In today's sermon, I quoted the first question and answer from the Westminister Shorter Confession. We are reminded that our primary purpose in life is to glorify God. For those who use the coming of a New Year as an opportunity to look backwards and forwards, this reminder is important. It is too easy to make let good goals such as losing a few pounds or paying off debt or even spending quality time with family, displace God as the ultimate focus of our lives.
So how do we maintain a focus on glorifying God? I can think of four habits that help ensure that God keeps center stage in your life.
- Make worship a weekly standing appointment. I know extended families who meet together for a weekly meal. For some, it is hard to imagine how this could be maintained throughout the year. And yet it actually isn't that difficult. Once the time is prioritized and blocked out, the rest of the week fits in around it. Don't let worship be up in the air, a decision that has to be faced each week. Make worship a weekly standing appointment.
- Make devotions a daily standing appointment. Some people begin or end every day in reflection and prayer. It is hard for others to imagine how they do it. Most of us claim to be too busy! And yet when you consider all those other distractions that become a regular part of our lives (shopping, watching tv, browsing our phone, playing solitaire) it can be seen that we do have the time. Find a time that works with your schedule and set a reminder on your phone, if necessary. Make devotions a daily standing appointment.
- Include spiritual titles in your reading list. Those of us who read regularly have genres that we regularly gravitate towards. Whether it is biographies or thrillers this type of literature is grabs our attention and feeds our souls. Ever considered peppering your regular reads with titles that address spiritual topics? Why wait for the preacher to address your burning questions when there are people who have struggled with the same issue and are willing to share the wealth of their research and experiences?
- Play worship music in your house. I only started listening to worship music in the last three years, but I can tell you that it has made a difference in our families' life. Keep in mind that we don't listen to worship music exclusively, and not just on Sunday mornings. But it seems to be a go-to when we are in the middle of stressful times; it helps to relieve our anxiety and redirect our focus. Someone has said that when you sing praise, you pray twice. Why wait for Sunday morning to raise your hearts to God?
If we believe what the Bible teaches us, life in heaven will be filled with worship. We won't be jumping on the stairclimber, balancing our books, or even playing with our children/grandchildren. We will be adoring our Maker and Saviour in the biggest, most joyful worship service ever. The good news is that here on earth in 2020, this heavenly life can be part of our daily and weekly experience.