TRANSCRIPT Episode 12: Worship – everyday devotion

transcript accessibility accessible adam curtis leah sax Delight Podcast for new Christians and encouragement for others with Adam Curtis and Leah sax

Leah Sax:
Welcome to episode 12 of Delight Podcast. I’m Leah Sax and this is Adam Curtis.

Adam Curtis:
Hey.

Leah Sax:
In this our third episode of season three, we are going to be looking at the topic of worship with Mike and Cat Brooks.

Adam Curtis:
Mike and Cat met while at university. They’ve been married for 16 years. They’ve got four children. Both are heavily involved in St John’s, Chelsea, a council estate church. Cat works part time in a boys school helping boys with special educational needs. And Mike is a structural engineer and both of them were quite keen that we knew where they were from. So Cat wants everyone to know that she is from Middlesbrough, which after a few embarrassing seconds we worked out is actually in the north east. Poor Leah, and Mike is from East Sussex.

Leah Sax:
And now we welcome Mike and Cat Brooks to episode 12 of Delight Podcast. Welcome. Hello. We’re so excited to have you here. Adam and I have known you for a long time. I’m not going to go into how long we have known you for. Cat, let’s start with you. Who are you? What do you.

Cat Brooks:
So I’m Cat, I’m married to Mike. I have four children. The eldest is 12. The youngest is five. We live in central London on a council estate in Chelsea. We moved there in 2008, and I also work part time in a secondary school with boys with special educational needs.

Leah Sax:
Amazing what brought you to that part of London?

Cat Brooks:
We moved to London in 2007 because Mike got a job here and we just finished university in Nottingham. We started going to a church in central London. At that time, St John’s Chelsea was a year old, so it just been started really okay and they needed people to move to Chelsea to join the church to sort of commit to actually living here. The pastor of the church, Andy Mason, came to our church that we were at and said, Would anybody move to a council estate in Chelsea? Yeah. And we said, Oh, we could do that. And we sort of naively decided to move to Chelsea, despite the fact that it’s very expensive and we didn’t really have much money at all, but we’re still here. We thought we’d live here for two years and, you know, makes such a difference. But once we’re still was still here. To our children, it’s home to us. It still feels a little bit crazy to live here, but we love it.

Leah Sax:
So, Mike, who are you?

Mike Brooks:
I am Mike and obviously married to Catherine and have the same children.

Leah Sax:
No way.

Mike Brooks:
Because I’m a structural engineer in the day. We’re both very heavily involved in the church. I lead musical worship at church, and I’m also on the leadership team as well.

Leah Sax:
Mike how did you come to know Jesus?

Mike Brooks:
I have the wonderful privilege of having parents who love Jesus, so I don’t clearly remember a time when I didn’t really believe in Jesus. I do have particular moments where I can tell like key moments where I made decisions as a child about eight or nine. I remember going into my parent’s bedroom and praying, inviting the Holy Spirit into my life. It’s a kind of growing story where I see particular points along the way where Jesus rescued me. As I look back on my life trajectory, I can see now that I was in need of rescue and that somewhere along the way God rescued me. But I can’t necessarily pinpoint exactly when that was.

Leah Sax:
And when you think back through that story of God’s rescue and how that has changed your life, do any moments of particular growth stand out when you think right at this time? And through this part of my story, God was teaching me something different.

Mike Brooks:
The biggest evidence that I can see of God working in my life tends to be when I look back over a longer period of time, there isn’t necessarily significant steps in growth. But yes, even just kind of how I ended up in Chelsea, when you look back and see kind of the steps that happened, they didn’t seem like they were God driven decisions, but as they accumulated, they very clearly were is just by God’s grace that he’s kept me. And I’ve ended up with Catherine serving on this estate here. And I can only really see that by looking back over long periods of time.

Leah Sax:
Are you good at kind of taking time to stop and look back? Because I find that quite difficult to remember to do. Is there anything that prompts you to do that?

