"Then they came back, every one whose heart was roused, whose spirit was freely responsive."
Exodus 35: 21
"The Godward journey is a journey on which every individual is launched, all unknowingly, at birth."
What does it mean to me to be a "worship-hearted" woman?
" A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell."
C. S. Lewis
"Men (and women) must worship something; if they do not worship an unseen Being who loves and cares for them, they will worship the works of their own hands; they will secretly bow down to the things that they see, and hear, and taste, and smell, these will be their lords and masters, these will be their cruel tyrants."
Frederick Denison Maurice
English Theologian and Writer
The book of Exodus ends with God asking His children to come together to build a place of worship where He would meet with them.
But in order for this great task to be accomplished, God needed women (and men) who exhibited three distinct characteristics. The reason this is so important for our study as God's daughters, is that whenever and wherever God works on earth to accomplish a special task, He needs people today who exhibit these same qualities.
The three characteristics in women we will study about are:
1. "Worship-Hearted Women"
2. "Willing-Hearted Women"
3. "Wise-Hearted Women"
Today, we will look at what it means to be a "Worship-Hearted woman.
Not long before God asked His people to build a tabernacle, we find in Exodus 32, that God called Moses up to the top of Mt. Sinai where God gave him, "…two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God" (Exodus 31: 18, K.J.V.)
However, Moses "delayed to come down out of the mount" and the people, thinking perhaps he wouldn't return, asked Aaron, Moses' brother and the High Priest, to make them a god they could see, feel, and touch. Aaron told all the women and children to bring their "golden earrings," and with a graving tool, he fashioned a golden calf which they worshiped.
As you may remember, the next day, all the people got up early and "offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play" (Exodus 32: 2-6, K.J.V.). They worshipped a golden calf instead of their Creator, the God of heaven and earth. They replaced God with a creation made by their own hands. Does this sound familiar? Substituting the worship of our Creator with something we've created ourselves? Well, God didn't take kindly to this behavior and neither did Moses. When Aaron was confronted by his brother, he gave Moses the lame excuse …"I cast it into the fire and there came out this calf" (Exodus 32: 24, K.J.V.). However, before we mock Aaron for this goofy answer, let's look at some of the ways we substitute the worship of those things we have created with our own hands for the worship of God.
I've found myself busily substituting the worship of material possessions for the worship of God on way too many occasions. Has this ever happened in your life? We can even substitute the worship of a person in our life over the worship of God. And before we know it, like the children of Israel, we're whooping it up, dancing around a calf made with our own hands.
I love the story about the famous hymn writer, Frances Havergal, as told by Robert J. Morgan in his book, Then Sings My Soul. Here's how he shares her story:
"Although Frances Havergal, 36, had served the Lord for years, she felt something was missing in her Christian experience. Then one day in 1873, she received a little book called, "All for Jesus," which stressed the importance of making Christ the King of every corner and cubicle of one's life. Soon thereafter, she made a fresh and complete consecration of herself to Christ."
"Not long afterwards, Frances was able to witness for Christ to a number of individuals at a home where she was staying. On the last night of her visit, she was so excited at what had transpired in the lives of these people she couldn't sleep and during the night penned the words to the well-known hymn, "Take My Life and Let It Be, Consecrated Lord to Thee."
"In the years that followed, Frances frequently used this hymn in her own devotions, especially every December 2, on the anniversary of her consecration."
"On one occasion, as she pondered the words, "Take my voice and let me sing/Always only for my King," she felt she should give up her secular concerts. Her beautiful voice was in demand, and she frequently sang with the Philharmonic. But from that moment, her lips were exclusively devoted to the songs of the Lord."
"On another occasion she was praying over the stanza that says, "Take my silver and my gold / Not a mite would I withhold." She had accumulated a great deal of jewelry but she now felt she should donate it to the Church Missionary Society. Writing to a friend, she said, "I retain only a brooch for daily wear, which is a memorial to my dear parents: also a locket with the holy portrait I have of my niece in heaven, Evelyn. I had no idea I had such a jeweler's shop; nearly fifty articles are being packed off. I don't think I need to tell you I never packed a box with such pleasure."
The Apostle Paul, described the "Worship-Hearted" life this way: "Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant; I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by Him" (Philippians 3: 7-10, The Message).
Do you want to accomplish in your life what God has planned and purposed for you? Then ask Him to give you a "Worship-Hearted" life. As A.W. Tozer so thoughtfully observed, "By one act of consecration of our total selves to God, we can make every subsequent act express that consecration."
"I feel that, if I could live a thousand lives, I would like to live them all for Christ, and even then, I would feel that they were all too little a return for His great love to me."
C. H. Spurgeon
"Give your all to Christ, who gave His all for you."
Prayer of Consecration
"Still my soul, that I might pray Thee
Calm my mind, that I might hear Thee
Light my heart, that I might truly love Thee.
Bend my knee, that I might adore Thee
Loose my tongue, that I might exalt Thee
Come within, that I might know Thee
Give me wings, which I might ever sing Thee."
Dr. Karen A. Eshelman
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus