Hello, my friends! I will be talking about a life of worship and my book “The Isaiah Encounter” with Susie Larson on her program “ Live The Promise” on October 28th
Here’s the link to her show page where you can find more information:
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I appreciate you all!

This week I’m sharing my song “Jordan Dream” that further explores the topic of this blog. Enjoy!

A little over a week ago I had the privilege of leading worship with members of the Minnesota Association of Christian Counselors.  Not only did I sense God’s presence moving in a powerful way during worship, but also in the people who shared their stories and powerful ministries during the day. At one point I had a conversation with a professional who shared her heart for God and the people she served. She went on to told me about the hard but fulfilling work she was doing with people coming out of incredibly difficult circumstances. As I listened to her, I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to pray for her and all the dedicated professionals who stand on the front lines with people struggling with addictions, post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, and more.

Then she asked me a question I’ve never heard before:

“How long have you been a worshiper?”

I paused a moment to reflect and then answered that I have been a worshiper all my life.  However, I went on to tell her; it wasn’t until I was a young man that, by God’s grace, I came to worship the One True God, in the person of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Before then I bowed to all kinds of other things that Scripture rightly calls false gods. Bob Dylan put it this way:

“You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”

The false god I worshiped—the one at the center of my universe—was me.  Before God, I tried digging wells of success, approval from others, self-righteousness, selfish desires, and more.  I always came away empty and disappointed.

The re-orientation of the center of the universe from me to God took place the moment I encountered Jesus Christ and gave Him permission to fill and change me from the inside out by His resurrected power. Even today God continues to transform me from the person I once was to the person he designed me to be!

The further I travel through life, the more convinced I become that we were designed to be worshipers of God.  But there was a point long ago when we humans bought the enemy’s lie and made the fatal decision to try to raise ourselves to the level of gods—this was what the Bible calls the fall, that tragic moment when humans and all creation became separated from God. Since that time there has remained a spiritual “genetic” flaw in our very nature that drives us to try to fill our God-given hunger for worship with anything BUT God.   The Israelites tried digging their own wells in the wilderness, wells that proved to be dry and pointless.  Their own efforts to enter into the Promised Land—apart from God—led to failure and years of wandering. It was God alone who provided water to the Israelites from the rocks in the wilderness, and ultimately opened the Jordan River by His power so these thirsty, weary people could enter the Promised Land God wanted them to experience.

The same thing happens in our lives today. Many of the problems we face today come as the result of worshiping at the altar of ourselves, trying to dig our own wells that are barren and empty, and trying to enter a promised land apart from God, resulting in years of wandering in the wilderness of defeat and confusion.  Misguided self-worship not only damages ourselves, but also causes hurt and pain in other people.

The solution to this problem is both amazingly simple and strikingly challenging:  Jesus Christ is the only answer to our thirst, the only key to entry into God’s promised land, and the only One worthy of our worship. Apart from him we remain apart from God and desperately lost. In Him we have a future of perfect peace and fulfillment as both a beloved child and loving worshiper.

It’s up to each of us to answer the question that arises from Bob Dylan’s words:

“Who are you gonna serve?”

God bless you.

Chris Atkins

Please share a link to this blog with a friend, and check out my new book “The Isaiah Encounter: Living An Everyday Life of Worship” at Barnes and Noble and Amazon:

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