Mike Brooks:
I’m not very good at it. Catherine is good at it. She will prompt me to do it. So she’s a good prompt. And I think particularly when you have fears about your progress as a Christian, they’re often short term. It’s more actually just talking to the people around you. You can see the longer term growth that can encourage you to go, Nothing’s going to change in a week, right? You’ve got to actually look longer term, look backwards further and see where you were one year to year, three or five years ago and see how much you’ve changed then. That’s the encouragement. My inward kind of worry about personal kind of growth, only to be encouraged by people saying, no, look further back, see where you’re coming from.

Leah Sax:
Yeah. And you sometimes God gives you those people who have that bigger perspective and you can see God’s faithfulness over the long term and you can see how he’s at work in you. That’s amazing. Cat, how about you? How did you come to know Jesus?

Cat Brooks:
I grew up in a family that’s always said that the Christian God was real, but we didn’t really go to church regularly and we didn’t read the Bible. We never really talked about God that I can remember. So I kind of always had this idea in my mind that there was a God, but I think I always just thought that he was always just pleased with me. It’s a bit of a cliche, but sort of a bit like Santa, that he was this good man in the sky who was obviously on my side all the time. And then I did really well at school and I had lovely friends, quite a lively social life. I was happy with my life. I think looking back I was quite self righteous, like I thought I was really good because I. Did really well at school and I didn’t get into trouble. A few things sort of started to go wrong for me when I was about 16. So just before I turned 17, my cousin, who was 13, was knocked down by a car and killed outside his house. It was just such a massive shock. Actually, one of his friends wrote a song about it, and one of the lines was We never knew that life could be so cruel. And for me, that really sums up how I felt at the time, like, how can this Father Christmas type God let something like this happen? It was just this child has just been taken from us. To me, that kind of rocked my world quite a lot. I really took it quite badly and then sort of went into a bit of a tailspin emotionally. But lots of people probably didn’t know.

Cat Brooks:
I think I was just having quite dark thoughts and but I sort of bumbled along about a year after that happened. So when I was 18, my brother, who was three years older than me, he came home from law school for Christmas and he’d become a Christian in his first term of law school. He came home and he was talking about Jesus and what he’d done on the cross for us. And I remember being sort of interested, but also a little bit puzzled, thinking, you know, we don’t need to go on about Jesus. Like he was obviously praying for me and he sent me a book and I read the book and I enjoyed that. And then I was invited on to do this course called The Alpha Course, which some people will have heard of. I just remember learning like who is Jesus and why Jesus died. And I remember turning up and saying, I just really want to understand why he died. I just don’t get it. I realised that God wasn’t pleased with me, like I wasn’t good. I thought it was a good person. And actually this world is broken and terrible things do happen. That death is terrible and it is real. And and actually, amazingly, Jesus had come to do something about that to conquer death. I don’t remember the exact day that I decided to follow Jesus, but as soon as I understood, there was just no question. I just wanted to be saved. And I know now that that was God’s grace and mercy to me, that He gave me that understanding and the humility to say, Yeah, I’ve really messed up a lot and I need I need forgiveness.

Leah Sax:
What did life as 18 year old Cat now look like, now that she’d seen the reality of what Jesus had done for her?

Cat Brooks:
I had this big group of friends and I sort of tried to introduce them to Jesus and tried to bring them along with me. None of them did end up becoming Christians. I then started going to church where there were quite a few young people and I had so I had friends there as well. It was very slow for any major changes to happen, to be honest. Like I was committed to church and I read the Bible and prayed. But in terms of changing my lifestyle, God was very patient with me. I wish I had changed quicker. That would have been helpful for my friends as well, to see a dramatic change rather than me seeming in many ways the same but going to church.

Leah Sax:
I think it’s so helpful to hear the reality of God’s timing. It isn’t a magical switch. It’s God’s faithfulness, as you’ve both just told us. Mike, when did your path cross with Cat’s?

