Messy Worship

Oct 10, 2014 | Share, Spark, Start, Strengthen

Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work.
Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the LORD God, my God, is with you.
He will not fail you or forsake you.
He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly.”
1 Chronicles 28:20 NLT

A year or two ago, I learned about a principle called The Golden Circle.  The Golden Circle is a highly effective method of communication that transforms any message into the three-fold life changing experience.  The key is to share information by putting the “why” first, the “how” second, and the “what” third.  If I make it clear in my message why the following information will change your life, then tell you how transformation occurs, whatever I am sharing will become extremely easy to understand and appreciate.

After sharing this concept with a couple friends, they asked me what my biggest WHY is: Why [do I invest in a relationship with] God?

I have wrestled with answering this question in tangible, attractive words for over a year now.  When pressed to give an answer, it is a challenging thing to express.  Why God?  The answer, as simple as it sounds, comes down to mercy.  His mercy.  When I consider God, THE divine creator of the universe, the reason the earth is the exact distance from the sun to sustain and not destroy us, the one known simply as I AM: I am floored that he knows me.  I can’t even figure out my seven steps to Kevin Bacon, let alone get him to call me back, yet GOD spends time with me.  He cares about and for me and offers me a life beyond compare.  How could I be compelled to do anything BUT respond?!

I read the account of King David and his son Solomon again in 1 Chronicles and saw a distinct parallel between it and my WHY.  David had asked God if he could build a Temple for Him as a physical structure in which to honor and worship Him.  God told David “You must not build a temple to honor my name, for you are a warrior and have shed much blood.” (1 Chronicles 28:3) God instead allowed David’s son Solomon to build it.  Solomon was young and inexperienced and about to be handed an enormous amount of responsibility: rule the entire kingdom and build a temple to honor God.  (My pressures as a stay-at-home Mom just shrunk.)  But look at how David addresses his son:

Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous , and do the work.  Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the LORD God, my God, is with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you.  He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly.  (1 Chronicles 28:20)

When I read those words, it’s like David is my father speaking to me.  I am young and inexperienced, just like Solomon was at that time.  I am also given tasks in life that, very often, seem completely insurmountable.  Yet the LORD God is with me.  He will not fail me or forsake me.  He will see to it that all the work related to His Kingdom is finished correctly.  THAT is mercy!  He is with me, keeps me, and allows all my ways in Him to be a success regardless of my proclivity towards the more clumsy, sin-oriented, awkward, insecure parts of life.  He asks me to be part of his perfect existence and vision.

HIS MERCY is why I seek him.

And HIS MERCY is how I find him.

And that makes my response what?

Simply this: MESSY WORSHIP.

No matter how imperfect I am, no matter how messy my attempts at serving God may be, through the perfect mercy of his son, it can be called worship.  Paul said it best in Romans 12:1.

And so, dear Christian friends, I plead with you to give your bodies to God.  Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will accept.  When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?  (Romans 12:1 NLT)

His mercy.  Our response.


Dear Lord, when I consider the fact that you welcome me to be a part of your vision and your eternity, my mind struggles to understand it.  That you, a perfect, Holy God, want me on your team – not as a last pick, but first!  Please let me continue to live my life in response to this gift of mercy and love.  Thank you, Lord.  Amen.

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  1. Connie Zastrow

    Thank you Emily for your awesome blog! So thought provoking! I had not heard of the Golden Circle communication. Is very interesting, and something I will need to try in situations of life.
    In thinking about David’s words here, I look back to a time in my life where I found myself as a single mom raising 4 children! Oh the times I cried out for strength! This passage often came to my mind when I felt I could no longer go on. The definition of strong in secular terms is: able to withstand great force or pressure. When we pray in earnest God most certainly through His Son grants us the ability to withstand the forces and pressures of our sinful world. Without His help, our sinful nature most surely will succumb to the pressures of our sinful world.
    The secular definition for courageous is: not deterred by danger or pain, brave. When we call out to God, He through the Holy Spirit grants us the ability to be brave when we confront the sins of this world, our flesh and the devil. Thinking how His Spirit brought bravery and the ability to withstand pain when I think of the torture and pain so many martyrs went through, I believe they could not have withstood the pain had they not been held up by God’s mercy!Through Jesus suffering and Resurrection we can be brave in facing sin. Once again, we see how through His word God reaches out to us to lean totally on Him. The strength and ability to be courageous are sure to be ours when we place all our trust in Him!

    • messyworship

      I cannot even imagine the strength it took to raise four on your own! I love how you have allowed your life circumstances to shape you beyond your own abilities. You are totally right – we [alone] are not strong enough for the great force and pressures of this life. I never read the dictionary definition of “courageous” before your comment, either. Very insightful to consider that – NOT DETERRED – I love it. We still see the sin, we still face the sin, yet we are not deterred by it [with God].
      Our place in the body is a very present source of strength and courage, as well. We do not have to be strong ALONE and we do not have to have courage ALONE. God gave us a place among family – we are his sons and daughters, all each other’s brothers and sisters. What a cool community we have surrounding us. Thanks for being a part of my family. I love you, sister.


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