I prayed for you!
August 30, 2012
Clio’s In Heaven
October 15, 2012
I prayed for you!
August 30, 2012
Clio’s In Heaven
October 15, 2012

Do You Love Him?

Grace Age 3 yrs 11 months
A few weeks ago I was working in the kitchen and singing to a CD of worship music. Gracie was coloring at the table and looked up at me: “Mama, what are you doing?” she asked.
“I’m worshiping the Lord!” I said
“OH! I love to worship Him too!” she said and began to sing along. About 15 minutes later I sat down with her. She looked up from her coloring and with sing-song charm exclaimed: “I Love God!Do you love Him?”
It never ceases to amaze me how one so young can reflect the heart of Gospel back to us so powerfully. And herein lays the heart of the Gospel- Adoration! God’s extravagant and infinite love for us… and our only reasonable response to that gift of love— ADORATION! Perhaps the best examination of how to orient our hearts toward authentic adoration of the Lord comes from how Jesus instructs us to pray~ The Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Matt 6:9-14)
Look at the prayer as a whole. If we follow Jesus’ model here we see this is mainly a prayer of adoration. We’re adoring this magnificently loving Father, his abundant provision, never ending grace, eternal mercy, and his reign as King over all!
In our every approach to the Father, let us begin with adoration!
{Doug, if you’re reading this skip over to the next paragraph, ok- I’ don’t want you to get too jealous…}
Ok, everyone, here’s a secret: Everything in my prayer life- actually in my whole life- changed when I began to focus FIRST on just adoring God as the lover and romancer of my soul! Every time I prayed I just started by telling God how amazing, magnificent and wonderful he is. I would tell Him how I am blessed by the extravagance of His love, how he is My Jesus and my hero! And you know why things changed? It wasn’t because I was pumping up God’s ego and all of the sudden He said: “OOO she’s finally telling me how cool I am, I’ll give her some rewards.”Do you think He really needs to hear us tell Him how cool he is? So then, why does He want us to spend our time in adoration? Though He is worthy of it, it’s not because He needs to hear it— it’s because we need to hear it!
I found as I prayed these prayers of adoration it was reminding me constantly of who God is, what he has done for me, how I am loved, how I belong to him and how His promises for my life, and love for me are REAL! These truths spoken out to Him became truths written on and hidden in my heart. Things shifted because I was getting filled up with a Spiritual Wealth that gave me the power to press into whatever was before me.
What a difference it makes when I make Him my number one adoration!
You know I joke about having my husband skip that other paragraph, but the truth is it has to be that I love Jesus more— and Doug knows that. (And vice-versa, by the way!) As wonderful, sweet and as much as I love that man, he can never give or be for me everything Jesus is and can. Anytime I put my love for him or our daughter or anyone or anything above Jesus it is actually really cruel— and the making of disaster. It puts a lot of unfair pressure on those relationships or things if I make them my “everything”. At some point people or things disappoint us. When you adore any relationship- spouse, child, parents, friends, even your relationship with your job or your reputation, anytime you adore even an IDEA (like the IDEA of having a husband or getting a promotion) above God, anytime we place our adoration on something other than Him, we are getting enslaved and we are burdening others. It’s expecting these things or people to give us what only God can. If you adore them more then God, then when they disappoint you- you’re crushed, or you build up resentments…
But! If the Lord is your first adoration, if that is where you are going to get all of your needs filled, then you can actually do what Dr. Timothy Keller calls: Love Philanthropy. That is the ability to serve in love. It’s the ability to pour all of yourself into another without needing anything in return. How can you do that? You do it by building Spiritual Wealth through adorationof the one true God. When HE is the focus of your heart, then you have a heart deeply rich in the Lord… so rich that when you don’t get the “things” you want, you can get over it easily. Or when people fall short and disappoint you, you can let it go. You can be more forgiving and understanding because you are so filled-up on God. You have the power to go to the people who sometimes hurt or disappoint you in gentleness, and forgive them, and still serve them in spite of the how they hurt you. But you can only do it if you have  your heart centered on Him. Begin always with Adoration for the Lord and you will have real powerful wealth in your life! 
Listen, I say all of this to you not as someone who gets it right all the time. I don’t. There are so many times when I feel other “adorations” creeping up to take God’s place— my husband, my daughter, my work, my ministries, my “self!” My goodness I feel like I spend half my prayer life just trying to get over my“self.” “Oh- you mean I’m not the center of the universe? I was so sure that I was!” I thank God for the people in my life like my husband and my best friend Tamara, who when I start to get a little too big for my britches or too sulky, look me in the eye and say: “Sister, you need to get over yourself!” Well, they never say it like that, they are always very gentle with me– but at the heart they are saying to me: Reorient your heart! Reorder your adorations! Get over your“self!”
We have to be intentional about the daily process of reordering our disordered loves and putting Jesus as our number one adoration. Why? Because we are never going to be able to love and serve others until we conquer our “self” first. I have to let go of my ownership— myhusband, my daughter, my job, my ministries— NO!!! These are not “mine!” They belong to the Lord. And I am here to serve them with His love. But I can only do that if He is my first love. It’s only at the point where God is our first adoration that we can actually love others well. That is why I want Doug to love Jesus more than he loves me, because if he loves Jesus first, he is going to love me well. And conversely, I am driven to love Jesus more than I love Doug… because if I do that I will be the kind of wife that loves and serves her husband well.
I challenge you today to revamp your prayer life by following the number one motive of The Lord’s Prayer~ Adoration. Begin with adoration and it will transform everything in your life… Spend half of your prayer time just adoring Him and it will fill you up so you can pour into your day and the people in your life. Just go adore Him! Because it is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures.(Colossians 2:3) You belong to Him. Psalm 45:11 says He is “enthralled with your beauty.” Do you know who is the greatest Love Philanthropistof all? Our God! Do you realize that you ARE his treasure? He already proved it. He gave up all His heavenly treasure so that he could come down here and get you!
Jesus says: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.   
Your heart rests with your treasure. Where is your treasure? Is it stored up in Jesus? Go dive into a life of Adoration, and get Him. He is the ultimate treasure! Love Him like he loved you. In the words of Gracie I ask you to reflect on how much time you spend truly adoring this magnificent God who’s loving kindness is beyond compare…
She asks: “I love Him… Do you love Him?”
Resources Consulted:
Foster, Richard, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, Harper Collins, San Francisco, 1998.
Keller, Timothy, Prayer and the Poor from Savior and Teacher a Study of Matthew, Sermon series, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC, Spring 2012
Keller, Timothy, Treasures from Savior and Teacher a Study of Matthew, Sermon Series, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC, Spring 2012.
Keller, Timothy, Marriage in Christ from A Study of Ephesians: Who is The Church?, Sermon Series, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC, January 2012.