Mike Brooks:
I was a freshman at university, walking down my corridor to my room with all of my mates on my corridor, and this girl walked in and said, Do any of you know Mike Brooks? And I thought, Oh, I’m in here. She knows. She knows my name. Now I’d forgotten that I’d signed up to the Christian Union at Freshers Fair that week. So she was actually the Hall representative, just trying to encourage me to come along to the group. But that was when our paths crossed. You were a year ahead of me at uni, so you were doing the whole fellowship thing. Second year stay on in halls to kind of help encourage new Christians that come along. And then in the spring term, the Christian Union encourages the first years to now become Hall Fellowship leaders. So I became the Fellowship leader. We decided to start going out at that point as well. Three months later, we got engaged.

Adam Curtis:
Wow I know I did not know that.

Mike Brooks:
19 years old. Yeah.

Adam Curtis:
Oh, praise the Lord. You’re still together.

Mike Brooks:
Yeah, we were talking about this the other nights. Praise the Lord. It’s the Lord who sustains us in our marriage. And married for how old am I now? 16 years old. 17, 16 and a half, whoops.

Leah Sax:
And in those past 16 years, Mike, spiritually, has it all been smooth sailing just constantly on the up?

Mike Brooks:
No, Absolutely. Absolutely not. No. There have been many lows for both of us, life hitting us both at different times. We were talking the other night about how we’re encouraged that we communicate well, quick to talk things through, and that’s been a real blessing to us both to be able to talk about how we’re feeling. Yeah, I mean, we’ve got four kids and we live in a three bedroom flat. It’s a it’s a wonderful, wonderful blessing, but. Even that is a small space, and it means that we end up rubbing against each other and sin comes out. And, you know, this is just life. General life is is hard sometimes, but it might not be a constant, but the trajectory is always up. As you look back, you see that progress. You see that growth.

Leah Sax:
Hi Delight Podcast family did you know you can now rate us on Spotify? We’d love for you to do so. It just takes.

Adam Curtis:
Please do.

Leah Sax:
Liking sharing and subscribing really does bring Delight Podcast to new ears. So thank you for doing that. You can check out our website at Delight Podcast. There you can find transcripts of each episode, more detailed show notes and the latest blog by our guest, blogger Cat Brooks on Worship.

Adam Curtis:
Whoop, whoop, whoop, whoo, whoo. I got a week off. Always a joy.

Leah Sax:
You can find us on all socials. Just search at Delight Podcast.

Adam Curtis:
Well, thank you, Mike and cat, for your openness and honesty and sharing your stories with us. We’re now going to move on to our topic of worship. I think we actually sort of live in like a cultural moment, which does have a concept or an understanding of worship. Like, our culture worships beauty or eco warriors, but in our culture, like to worship something is to sort of sing its praises, to talk about lots. So maybe like a casual example, Leah loves to talk about AirPods.

Leah Sax:
They’re great. They’re great, what can I say?

Adam Curtis:
Enough, enough. And and I have been caught even on one of the Delight Podcast episodes. Episode four, I believe raving about bullet journals. When we talk about worship, is this what we mean when we talk about worshipping God? Is worship just singing his praises In church.

Mike Brooks:
We would say that God talks about worship in a way that means what is the thing in my life that is the most important thing, the ultimate thing in my life, When I can identify what that is, that is the thing that I worship. We might rave about what it journals or we might rave about AirPods. I don’t know why.

Adam Curtis:
Don’t get us started, don’t get us going.

