Hi, friends: I’m excited to announce that Morgan James Publishing will publish my new book on worship later this year. Details on the release date will be coming soon.
In many cities and towns in the United States there will be magnificent fireworks displays this week. My wife and I have fond memories of our family going to see 4th of July fireworks displays on land and even from boats. As beautiful as they are, fireworks are quickly here and gone, like eye candy. Authentic worship in which God inhabits our praises can be even more beautiful, breathtaking, and life changing than the best of man-made displays. Best of all, it is eternal.
Terri Marshall put it this way:
“Sparks and fire works: They attract us, excite us, and bring us together. They are fascinating and breathtaking to us. They remind us of freedom and glory. Sound familiar? When we worship God with our hearts, spirit, and voices we create sparks of many colors. We close the circuit between God and us, then spiritual electricity and energy follows. We remember His glory and His sacrifice for our freedom. We are lifted up in joy while simultaneously bowing down in adoration. We are filled with wonder at all God has done in creation and all He is. Gratitude fills us with the remembrance of the many gifts He has showered on us. We have plugged into the supreme power source.”
Since there are a number of people who have recently joined this blog I’m re-posting a blog from January called “Fueled By”. I pray that during the remaining days of summer we’ll make the choice to get-refueled by God so His power and glory will be on display in and through us!
Anyone who serves as a pastor or worship leader will admit that, for all the wonder of the season and amazing worship experiences, December is also an exhausting and emotionally draining month. Earlier this month I hit the wall hard after an intense December. I felt like my personal fuel gauge was hovering dangerously close to empty, like the lyrics from the Katie Perry song “Firework”
“Do you ever feel Feel so paper-thin
Like a house of cards One blow from caving in”
It was definitely time to get re-charged. So with only a few days of R&R to spare my wife, two daughters, a family friend and I headed to Florida, which is the place we go to get refreshed.
One morning I decided to wake up at 4:30 in the morning (arrgghh!). I quietly got dressed, slipped out the door, took our hotel elevator downstairs and walked out in front of the hotel to peer into the dark, eastern sky. There were a couple hotel workers who probably thought I was crazy going out into what Floridians called a “cold” night (low 50s).
A few minutes later, I saw the mid-horizon clouds reflect a brilliant light, and soon saw what looked like an upside-down candle rise from the horizon and head into the northeast. It was, in fact, the Space X rocket taking off and heading towards the international space station. The entire sky was illuminated and for a moment the world seemed brighter and warmer.
It was very cool.
I was again reminded of the Katy Perry song:
‘Cause baby, you’re a firework
Come on show them what you’re worth
Make them go, “Oh, oh, oh”
As you shoot across the sky
As I watched the light of the rocket continue to rise and become like a twinkling star, I also remembered the words of Jesus:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
At that moment the rocket faded from view, I reflected on two insights I gained outside a Florida Hotel on a cold, early January morning:
- First, the rocket can’t do anything by itself. It is directed to perform a mission by a force outside itself that designed and built it for a specific purpose. Similarly since God designed and created each of us for a special role and purpose in His plan, a life of worship acknowledges and yields to His direction for our lives.
- Second, what makes the rocket ascend and light up the sky is the fuel inside it, not just the mechanisms of the rocket itself. Paul stated that with God is working in us we will live and act for his good purposes and shine like stars in the world that can be cold and dark … (see Philippians 2:12-15) just like that January morning in Florida .
An important act of worship is allowing God to fuel and re-fuel us, so that when the time is right, when God deems us ready for the unique times and places He has placed us, He will ignite the fire and bring the light of His presence in us into the dark places around us.
Let’s worship God by allowing Him to prepare and fuel us for His next “mission”… Cause baby, we’re God’s fireworks!
I appreciate the great response to this blog, and appreciate your sharing it with others. Please leave comments on the Facebook page and I’ll try responding to them.
I hope this inspires you to live a life of worship to God!
Blessings to you.
WILHELM, SANDY / ERIKSEN, MIKKEL / HERMANSEN, TOR / DEAN, ESTHER / PERRY, KATY
Published by Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Peermusic Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., DOWNTOWN MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC