If you grew up in church, the term “Call to Worship” or “Invocation” may be familiar to you. It’s the part of the worship service—usually a prayer, Scripture passage, or song—that asks the Lord to be present with the people, and calls the people to worship the Lord who is present among them. We all experience different seasons in life. Sometimes worship comes naturally, and sometimes it’s a struggle. Yet, what we learn in Psalm 107 is that the call to worship is ever-present. God is always ready and waiting for us, just as we are.
Psalm 107:1-3 speaks of God’s character and actions on our behalf as reasons to worship Him. At the time this psalm was written, the psalmist didn’t know exactly how God would ultimately redeem His people from trouble and gather them to Himself, only that He would.
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, 3 those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. 4 Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. 5 They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. 6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. 8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
Our call to worship is predicated on the character of God. No matter what our circumstances, He is eternally good, faithful, loving, and true (v. 1). In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He has redeemed us from the enemy of our souls and draws us to Himself (vv. 2-3).
Jesus doesn’t wait for us to pull it all together, but meets us exactly at the places where we’re looking for fulfillment. We all have our desert seasons and they’re all different. You may experience more than one desert season in your life, and each one will look different from the others. Some common characteristics of desert seasons are loneliness, longing, and lament. Though the causes and symptoms of our dryness may be different, the answer in every one of them is the same.
After God delivered them out of Egypt, Israel wandered in desert wastelands for 40 years, captive to their sins. They were hungry, thirsty, and had no direction to find a place where they could settle. Today, God’s people are still prone to seasons of wandering. Though we have been given numerous examples in Scripture of those who needed to turn to God in their season of wandering, we often think we know a better way. The fight of faith in our lives is a continual battle against the lies that would have us believe we can direct our lives better than God. The only true end of aimless wandering in this life is returning to God. In order to cry out, we have to first realize that we are not okay. We are poor, needy, and cannot find our own way out. Admitting we are poor and needy isn’t always comfortable, but it’s necessary. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s not okay to stay there. We must be willing to be led out of the desert. It’s not something our culture likes to hear, but there is only one right path and it is the way of the Lord. When we acknowledge our need and turn to Him, He satisfies our thirst and fills us with good things. He fills our loneliness with His loving presence. He gives new direction to our longing, changing our desires from the things of earth to His everlasting kingdom. He turns our lament into thankfulness and joy.
This is an excerpt from Lauren Chandler’s small group study, Steadfast Love Session 1 & 2. Series and study are available exclusively at smallgroup.com.