Worshiping Night and Day

December 22, 2011

Think about something you are dedicated toward. What are you passionate about? Now think about all the time you devote to that thing.  Our passions command a lot of time.

When I was in high school I ran Cross Country. I took it very seriously. I described myself as a runner, probably above anything else. I would eat more (even though I didn’t look it) during the season to give myself more energy. I thought about previous races and spent time preparing my mind for the next.

I practiced everyday. Even on days when some of the team wanted to goof off, I needed to have a good workout because I wanted to get better. I would go to bed the night before a race and imagine myself running it. I was dedicated (or possibly obsessed).

The fact is, when something captures our hearts, we spend time, energy, money or any other resources we have on that thing. It may seem extreme or over the top to others but we just do not care because this “thing” is so important to us.

We find a woman in Luke 2 who may have seemed a bit extreme to others around her. In verses 36-37 we read,

There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.

She never left the temple! This woman spent all of her time before God dedicating herself to Him!

We see that at one time she was married but just after 7 short years her husband died.

Trouble in our lives does not give us permission to become bitter or to no longer trust God. It is amazing to me that even though this woman has not had an easy life, she is not still wallowing in self-pity. She is not some bitter old woman who points to her past and explains she has the right to live that way.

Instead she rose above her trouble, realizing that God never left her, even though becoming a widow at a young age does not make sense. Because she never left the temple, it is obvious she had a great passion for God and His people.

We find Anna worshiping night and day. Her entire life was spent before God. Isn’t that what we as Christians are called to do? Romans tells us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice. Our entire being is to be given over to God. We must worship Him all the time. It is more than just singing songs, although that is part of it. Having an attitude of glorifying God as we work is a great way to worship. It is hard to live a worshipful life night and day, but we are called to that commitment.

Fasting is one example we are given here. Anna spent time fasting. If you have never tried this or it has been a while I would highly encourage it! When you fast, have something in mind to fast for. It is amazing how you think about that thing every time your stomach growls or you smell some delicious food. There is a site (www.e5men.org) where men sign up and decide to fast once a month (for this site it is the first Wednesday of the month) for their wives.  There is also an e5 women link on the site. Fasting is a great opportunity to grow closer to God as well as bring an important request before Him.

Anna also spent time praying. This often seems pretty obvious, which is why we overlook it so often. Prayer is our connection with God. We bring our requests to Him.

Anna was so connected with God that she recognized the Christ even as a baby. We are not given the specifics about her prophecy but it had to do with Israel’s redemption.

What an amazing opportunity Anna had, to proclaim the Christ just a few days after He was born. We will become aware of more opportunities to serve God when we devote our entire lives to Him.

What can you do to spend day and night worshiping God?


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