Wild for Worship by Stephen Christian
“Worship has been misunderstood as something that arises from a feeling which ‘comes upon you,’ but it is vital that we understand that it is rooted in a conscious act of the will, to serve and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.”
My family and I own horses in Corrales, a small farming community just west of the Sandia Mountains here in New Mexico. Horses have intrigued my wife since she was a young girl, and one of the allures of moving here from Nashville was the opportunity of finally owning her very own.
To say I know nothing about horses feels like an understatement. Every opportunity to ride is another opportunity for me to try once again to not embarrass myself in a public setting. During the extraordinarily hot summers here in the high desert, we loan our horses to neighbors who have an extremely large property and plenty of shade trees. Chance, the head rancher at the Red Horse Riding Company, sentinels over the horses day and night. If I had to describe Chance, I would say he is a rugged cowboy-horse whisperer, who I have never seen without a handkerchief around his neck, speaking infrequently but always insightful.
He informed me that he had recently broke one of our horses of a bad habit of stopping to eat when on a trail ride, a habit he didn’t intend on breaking, it happened naturally. When I asked how he did it, he said, ‘Well, the horse isn’t hungry’. Apples are in season, the adjacent field is full of waist high alfalfa, and they were fed grain and hay every day. In other words, every day was an endless buffet and they had no need of grazing when on a long trail ride.
After I left the band Anberlin, it was worship that brought me to New Mexico. Up until two years ago, my wife and two daughters were living in East Nashville when Calvary Albuquerque asked me to be the Worship Director. If you break down my ‘job’, I am not only overjoyed but also humbled that my entire day is spent simply to be a conduit for believers, through music, to enter the throne room of God. Each weekend, thousands come to make a joyful noise, lifting their voice and hands in adoration. Just the idea of it makes me reel with awe.
Worship is expressing adoration and reverence toward a deity; we were all created to Worship. We are pre-programmed. Genetically designed and wonderfully created to do so. However, misdirected worship is idol adoration, what was designed for good and for God has been twisted and contorted by the enemy. Some worship their television, some their car, others their spouse or children, alcohol, money, sex, you get the point.
We are all capable of putting God aside and placing something else in the throne room of our heart; we substitute him out for different reasons, perhaps God is not answering our request fast enough, perhaps immediate gratification just feels better, or perhaps its simply not convenient at the moment. The apostle Paul struggled with knowing what he needed to do and fully admitted they were not always the actions he actually did. (Romans 7:15-20).
How can we get ourselves out of our own way and worship Christ alone? By heeding the advice of Ephesians 5. 18 …Be continually filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Refuse to graze on meaningless idols in your heart, they will only detour you of your greater purpose and mission. Realize that in Christ, we have everything we have ever needed, in him we find real joy, peace, and most importantly love. By continually worshiping Him in your daily lives in song, with thanksgiving, as living sacrifices, He will be your portion, your fill, your green pastures.
Wild horses are beautiful, all one needs to do is drive from any direction into Santa Fe to see fields of them, and though they are majestic, it is only when they are ‘broke to saddle’ or ‘harness’ that they can serve a bigger purpose. Once we have given ourselves over to God’s vision for our lives, He never leaves us in the condition he finds us. He is constantly breaking us of our previous tendencies and behaviors. Don’t settle for weeds on the side of life’s trail, we serve a good father who longs to lavish us with fields of gold, with springs of everlasting water, if only we consciously serve and obey, and allow Him to remain where He belongs – as Shepherd, King and Lord of you life.