Mike Brooks:
But actually there might be a thing there that is. I like stuff and and stuff is actually the ultimate thing. I like to collect and have the latest stuff or I want to be on trend and have the newest thing. That is the ultimate thing that my life is for. This is the purpose of my life. The main reason I get up in the morning is to go to work so that I can earn money and I can come back and buy more Airpods. Worship is devotion to this thing. That is the most important thing in my life. When we talk about what good worship would be, good worship, true worship is delighting in God above all else, in all things. So we put him above all things. He is the ultimate thing above any other concerns that we might have, which are might be really good concerns, good things to be concerned about in our lives. True worship is putting God above those things and it is also to do it in all things. So it’s not just doing it for a small portion of our week, it’s not just doing it when we sing or when we pray, or when we do what we might seem as spiritual things. It’s doing it in everything. Singing is a really big part of that. It’s worth noting that God has made church to be a special place where we gather together as Christians, and singing is a particular way in which God wants us to worship and adore Him. That holds a special place as part of our worship, and we don’t want to discount that. God has clearly shown that singing is a wonderful way in which we can worship Him. But worship is is our entire lives. It is putting him above all things in every aspect of our life.

Adam Curtis:
Okay, So so you’re talking about how worship is delighting in God above all else at all times. But why would we want to do this? Why would we want to worship God all of the time? Doesn’t that seem a bit much?

Cat Brooks:
I think if you look at Genesis one and two and see how God made people and everything else, he made the world and then he made Adam to rule over the world. He made Adam and Eve in his image. And I think part of that is that we can relate to gods. God works with them in the garden, so they’re made for this relationship with God. They’re made to worship him. Because of that, humans are always worshipping something because we’ve been made to worship God. If we’re not worshipping God on a Monday or Wednesday because we’re not at church, then we’re worshipping something else. And that’s something else is not good for us. And that offends God. You know, we are we all do this, but we need to be trying to repent of that. And notice when we’ve got an idol and get rid of it. What I mean by Idol is anything that I’m putting first in my life and the way to get rid of it is to worship God. There’s a really good book by Tim Keller called Counterfeit Gods, and he says in that idols cannot be removed. They have to be displaced. So they get displaced by God. They get sort of smashed out of the way by God. So as we delight more and more in God, we turn our attention from those idols to him, and he’s the one that we were made to worship. So he’s the only one that can satisfy us and the only one that can be good for us.

Adam Curtis:
You guys are raising something, which is really, really helpful here that we were made for relationship with God and we’re made to worship God, and that’s where we’re worshipping creatures we’re always going to be worshipping. Thus, whether it be a Sunday on Wednesday, we’ve just got to decide, well, who are we going to be worshipping that day? So if Cat we get to that moment where we realise we have got that idol in our lives, that thing we’re holding higher than God in our lives, can we push it into how we displace it a bit more? You talked about like we displace an idol by delighting in God more. What? What does that actually look like? What does that feel like?

Cat Brooks:
When we were thinking about what worship is, I found these verses from Romans 12 helpful. So it says, Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice wholly and pleasing to God, this is your true. Worship do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is His good, pleasing and perfect will. So here God is saying This is what worship is, is to offer your body as a living sacrifice. So to me that must mean repenting of my sin. So my my physical body wants to sin my old self, my sinful nature wants to sin, but God has given me a new heart that wants to live for him. And so I keep repenting, keep saying sorry to God for my sin and trusting that he’s changing me day by day. It says, Do not conform to the pattern of this world. So the world all around us is worshipping idols. Worshipping may be money, comfort, worshipping, self worshipping family.

Cat Brooks:
That’s what they’re living for. And so one helpful thing is to kind of be able to spot that. So to be able to spot what people are worshipping because they’re the things that I’m going to be tempted to also worship. Instead of worshipping that thing and thinking that thing is going to make me happy. That thing is going to satisfy me actually thanking God for that good gift. For example, my family, thanking God for my family, and maybe asking him to help me, not to make my family the ultimate thing in my life, but to keep him the ultimate thing in my life. There are different ways to keep delighting in God each day, reading the Bible praying. So I find it helpful to listen to worship music on the way to work sometimes to sort of stir my heart, to delight in him. And that’s what church community as far as well as we encourage each other. If somebody is encouraging me about something that they’ve noticed this week about Jesus or something that’s really struck them, that helps me to delight in him as well.

Mike Brooks:
I mean, Romans 12 is a hefty command for us, like it’s our entire lives are living sacrifices. So why why on earth would we would we give up our entire life for God? Mm hmm. Well, why do we give up anything that we want for anything, right? We give up the comfort of the couch to go and run and get fit. The cost is that we don’t get to binge on Netflix, but the goal is we gain healthiness, we gain fitness. So what is it that would motivate us to give up everything? That’s only going to come if the goal is just unbelievably wonderful. In all of this kind of discussion that we have around kind of true worship, a life devoted to Christ, the only way we’re ever going to want to live lives that are devoted to Christ is If we understand what Christ has done for us. Comprehensively from the beginning of time, his plan to rescue us, not just to take us out of sin, but to raise us into glory with Him, to share His glory with us so that we can be brought into the family of the Almighty God. Whenever you’re kind of reading, loads of Paul’s letters, have lots about what worship looks like, what sacrifice looks like, what good Christian living looks like. So Colossians 3 is another example, but Colossians 3, it starts by saying Colossians 3, one says, Since then you have been raised with Christ. Set your hearts on things above. So it’s saying Christ has done this Almighty and wonderful work in you, setting you in the heavenly place with Himself in Him.

Mike Brooks:
Why would you want to spend your life looking at other things? Why would you want to focus back down on the things that were trapping you in misery and sin? We can only really grow our motivations for living a life that is worship. If we are remembering who God is and what God has done. I mean, it’s worth remembering Catherine talked about earlier in Genesis 1, us being made for worship. We should worship because God made us write. Revelation 4 talks about that you are worthy, our Lord and God’s to receive glory and honour and power if you created all things and by your will they were created and have their being. Because he made us, we should be worshipping him. Our devotion should be to him. And yet he is not a cruel God. He is the best and perfect father who willingly with his son, planned a costly rescue plan that cost them in order that we could be rescued from our own sin and depravity, our own disobedience and rebellion against him. That’s how much he loves us. That is the good Lord that we have. There’s no silver bullet here. And it’s not like we can kind of say, do this and everything will be fine, except we can say, Do this and keep doing this. Yeah, and it will be fine. And that thing is just keep reading the gospel, keep reading God’s Word, keep praying to him and growing your relationship with him and your living Sacrifice your daily worship. You’ll see growth in those things.

Adam Curtis:
And it’s interesting, as you say that, because as we’re reading the Gospels, seeing what Jesus has done for us, then actually we start to, by the power of his spirit, start to become the men and women he is calling us to be. His. His death and sacrifice has made us. One of these images, which Scripture gives us is that 1 Corinthians 6 where it talks about how we now become temples and we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, and actually thus we run away from sexual immorality and all these other things, and we run towards the Lord and we just worship the Lord with everything that we are, because this is now who we are. Yeah, we’re united with Jesus. This is our primary identity. Everything about us has now been transformed. So I think. Yes. Amen. That is a heart, isn’t it? If we’re going to Jesus.

Mike Brooks:
One of the things that I think has been a real motivator for me, practically, yeah. Is seeing the cost of other people in other situations. We live in a place where it is convenient to be a Christian part time and it seems like a viable option, right? It seems like the world says, Yeah, you can be a Christian as long as you do that on your own to yourself, you keep it to your Sundays. You don’t talk about it with me. I don’t want to really hear about that. You do what you want to do. I do what I want to do. Yeah, you can seek. After the wealth that I’m looking for, you can seek after the promotion that I’m looking for, or the school catchment area that I’m looking for. And, you know, Jesus can still be a part of that. And promotions are good and catchment areas are good, right? And we’re not saying that they shouldn’t be a part of our thinking process, but where does God rank in that decision making process? And yet when you look abroad and you see brothers and sisters that are willing to give up their lives for this gospel, it is a real motivator to understand just the seriousness of this faith and how it should be affecting everything that we do.

