My grandfather has a ravenous appetite for bluegrass music and he shared his passion with me. When I was very young, he would take me to bluegrass festivals and any Saturday night I was with him, we went to Lynches River State Park for a bluegrass jam. One of the songs that almost every act seemed to play was “Drifting Too Far From the Shore.” It paints the visual of being tossed around in perilous waters and being carried farther and farther from the shore. This has been one of the main themes as we have been walking through Hebrews: to continually strive towards maturity in Christ and a moving towards a richer, robust expression of worship and faith.
I believe worship keeps us on the right path and drives us forward as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ Jesus (2 Peter 3:18). Both corporate worship and private worship remind us of who God is and what He has done and we remember the Gospel as we interact with God. This is why it is impossible to simply rely on a Sunday service to get a spiritual “fill up” to last throughout the week. We are certainly encouraged and transformed in corporate worship on Sunday, but it must spill over in private devotion and lifestyle on Monday to help us stay true to the faith we profess throughout the week. Sunday’s expression is a culmination of weekly devotion, and what we participate in on Sunday forms our lives throughout the week.
Live the faith
I heard an interview on the radio several months go and the host was talking with a religion professor about the power of faith. Now, this professor studies religion in the secular sense of surveying how religious devotion in any faith affects the way people live. What he pointed out was this: Religious devotion has a greater impact on how we live than any other affiliation people have, such as politics or nationality. How much more so should our Christian faith, made possible through Christ and fueled by the Spirit, impact and direct our daily activity? Even though we may know the faith, we must continually live the faith and be reminded of whose we are and what we are called to do in the world. Worship serves as this reminder and it gives every single aspect of our daily lives purpose: to glorify God and to serve Him with gladness. Worship is faith expressed.
This is one thing I think about when I sing “Come Thou Fount.” This is a song many of us know very well. But the lyrics are wonderful reminders that we must continually recall the truth of the gospel. The last line of the hymn serves as such a powerful reminder of our struggle:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
In this final stanza, we’re reminded that it is in our nature to wander. Without intentionality, we will drift away, albeit slowly. But we battle this drifting with acts of worship: surrender and offering a life of worship and obedience. So we present ourselves as an offering to God:
here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.