Worship Through Relationship….Are You Seeking God’s Face or His Hand?

By Karen Wolff

Have you ever spent time with one of your kids where all you did was just “hang out?” If you have grown kids, and you ask them what they remember most about their childhood, I would bet they recall a time where you spent an afternoon participating in some fun activity.

As parents, it sometimes takes a while to discover that the thing our kids want most from us is our time. But oh, time always seems to be the thing we find in short supply.

I remember when my son was about 4 years old. He attended a local preschool, but it was only a few mornings a week so, very often, I had this four year old who wanted my time. Every day. All day…….

So I played board games with him in the afternoons. I remember he and I would always claim to be “Champion of the World” when one of us would win. Of course, beating a 4 year old isn’t exactly something to brag about on my resume, but nonetheless, I always made sure the title passed back and forth….sometimes.

My son and I both fondly recall those days as very special times when we built a relationship. And the truth is….I had a hard time saying no to my son after all that relationship building. I knew my son wasn’t hanging out with me just for what he could get me to buy him, but the relationship we built meant that when he did ask for something, my heart was more than willing to consider it.

Why is it so difficult to see that as a parent, God is no different? There are some who see God as a giant Santa Claus. You simply submit your wish list and wake up one morning to find that all is well. They fail to realize that relationship is everything. It’s the one thing God wants more than anything else. And it’s when you take the time to seek God’s face, which is simply that ongoing relationship with Him, that He extends His hand because His heart is open to hear all you have to say.

A few weeks ago I read an amazing book called, “Daily Inspirations for Finding Favor with the King”, by Tommey Tenney. In this book it talks about the importance and relevence of Christian praise and worship in building a relationship with God.

What impressed me was the author’s insistence that praise and worship must be directed to God’s face and NOT His hand. If your motive is to love God, to spend time with God, to truly want to be in God’s presence, then your praise and worship will be met by God with open arms.

If, however, your motive is to try to earn a blessing, or to impress those around you, or even to fulfill some sense of obligation, you’ve missed the boat….Completely.

So how do you know if your relationship with God is centered around His face or simply His hand? What can you do to make sure your motive is pure as you praise and worship God?

* Spend most of your time with God in praise and worship. Letting God know how much you love and appreciate Him never gets old to God. In fact, praise and worship is the key that opens God’s heart.

* Come to God just as you are with an open heart. Letting God see ALL that’s in your heart, good or bad, lets God know that you value your relationship enough to let Him see it all and do whatever He needs to do.

* Look for opportunities to offer God praise and worship in things around you. All you need to do is see a beautiful sunset or one of the many other wonders of nature to offer God praise and thanksgiving for that miraculous blessing. God appreciates a grateful heart.

* Don’t be afraid to show God how you truly feel as you worship Him. There are those who don’t feel comfortable raising their hands or showing any emotion during worship services. Yet those same people can be found at sporting events or concerts whooping, clapping, and hollering as if it really mattered.

I’m not saying you have to jump up and down or shout, but simply standing with open hands shows God that your heart is open and you want to feel God’s presence. And most importantly…..

* Don’t judge, look down on, or criticize someone else because they want to show emotions and energy as they worship. Just because you aren’t in the same place in your spiritual walk as they are doesn’t mean what they’re doing is inappropriate or wrong. Concentrate on worshiping God yourself so your focus remains on building your own relationship with Him.

Christian praise and worship can be one of the most powerful ways to help you build your relationship with God. There is nothing better than feeling the love, peace, and acceptance that you feel when God’s presence is all around you.

But just remember, like a parent, God is looking for that ongoing relationship. When He sees your open heart and your desire to get to know Him for who He is, His heart opens to hear all you have to say.

What a concept……seeking God’s face and then feeling the blessings from His hand.

Karen Wolff is the founder of http://www.christian-books-for-women.com, a place where Christian women can find lots of info, tips, and help with a variety of issues they face every day.

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