"Worship does not satisfy our hunger for God--it whets our appetite." ~Eugene Peterson

How Do You Whet Your Appetite for God?

Sunday Scripture

In these days of social distancing, even our worship has taken on a new look and a different feel. An act that has typically conjured images of white-steepled buildings–or polished praise teams, lasers, and smoke machines, depending on your church background–is now taking place in front of screens, in living rooms with only immediate family present. Our privacy-loving, twenty-first century hearts finally have the option of worship-on-demand in much the same way we might receive a pizza delivery or a box of merchandise from Amazon.

For now at least, believers are scattered in our worship, and I’m already wondering how long this will last and how this blip on history’s worship timeline will affect us going forward. When it’s safe to gather again, will we echo the words of this psalm?

When they said, ‘Let’s go to the house of God,’
    my heart leaped for joy.” (Psalm 122:1)

Worship of the one true God is what defined Israel, and it should define the Christian as well. Even in a season of pandemic, our right response to the God who made us and provides for us is worship.

What Is Worship For?

Of course, what that looks like is shaped by a number of factors. I’ve been a denominational mongrel with smatterings of Baptist, Assemblies of God, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Evangelical Free, and Non-Denominational fellowships swirling around in my own worship pedigree. I’m more likely to engage in true worship sitting at my dining room table before an open Bible than in a large room full of much-loved distractions called fellow-worshipers, but I am also a catechized woman who embraces the biblical need for input from a body of believers and the New Testament view of the church as our launch pad for flourishing spiritual wholeness.

Augustine envisioned our worship in this way:

A Christian should be an alleluia from head to foot.”

I have a few friends who definitely embody that statement.
How did God wire you for worship? Do you encounter him in the written or spoken word? A whispered prayer? The swell of inspiring music?

Worship, however it looks and in whatever context it occurs, is not optional and, as usual, I’m inspired and instructed by insight from Eugene Peterson:

Worship does not satisfy our hunger for God–it whets our appetite.”

Don’t wait until you experience an overflow of emotion to worship God.
Don’t wait until you feel like it.

It’s in worship that we cultivate feelings toward God. Obedience to the command to worship fills a need that has been hard-wired into the human soul. Maybe during “normal time” you are only just barely aware of that need, but sheltering at home has forced you to pay attention. God made us, redeems us, provides for us. The logical, healthy, and human response, then, is to praise him.

How will you do that today?

Grace and peace to you,

Subscribe to Living Our Days to get regular content like these Lenten devotionals delivered to your inbox. Just enter your e-mail address in the field at the top of this page. You can also find seasonal reflections on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. And… I’m brewing on the beginnings of an email newsletter. To be a charter subscriber, click here!

27 thoughts on “How Do You Whet Your Appetite for God?”

  1. Michele, lately I have been looking at the Psalms of Ascent. Looking forward to the day when we can gather with others to worship. In the meantime, I am most grateful to worship Him each day – sometimes quietly, sometimes on our couch, sometimes at my desk, sometimes on our deck. Always in His Word. Often with music. My heart filled with gratitude for the way He is keeping us. Blessings!

    Like

    1. I’ve been reading the Psalms of Ascent as well, using Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction as a guide. I’m afraid we’ve all taken the benefits of corporate worship for granted. Perhaps this season is a much needed corrective measure?

      Like

  2. I loved the quotes you shared with us today, Michele! Yes, worship should whet our appetite for God, and we should be seeking Him with praise and thanksgiving each and every day.
    Blessings!

    Like

  3. I’ve always been like this, too: “more likely to engage in true worship sitting at my dining room table before an open Bible than in a large room full of much-loved distractions called fellow-worshipers.” But I trust God’s instructions to meet together. That’s usually where the rubber meets the road, where we have to live out loving and longsuffering and forgiving and forbearing–not just in church, but in any interactions with others.

