Lattes and the value of enjoying God

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As a way of honoring the volunteers in our community groups ministry, my wife hosted a Christmas party for the wives of group leaders.  I thought that this would be one of those parties that I could just slip out of, and go hang out with the guys.  Suffice it to say that that didn’t happen.  I was stuck in the house with a bunch of ladies who would be eating and exchanging gifts.

My job for the evening was to make lattes and hot chocolate for everybody.  I am often delegated this responsibility because I worked at a coffee shop as a barista for over 3 years, and really enjoy coffee.  I made a variety of different drinks that night.

What stood out to me was their response to the drinks, and what that did for me.  Some ladies were very appreciative, saying, “Thanks!” or “We appreciate you doing this for us!”  It was nice that they appreciated my drinks, but the greatest responses were, “That’s good,” and “I really like that,” and “I didn’t even know if this would be good, but I love it!”  Now, I don’t say this to toot my own horn at all.  I say this to point you to what worship is, at its core.

Worship is enjoying God.  Sure, there are other aspects of worship.  Take, for example, giving.  Giving is an act of worship, right?  But giving to others, merely because God says to give, isn’t enough (though it is a step of obedience).  “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)  There is a component to giving that requires an emotional commitment.  A cheerful giver does not give merely because he or she has to give.  They take delight in giving.  But can an emotion really be commanded?  Aren’t emotions just a reaction, not something that we can control or help?

“Delight yourself in the Lord.” (Psalm 37:4)  There it is.  Delighting involves an emotion.  Delighting means that you have a positive affection towards something or someone.  To delight in something means that you enjoy it.  To delight in God means that we enjoy Him.  David, the psalmist, delights in and longs for the sweet commandments and precepts of God. (Psalm 119:16, 24, 29-30, 36, 40, 47-48, 58, 70, 72, 77, 92, 103, 111, 131, 143, 162, 164, 174)  How do you go about the business of delighting in God?  I think it starts with two things: trusting in the Lord and committing your way to Him. (Psalm 37:3, 5) Delight can be both the catalyst and the result of trusting and committing, and is an essential aspect of worship.

The ladies showed the most value to my drinks when they enjoyed them.  The empty cup and a smile went much further in my mind than words alone.  What about with God?  Do you think He just wants your words?  Or does He want your heart, too?

 

Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Beverly Adkins

    Ben,
    I really enjoyed your article!!!! Our pastor spoke on the act of worship and really stretched us on the many acts of worship, many of which i have not thought of as worship. Little did I know that before the morning was over I would be participating in a worship other than the typical singing p/w etc. Saturday afternoon I was made aware of a single Mom in our church that was in desperate need. She has 2 teenage children and had nothing to give her children. My heart absolutely breaks when I happen upon these type of things. ( and there are so many) David and I decided to make sure she had the money to give her children a WII. I also felt God speak into my spirit saying “Allow others to share in this blessing” So without any advance notice I went to 3 SS classes and before I even finished they were pulling money out from every where. We gave more than I dreamed. I under estimated God. These are small classes and not wealthy people!!! Thats what made it so incredible!!!! Worship!!!! That act of worship by many has stirred in my heart in worship that continues on and on. Even as I type this now my heart is so full as well as my eyes. Thank you Ben for sharing your heart and following Christ.
    I’m never gonna stop! Never gonna stop!Praising Him!!
    Beverly

  • benlreed

    That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing that story. Worship should stir our affections, and the worship that you’re describing was infectious. Reminds me of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 2:3, where he wanted the Corinthians to share in the joy that he had.

    May your joy in worshipping God continue to spread!