Day 8 - You were planned for God's pleasure
God wanted you to be alive, and your arrival gave him great pleasure. God did not need to create you, but he chose to create you for his own enjoyment.
Defines "worship" as bringing pleasure to God.
The Lord is pleased only with those who worship him and trust his love.
Take your everyday, ordinary life––your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, an walking-around life––and place it before God as an offering.
Day 9 - The smile of God is the goal of your life
Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.
Expect God to keep his promises, help you with problems, and do the impossible when necessary.
Instant obedience will teach you more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussions.
I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord.
There are no unspiritual abilities, just misused ones. Start using yours for God's pleasure.
God doesn't wait for you to reach maturity before he starts liking you.
The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who are wise, who want to please God.
Day 10 - The heart of worship is surrender
Surrender is an unpopular word, disliked almost as much as the word submission. Worship is surrender to God.
Admit that you are a creature and that you are not in charge of everything.
Accept what God gives you with thankfulness and be content.
Surrendering is not: cowardice, irrationality, pretense, self-deprecation. Surrendering is best demonstrated in obedience.
You don't edge others out, demand your rights, or seek your own interests above others.
Surrendered people are the people God uses. Mary surrendered.
The greatest hindrance to God's blessing in your life is not others, it is you: self-will, stubborn pride, and personal ambition. Make you plans God's plans.
If people want to follow me, the must give up the things they want. They must be willing to give up their lives daily to follow me.
When you decide to live a surrendered life to Christ, that decision will be tested. It will mean doing inconvenient, unpopular, costly, or seemingly impossible tasks. It will often mean doing the opposite of what you feel like doing.
Day 11 - God wants to be your friend
Being known and loved by God is our greatest pleasure.
Read this book: Practicing the presence of God by Brother Lawrence.
Short meaningful prayers:
- You are with me.
- I receive your grace.
- I'm depending on you.
- I want to know you.
- I belong to you.
- Help me trust you.
- For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
- You will never leave me.
- You are my God.
Pray these as acts of faith, not manipulation.
Worry: thinking about a problem over and over in your mind.
Meditation: thinking about God's word over and over in your mind.
The difference between worry and meditation is the subject of your thoughts. Worry dwells on an evil, meditation dwells on God and his word.
The Lord will accomplish his purpose for me. Your love, O Lord, endures forever––do not abandon the works of your hands.
Day 12 - You are as close to God as you choose to be
God doesn't expect you to be perfect, but he does insist on complete honesty.
God listens to passionate words of his friends. He is bored with predictable, pious cliches.
It is likely that you need to confess some hidden anger and resentment at God for certain areas of your life where you have felt cheated or disappointed.
Psalms is an example of how to be honest with God.
Expressing doubt is sometimes the first step toward the next level of intimacy with God.
The more your become God's friend, the more you care about what he cares about, grieve over the things he grieves over, and rejoice over the things that bring pleasure to him. This is a good thing to pray for: align my cares, griefs, and joys with yours.
My determined purpose is that I may know Him––that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly.
Often God uses pain to wake you up and bring you back to him. A good thing to pray: Father, more than anything else, I want to get to know you intimately.
Day 13 - God wants all of you
God is not interested in part of you, in halfhearted commitment, partial obedience, and the leftovers of your time and money. He wants the full weight of your devotion.
When you worship, focus on God, not your feelings. Talk with God about your feelings. Don't muse about them by yourself.
Day 14 - God is real, no matter how you feel
The most common mistake Christians make in worship today is seeking an experience rather than seeking God.
Then Job fell to the ground in worship and said: Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. May the name of the Lord be praised.
Focus on who God is:
- He is good and loving
- He is all-powerful
- He notices every detail of my life
- He is in control
- He has a plan for my life
- He will save me
I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
Related: Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton