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I’m so excited to announce a new series! The first Monday of every month I’m going to post about one of my favorite books that has been impactful for me. These aren’t really book reviews per se because I simply want to share things that have been instrumental in shaping my thinking and walk with Christ. What I love about some of my favorite books is that it isn’t just what the book says, it is the way that it gets me thinking which is what I want to share with you. The very best books are inspiring and challenging and I find myself returning to them like old friends.
So you are aware too, this post contains affiliate links and if you purchase something through these, I may receive a small portion of the sales. You won’t pay more for using these links. I struggled with doing this because I didn’t want to “sell out” as a writer, but I honestly think these books are incredibly valuable and the proceeds are going to help with costs of hosting the website. I truly appreciate your support.
The Weight of Glory is one of my favorite books. I’m admittedly a C.S. Lewis junkie so this probably doesn’t surprise anyone who knows me well. It began when I was little and my dad read me The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and hasn’t ended.
I was introduced to The Weight of Glory when I was in college at Biola University and we repeatedly went to it during a course on worship. It is home to this, my favorite passage:
“Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
One of the rewards Lewis talks about is joy. His words encouraged me to think more on the subject: it has always been my belief that there is a profound difference between happiness and joy with happiness being purely a situational feeling whereas joy is a gift and response to God. We can feel happy because something good happened and something negative can easily make that evaporate.
Joy isn’t like that. When I say that it is both a gift and a response it is because joy is far more complicated. It flows out of our resting in Christ through being a recipient of His grace. It is as much of a gift as it is a choice to follow Him wholeheartedly.
Out of joy flows worship. I keep going back to the phrase “we are far too easily pleased” when thinking about worship. Often I think we are far too content to let our worship happen only on Sunday mornings when we sing some songs and leave it at that, if we choose to sing at all and not just mouth the words.
If joy is a state of being for a Christian, then the Christian life should be marked by constant worship.
I don’t mean to imply that we should be singing everywhere all the time. Worship is more than singing. The word itself comes from an older term that literally meant to ascribe worth to something. It is a response and an action.
Everything I do can be worship if I do it for God’s glory. Everything from cleaning, taking care of our kids, helping out in the church nursery, giving, singing, and being a Godly spouse, friend, neighbor, and employee can all be worshipful acts. And by no means is this list exhaustive.
Worship is inextricably linked with serving. Serving itself is putting others before ourselves and their needs before our own. We value these above the cost of serving and if we are serving for God, it is worship.
Our whole lives are spent worshipping something, even if unintentionally. We all are focused on something: the next promotion, having a great family, buying that dream house, finding time to relax. They aren’t bad things in and of themselves, but the root issues is why we are chasing them. Consumerism itself is something we wrongly worship. If we use what we have been blessed with to worship God and consequently serve Him, we are using these gifts rightly.
It sounds intimidating. To be constantly focused on Christ and constantly serving. It sounds… well… consuming.
It is. In the best of ways.
But some days, my life doesn’t look that different. It is more about attitude than action. But, our attitudes influence our action: it is why we foster. I’ve been adopted into God’s kingdom as His child. As a response, I can worship God through doing this physically for someone else.
The reward is joy. Not the silliness that often pervades our culture, but real honest to goodness joy. For all of our pouring out, I feel constantly refilled by my Savior. There is no place I’d rather be.
I love The Weight of Glory. It is incredibly inspiring and if you haven’t read it already, you should. You can pick up a copy here at Amazon.