WORSHIP AND REPENTANCE
A fear that many young christians go through is what we call the “roller coaster life.” The roller coaster life is one where there is a series of quick ups and downs when it comes to feeling close to God and feeling distant; moments of dedication or rebellion. When there is a lack of consistency and the fear that every up will have a disastrously quick downfall, the person gets discouraged to the point where they are no longer even willing to try any more to build up their faith because they feel that it will be pointless. I too have experienced this many times before and I believe that we have such a hatred and fear towards the roller coaster life because there is this view that we are not progressing and that we are in state of being stuck. No one likes being stuck, yet what if I were to tell you that though there will be ups and downs on this ride called life, that if you were to take a bigger picture of your situations that we were actually steadily rising!
Imagine a roller coaster that has its ups and downs but if you were to step back, that you saw that with every little down there was a little bit higher up than before and then on the next dip that it didn’t go as far down then the previous one. What would happen? Eventually you will see an upward progression in the ride but we wouldn’t see that if we just focused on one moment of an up and down transition and life can be like that, where we don’t realize the growth of our walks because we are so focused on the moments and fail to see the bigger picture.
If we know that life will have its ups and downs but there can still be a steady climb in our walks with the Lord, then how can we in the midst of changes keep moving forward? WORSHIP AND REPENTANCE! Repentance swings us back into the upside while worship keeps the steady rising of the ride as a whole and thus when we repent and do not worship, we find that we may experience an emotional high that lifts us up but we fall back down exactly at the same place when we don’t have a consistent lifestyle of worship. It is when we fail to consistently worship that the ride then becomes a cycle of ups and downs with no gradual growth and that is what we are afraid of!
Repentance turns us away from sin and unto God but worship keeps us fixed in the direction we turned to. If we want to grow steadily we must prioritize sustaining worship in the midst of repentance so that when we do dip, we can steadily grow more like Christ today than we did yesterday. Let us repent and get that emotionally uplifting from the forgiveness we receive but let us sustain that with a lifestyle of worship.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
43 Many times he delivered them,
but they were rebellious in their purposes
and were brought low through their iniquity.
The Lord delivered the people many times but they didn’t change. Even if the Lord delivers you and brings blessings upon your life, if you are not willing to change to look more like Christ than you will find yourself back in the same place as you were before. Deliverance without the willingness and effort to do our part to change our lives will short cut the full potential of the deliverance.
44 Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress,
when he heard their cry.
45 For their sake he remembered his covenant,
and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
God’s grace is so crazy! How can He, even in the midst of faithlessness on our part still be so faithful? I dare you to try and find someone who is this committed and faithful to us! The Lord hears the cries of His people and does not ignore it. His love and faithfulness is what kept them alive and keeps the possibility of repentance open. Repentance is a gift that shows God’s grace, love, and faithfulness so therefore if we wish to experience those things than let us turn towards Him! Yes confessing and admitting you were wrong is not a comfortable thing but I rather be discomforted because of hurt pride than discomforted because I do not have the intimate presence of God in my life.
47 Save us, O Lord our God,
and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.
The psalm is calling upon the people who sing this song to change their posture and attitude. A call for God to save us must lead to praise. When we repent or ask for deliverance, we talked about earlier how we need to be willing to change to see the full potential of the deliverance come through. What is that change? A renewed lifestyle of worship, praise, and giving thanks.
Deliverance and blessing must be followed up by a changed life.
God is faithful when we are faithless and thus gives us the gift of repentance.
Deliverance is sparked by repentance and is sustained by worship, which comes from the Lord for the Lord.