    And I so agree that we don’t wait to worship til we feel like it and “It’s in worship that we cultivate feelings toward God.” Many less than ideal beginnings in the Word and prayer have turned around once I got started.

    Like

    1. So much of this following life is about “trusting God’s instructions.” He certainly knows what we need, and often, what I need is to have the sharp edges of my personality sanded off by interactions with other believers who might rub me “the wrong way…” But it’s the way I need to be changed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have found myself more deeply understanding my faith during these times. I have always studied my bible but I have been not only reaching for it more often but recollecting what I have already learned from it. I’m not sure if that is because of the quarantine or because I am getting more mature in my faith.

    Like

    1. Likely the two are connected.
      None of us would have chosen this pandemic as our spring background music, but I’m finding lots of people who are not wasting it, and that’s a gift!

      Like

  5. Good question, Michele. I too have had most of my “breakthrough” moments in my faith when I am alone. I do miss going to church and the community of people there, though. I think this quote from Miguel Petrosky sums up my feelings in this situation: “We can believe that God is present and still be either six feet away or in the safety of our homes on Sunday morning. The church will always be the church no matter how physically close its members are. God isn’t just found in the confines of a physical church building — God meets us where we are”

    Like

  6. You’re right that worship can look different for different people, and even for ourselves at different times. We typically watch our Sunday services when they are streamed live, but this past Sunday we watched the reply while we ate lunch. It wasn’t quite the same; hard to sing when your mouth is full. 😉 Lesson learned not to do that again!

    Congratulations on your new grandchild!!! I hope you’ll be able to make your Colorado visit, even though it’ll mean a quarantine when you get back. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lisa. And yes, our family is trying all kinds of different approaches to Sunday morning virtual worship. I didn’t expect to miss the music as much as I do.

      Like

  7. Ahhh, Michele, I have so many thoughts in response to your post. Our youngest, our strong introvert, LOVES worshiping at home. He’d be happy to do this for the rest of his days. I miss singing corporately, my voice blending in with others, even when I am a bit off-key. AT home it’s hard to try to find harmonies with two teens who don’t sing and are quick to criticize.

    One way I worship is in finding beauty through my camera. Whether it’s a blossom on a tree, a sunrise reflecting on a nearby pond, a smile on one of my kids’ faces, blue skies behind a mountainscape . . . the beauty reminds me of God’s presence and His love and just how amazing He is.

    I could go on and on . . . but I will stop here. I loved this post!

    Like

    1. The music is what I am missing most, Jeanne. I love to sing, and I suppose I stilll do sing here at home, but there’s nothing like corporate singing.
      Like you, I”m grateful for the beauty of outdoor life!

      Like

  8. This is so awesome Michele! I love that quote: “A Christian should be an alleluia from head to foot.” That is a prayer I have for myself…that I can be a praise to Him in all ways! Thank you for this great article and thank you for linking up @worthbeyondrubies

    Like

  9. Oh Michele, this was a gift to read. I can’t wait to be worshipping in person with the body again! But like you, Worship often looks to me like a quiet spot with a pen and the Word open. Worship as whetting the appetite will stick with me! Thank you! On a fun side note, I’ve been part of churches in 4/5 of the denominations you listed so I’m a mongrel too.

    Like

  10. Michele, I miss corporate worship so much! I try to make up for it with my Spotify playlists … unless my girls are listening to an audiobook or jamming to a very eclectic variety of tunes, I almost always have music going in the kitchen or near my laptop. I love the Augustine quote … I would like to be “an alleluia from head to foot.” 🙂

    Like

  11. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

    Like

  12. I turn to God when happy or sad, confident or scared, offering thanks for what I have and asking for support for what needs to happen. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

    Like

  13. Thanks for your thoughts on how to whet our appetite for God. Especially not waiting until we feel like it. Service is worship and sometimes it is a sacrifice of praise. I would love to feature this in the next Blogger’s Pit Stop, trusting that the Lord will use it in a Blogger’s life to draw them to Him.
    Kathleen

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.