This is the season we swear off things we have gotten tired of by the end of the year. Every year I say I will never oversee another Children’s Choir, but here I am a few weeks and counting to the production date. Some of us have resolved to stop smoking, eat less, exercise more, start/finish projects and stay in touch with friends and family. (I’m sure you can add to this list!)

Every year around my birthday, Nov. 23, I assess the things I have done in my life. I never plan the process, but it just comes up internally as my birthday draws near. Funny how I noticed years ago I tend to get a little depressed about my life if it isn’t moving forward. To prevent depression, I started setting goals for myself. I found I didn’t complete the goals I had set for myself, and I would get more depressed. I resolved in my heart that as long as I kept moving ahead with my overall goals, I was on track. When it came to my spiritual walk, I knew to read my Bible and pray. It seemed I would fall short in following closely after God. I took for granted that I must press ahead on my worship journey.

For the past 5 years I make a point to take a trip to Dallas, Texas for the International Worship Institute. Each year the Institute has a theme, and one year’s theme was “Worship Odyssey.” The opening night was complete with the “Space Odyssey” music theme and we were on our way. The whole week was filled with travels and adventures.

That year I saw my worship life a little differently. I witnessed and embraced a different perspective - “The life of a worshiper is an odyssey not a journey.” Journey being defined as a trip or expedition from one place to another. Odyssey being defined as a long series of travels and adventures. Doesn’t the word odyssey describe our worship life better?

I sat and hummed the Space Odyssey music in my head – Da, Da DADA! I thought, “There is something out (in space) that needs to be explored.” I realized it’s the same with our relationship with the Lord. There has got to be something more than what we are used to right now. I was going for it! I’m looking for some fresh water, fresh bread, fresh revelation of the one that calls us closer to Him. Could it be the Spirit of God has placed an internal spiritual clock that tells us to take an assessment of our relationship with Him?

Do you sense the gentle call of the Holy Spirit urging you to come nearer… to come closer? The call is a little different than in the beginning because it’s deep calling to deep. The Spirit’s call is not as loud as it used to be; we have to lean in to hear Him. Not everyone will come because it seems scary. The fear of the unknown will hold us back; it’s a place we have never been before. But we must take the plunge and engage!

The further our odyssey takes us, the deeper and sweeter our relationship gets. The deeper our relationship gets, the more He is glorified in our lives. Our “worship evangelism” will be more effective because we would have experienced God and we can take others to the place where He is. To some His face is hidden, but to those of us who would dare seek Him it is not. Psalms 27:8(NIV) states, “My heart says of You, Seek my face” Your face Lord I will seek.” How do we seek the face of one who remains hidden? We seek – we strive after- His face and His presence. My heart says of You – the Holy Spirit speaks to our heart (this involves our feelings, will and intellect. In the Hebrew culture the heart related to the center of anything). The Holy Spirit knows how to lead us into all truth, doesn’t He? He makes the longing we feel for God become such a part of us. We are compelled to come closer. All we have to do is say, “Yes, Lord, here I come.”

Here is the reality as worshipers - we should always be on the look out for greener pastures where the cool waters flow. We want to stand under the waterfall of God and drink it all in. Then we want to invite others to see this place and they come, they tell others, and soon it’s so crowded that we are on the lookout again.

Isn’t that what worshiping the Holy One is all about? My resolution is to go further up the mountain of the Lord. The cry of my heart is to seek fresh water, fresh bread and fresh revelation. I desire to seek His face and obtain more of His presence in my life. I want to tell others about these places, and then I want to move on while still bringing others with me – Will you come on the odyssey with me and others as we continue to take the challenge to go deeper and engage!

Hungry Lord, I’m Hungry for Your presence

Lord I need Your presence in my life

I’m thirsty Lord, I long to know You more

My heart’s an open door – come in

I am here, I want to know You more

I’ll draw near to see You face to face

There’s no fear or hesitation Lord

I want You and You alone

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