At An Inconvenient Time

By Francis Frangipane

The Lord has multitudes who believe in Him, but only a minority who truly worship Him. True worshipers find their fulfillment in adoring God. The fragrance of their worship rises, not only during the scheduled times of church services, but also during inconvenient times.

A true worshiper will rise early before work or school; they're up before the household so they can be alone with God. Instead of being frustrated by delays, they transform difficulties and setbacks into opportunities to magnify God. You might see one of these worshipers sitting in the car next to you during a traffic jam, singing along with Christian music in their car.

A true worshiper has learned the secret of worshiping God at inconvenient times.

I, too, find the Lord leading me to worship Him during inconvenient times. I might be alone writing or working on some important project when something awakens in my spirit: I become aware that the presence of the Lord is near. Yet, He isn't commanding me to worship, He's inviting me. The time of worship may be as little as 10 or 15 minutes or it might be much longer. Regardless, I turn from what I was doing, pick up my guitar and begin to worship Him.

Frankly, I am not a good musician; I only know a few chords. Yet as I worship, I know the King of heaven is actually pleased with my offering. He has granted me an audience, and in some mysterious way, He causes me to feel that the sound of my worship is the only thing He hears as I'm singing.

The Invitation
I, for one, desire my worship to become all consuming. Yet, I confess that a primary obstacle I must overcome is the inconvenient timing of His invitation. It seems like He actually waits until I am focused on some important project - something He actually wants me to complete. Or it might be late at night when I am almost asleep when the opportunity to worship draws near.

Yet, the very fact that I have responded, in spite of the "inconvenience," actually refines and sweetens my worship. Indeed, when I worship in our Sunday service, I admit I can be carried by the sound of the music and the participation of others around me. I am in an atmosphere of worship, so my praise may actually be something imparted to me by others and not purely my own. However, when He comes at an inconvenient time, my response reaffirms that my worship is real and that God truly is first in my life

What is also a great pleasure to me is that, given such short notice, He does not expect from me a large production. As wonderful as Sunday worship services are, He is not looking for a professional song service, just something real from my heart.

Another blessing is that, often, my wife will hear me worshiping and, without fail, join me. As I worship, I'll soon notice a voice singing alongside me in the background. She's as absorbed as I am in the presence of God. It doesn't matter what she was doing, she loves to bow before God and that, too, sweetens our worship.

Prayer and Worship
There is a difference between prayer and worship. Prayer is an appeal to God based on our needs and the needs of our world. The world is filled with people, each with heartfelt and urgent requests, that are welcomed by our Father in heaven, and they are each heard in the throne room of light. However, worship is not the articulation of our need; it is the consummation of our love. It is what we offer to God regardless of the status of our needs.

Recall the Gospel account of the ten leprous men who cried to Jesus for healing. After the Lord answered their prayers and healed them, they all went their way. One, however, stopped and turned "back, glorifying God with a loud voice . . . he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him" (Luke 17:11-19). Full of gratitude to Christ, this man returned to bow in worship before God. You see, many people will pray, multitudes will find answers, but few will return to Him in worship.

Beloved, if worship flows genuinely from our hearts, the Lord will repeatedly invite us into His presence. His invitation will approach the doorstep of our souls quietly. It will come disguised as a simple desire to love Him. If we follow this desire, it will lead into the presence of God.

As we worship Him, He will grant us inner strength and peace. As we come with thanksgiving, He will refresh us with His love and joy. Let us delight in the privilege of becoming true worshipers of God, even when the opportunity comes at an inconvenient time.