Mike Brooks:
We see brothers and sisters that are struggling but like love the Lord, they know that they could have a much easier life of comfort if they gave up the faith. Right. And yet they don’t. Well, I find that just kind of looking at them and going, goodness me, like, how have you or people just generally who are suffering or going through suffering and are finding it life just hard and yet still getting on their knees and praying and showing kind of commitments to the Lord? It’s just a wonderful encouragement for me to say this isn’t a part time thing. It doesn’t work. When I try and do Jesus part time. He needs to be ultimate and actually look how much these guys are able to show and express joy in situations you just wouldn’t understand if you didn’t have Jesus. So it must be worth pursuing with my whole heart.

Adam Curtis:
He needs to be ultimate because he is ultimate. Yeah, he is the Lord. He’s the king of kings. He’s the one who made us and knows us. He loves us and gave his very life to save us. Like if we’re not making him ultimate, we’re denying reality. Denying exactly how the world is and how it was ordered to be. And actually, that is the most dangerous thing in the world to deny reality.

Cat Brooks:
Other gods, these other idols that people worship, these pretend gods are cruel, they’re not good. So you can’t worship them and ultimately be satisfied. And people might seem really happy and they might seem satisfied even then. Ultimately, they will face Jesus on judgement day one day, and that God is not going to help them. The money is not going to help them. Their education or the education of their children isn’t going to help them. Their good looks, their friendships, whatever it is that they’ve been living for, won’t satisfy them. And I think the more you worship God, the more you delight in him. It kind of Grows.

Mike Brooks:
Like an upward cycle.

Cat Brooks:
Because God is faithful and he does satisfy us. Like Jesus says, whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. I’ll look at what he actually said. Jesus says whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. So we we find satisfaction in God. We don’t actually find it in the other things that we try to worship. I feel like the longer you live as a Christian, the more you see that God is the only good God. The Bible says that other gods are useless, but they’re often cruel as well because you just keep having to work and work and work and you never get the reward that Idol has promised you.

Adam Curtis:
It’s been wonderfully, wonderfully helpful and rich, and I’m so encouraged by it. Let’s turn it and make it practical. We’ve been speaking about how worship is delighting in God above all else, in all things. What does that actually look like? What does that actually feel like? How do we delight in God above all else, in all things during our day to day lives? Like maybe when we’re taking the kids to school or we’re working on our emails or brushing their teeth, what does it look like to worship God in those sort of situations?

Cat Brooks:
Yeah, it’s a really good question because I think often life is just mundane, isn’t it? Life is very ordinary for most people. So I was a stay at home mom for nine years and I still spend a lot of time at home with my children. And a lot of that is repetitive tasks that I have to do again tomorrow. You know, cooking food, washing up. Cleaning. Doing laundry. Helping with homework. In those things, it’s really about what’s going on in my heart because I can do those things in a selfish way and probably resent doing a lot of it. This could be the same if you’re at work or if you are at home, but you don’t have children just as you’re going about your day. We could do things to please ourselves, or if we’re not pleased with them, we can resent doing them and grumble, or we can do them with love and with thankfulness. So thanking God for this day He’s given us to know Him again and thanking God for the people in our lives who are serving. Whether that’s because we work in a shop or because we’re a teacher, or because we’re building something that people are going to live in or because we’re a mom. In most jobs, there are other people involved. Somewhere along the line we can thank God for those people and pray that we would be a blessing to them. Just our heart attitude in the way that we’re doing our work, whatever that may be God cares about. And so we want to honour him in the way we do our work, what our attitude is.

Leah Sax:
I know you have a blog. Your Mum in Zone one blog. Is it easier to worship God when you’re doing something like your blog or like when I’m preparing music for church on Sunday? Is there any difference between that type of worship?

