love directly. That was a really great story about the 5 year old girl praying with you for the kids in Japan. Thank God indeed!!! AO

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