Pastor Miles began today’s message by sharing some of his NFL training experience. Playing in the NFL required concentrated preparation. Not only did he and his teammates have to study a very intensive playbook, they took written exams 2-3 times per week to learn about the opposing team and the players’ tendencies and skills in order to mentally prepare for game day. They warmed up and practiced every day, preparing their bodies for the stress that would be placed on them at game time. They listened to motivational speakers that would prepare their hearts for competition. All of these regimens helped them to prepare for whatever would happen during the game so that they would do whatever was necessary to win.
We need to prepare ourselves at the beginning of every day so that our whole day of life can be an act of worship to God.
As Christians, we need to prepare ourselves to worship God. Some of us come to church without feeling worshipful. As we see others worshiping, we ourselves may be thinking about a relationship conflict, financial issues, or other cares of the word that distract us from seeing the greatness of God. These distractions can be powerful, so we need to prepare ourselves at the beginning of every day so that our whole day of life can be an act of worship to God.
Worship is a response of respect at the revelation of God. We want to be ready at any time to respond to God in a way that He deserves. But how do we prepare to worship?
Ezra was a priest in the Old Testament whose purpose was to inspire God’s people to worship Him again. He did this by first preparing himself:
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel. Ezra 7:10
We should assume that we are not ready to worship God when we wake up in the morning. We have to intentionally make sure that we are ready. Just as an NFL player would not wake up and jump into game time, neither should we think that we are ready to face the world simply because our eyes are open.
Between the time you wake up and the time when you open your eyes, keep them closed and pray. Share with God your discouragement, your fears, your thoughts about what lies ahead. Give him your burdens and ask Him to use your body to advance His kingdom. Before you get out of bed, put God in His right place in your life.
When Isaiah sees the glory of the Lord and the hosts of angels singing his praise in Isaiah 6, he says in verse 5:
“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.”
This is a very simple principle: we humble ourselves and raise God on high where he belongs. Our problems, our enemies, our concerns can never have the same amount of power in our lives that the living God has. He must be lifted high!
1. Prepare your body.
Just as an NFL defensive back assumes a “ready position” – ready to run in any direction, ready to defend any play that may come his way, we must get submit our bodies to God in ready position, ready to act however He leads.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
God deserves the best work our bodies have to offer. If He asks us to walk across and pray for a stranger because she’s sick – we’ve got to get our feet moving! Our feet don’t belong to us. They are the servants and the instruments of God.
2. Prepare your mind.
“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,”
Let Israel now say—
“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
When men rose up against us,
Then they would have swallowed us alive,
When their wrath was kindled against us;
Then the waters would have overwhelmed us,
The stream would have gone over our soul;
Then the swollen waters
Would have gone over our soul.”
Blessed be the Lord,
Who has not given us as prey to their teeth.
Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers;
The snare is broken, and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
We have to believe in our minds that God is worthy of worship because everything good we have comes from Him. If we believe in our minds that He is good and worthy, then all day long our thoughts will be of gratitude toward our loving Father.
3. Prepare your heart.
I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
Praising God with our hearts, minds, and bodies is the only reasonable thing to do in light of who He is (Romans 12:1)
So tomorrow morning when you wake up, stop and let yourself be prepared to worship God with your whole life, all the minutes you have in the day, all the relationships you cultivate, all the actions you experience. Let them all bring Him glory!