Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

1.29.2010

Compartmentalization versus Saturation



Wednesday night at church as we sang “Praise the Lord Who Reigns Above,” the Lord stirred my heart and the last verse struck with a deep challenge:

“Him, in Whom they move and live,
Let ev’ry creature sing,
Glory to their Maker give,
And homage to their King…
Praise the Lord in ev’ry breath,
Let all things praise the Lord.”
Praise the Lord in every breath. What a beautiful thought that has somehow become so trite.
On a good day, I spend at least 15 minutes in private devotion time with the Lord, 30 minutes in family devotion time, and about 20 minutes in overall family prayer time. This adds up to just over an hour of time with the Lord each day. Each good day.
So I will confess—I am a Christian very adept at compartmentalizing. I have heard countless times the exhortation not to be Sunday-only Christians—putting on our Christian garb Sunday morning and leaving it off all six of the other days. I hear this advice and set it aside, pleased that I at least spend time with God every day. And yet, I still compartmentalize God into one hour of my day, and what do I do with the other twenty-three? Twenty-three hours of making food, cleaning house, doing school, taking a shower, sleeping, and I have only a spotty prayer here and there to sustain me. Is this the Christian life?
I could lock my door and just read through the Psalms in a day. I could block out opportunities of service and fulfillment of responsibility and just plain taking showers so I could spend all day, every day, studying Greek. Would this solve the problem?
God didn’t command us to leave our daily drudgeries, but He did command us to saturate our day with Him. “Brother Lawrence insisted that, to be constantly aware of God’s presence, it is necessary to form the habit of continually talking with Him throughout each day. To think that we must abandon conversation with Him in order to deal with the world is erroneous.i]"
Nowhere in Ecclesiastes 3 does it say, “There is a time to worship and a time not to worship.” Instead, Revelation 4:8 speaks of the four living creatures who “do not rest day or night, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!’”
Compartmentalization is the enemy of worship. Dedicating a time to spend with the Lord is necessary, commanded (Daniel 6:10), and wonderfully beneficial. Thinking, however, as I often do, that that is all that is necessary, will bring staleness to your Christian life. Instead, we need to let that morning time with the Lord saturate our entire day and say with David, “I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. (Psalm 104:33)”
A.W. Tozer wrote of the importance of worship,
Man was made to worship God. God gave to man a harp and said, “Here above all the creatures that I have made and created I have given you the largest harp. I put more strings on your instrument and I have given you a wider range than I have given to any other creature. You can worship Me in a manner that no other creature can.” And when he sinned man took that instrument and threw it down in the mud and there it has lain for centuries, rusted, broken, unstrung; and man, instead of playing a harp like the angels and seeking to worship God in all of his activities, is ego-centered and turns in on himself and sulks and swears and laughs and sings, but it’s all without joy and without worship….Worship is the missing jewel in modern evangelicalism. We’re organized; we work; we have our agendas. We have almost everything, but there’s one thing that the churches, even the gospel churches, do not have: that is the ability to worship. We are not cultivating the art of worship. It’s the one shining gem that is lost to the modern church, and I believe that we ought to search for this until we find it.[ii]
This gem is the one I am going to seek after in my busy day ahead today. It may be difficult, but worship is not about entertaining me--it is about glorifying God. So in the quiet moments, when I’m transporting siblings to and fro, I’m going to revel in our great God. In the loud moments when everyone is clamoring for attention, I’m going to praise Him with every breath I take. In the stressful moments and the joyful ones, the high praises of God will be in my mouth, and a two-edged sword in my hand (Psalm 149:6). With my mind focused on Jesus, Satan will surely be ineffectual today, and God will be glorified. The compartments have to go, for Jesus must permeate, infiltrate, infuse, and saturate my thoughts, words, attitudes, expressions, moments, and seconds. My every breath must praise Him.
Let this be Jesus’ day.


[i] Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, p. 12
[ii] A.W. Tozer, Worship, pp. 12, 23-24.

3 comments:

  1. Amen sister ! that is something I really needed to hear today! I should not just be checking off my list saying I prayed today and I read my Bible, but saying Lord help me through each task or duty that I am doing at each moment through out my day! Right now my family is looking for a new church home and we could not go to a church last week, so its really hard for me to be reminded of this daily and on sundays get that boost and motivation to go through my week sometimes. This week has been good and I am so thankful for the Lord. But this was a great reminder to worship throughout our days!

    I am really enjoying your blog!

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  2. This has been something God has been convicting me about lately, too. :)
    After consistent "compartmentalizing", it's hard for me to remember to keep my daily, hourly, and minute-ly focus on God - even when I dreadfully want to! I heard once about a man who stuck a little dot sticker on his watch as a reminder to praise God. Every time he glanced at his wrist, his day and situations were put back into perspective by the reminder of Who sent them. Even though I don't wear a watch (*grins*), I've begun to schedule little reminders for myself throughout the day - and it's incredibly humbling how fast my mind loses sight of the goal! I find myself quoting Psalms in awe: "The earth, O Lord, is full of Your mercy; Teach me your statutes."

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  3. Rebecca--I loved reading your sweet comment! Thanks! I wrote the post because I needed to hear it today, so I'm glad you needed it too! I will definitely be praying for you as you search for a church--I know how difficult that can be!
    Sarah--I kinda' like the idea of the dot! And since I do wear a watch... (-: Yes, I flipped through the Psalms as I was writing this post, and I could have pasted chapter after chapter here to reiterate what I said...they are so applicable! Amy Carmichael always had a bell rung every hour at her mission, and everyone would stop and pray for five minutes when they did that...because you're right...we are so distractable!

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