Mike Brooks:
I think it’s very easy to have your affections stirred when you’re singing with loads of other people on a Sunday or even praying together, or just just reading the bible with someone. Those things are very easy ways to stir our affections and feel engaged in worship. That often isn’t the difficulty. The difficulty isn’t going in on a Sunday and struggling to work. Sometimes it is, but actually those things are, like I said, are ways in which the Lord, by His grace, helps us to worship. We are still called to worship outside of those things. They often come against the sins and the difficulties and the fallen nature of the world. It seems very natural to use singing as part of our worship. It has this directness, this very obvious directness to God that’s maybe more difficult to see when you’re brushing your teeth or when you’re taking your kids to school. Yeah, The question then comes, Well, how how do I do that? And in these circumstances, it does require more thought. It does require us to actually think about these things. It won’t come as naturally. A key thought process in terms of assessing whether or not we are making decisions in our day as worship to God is where is God in that in that process? Does he rank at the top or is he actually a side on thought? But those decisions are require God’s kind of input to differing degrees because we’re in a relationship with him. Relationally Sometimes we don’t need to think, how am I worshipping God whilst I’m brushing my teeth? That might not be a question we need to ask. Yeah, where do I move? Where do I move to as a city? That’s a question God really wants to be a part of. I wouldn’t ask Catherine, can I brush my teeth in this way? That just doesn’t really make sense as a question. It’s noting that we don’t. And the problem with Christianity is we have freedom in Christ. So it’s so difficult to find the right answer to some of these things. There are just so many different ways in which we can honour God, and it’s not necessarily that any one of them are wrong and often they’ll be right in different circumstances.

Adam Curtis:
Let me push into which city should I move to, where should I live? How could I worship God? By thinking that through what? What would be helpful things to think through?

Mike Brooks:
And it’s probably worth asking the question why do people move cities? Right? Because if you ask people why they move cities and their top answer is, I was offered a promotion for my work or something like that. If people are deciding that they want to move jobs because they can see there is an opportunity for promotion and that is their first and foremost thought, then they are worshipping work. And if God does not register in that picture now, if there’s an opportunity to move to another location because there is a promotion available at work and their first thought is, Oh, I wonder what churches there are in that area, how I can serve in that area. Maybe this might be an opportunity for us to leave where we are at the moment and serve God in a new context. That is not saying that looking for a promotion is wrong. It’s just placing it under God and saying, Yes, actually I do want to get promoted, but I first and foremost want to see how I can serve God in this new area. What are the churches that I could go to? Are they good churches I could go to? Are there small churches that could be blessed by me coming and serving them? Those are the kind of questions that show an attitude of bringing the decision to God in prayer and asking him, Look, do you want me to do this right? I say that and just need to caveat because it’s not always that he’s going to speak to you through lightning and thunder and say, yes, move here. And the reality is that just doesn’t happen ordinarily. But as you read his word and you see kind of how we should be living our lives with him central as we bring these things to him, we have that freedom. To go and do these things knowing that we have prayed about this and go in peace, that the decision is the right thing to do. The fact that we are bringing it to him shows an earnestness to have him at the forefront of our decision making process.

Leah Sax:
And of course, as we spoke in the time just spent in God’s Word, will bring wisdom and discernment. And the answer to those questions might be actually, I can serve on the local church much better. I’m cool to be here and I’m not going to take that job promotion at that time. And that is also worshipful.

Cat Brooks:
The Romans 12 verses that we read earlier. It says, Be transformed by the renewing of your mind and then you’ll be able to test and approve what his will is. The way we’re transformed by the renewing of our minds is by reading the Bible. Over the years, the thing that’s kept me going is reading my Bible, but I actually don’t usually enjoy it that much. I get up and read it in the morning. I very rarely come away thinking, Oh, that was so good. It’s just what I needed. But when I look back over my life, I think that’s what’s kept me going.

Leah Sax:
So Cat you’ve just been really helpfully honest about how you come to read God’s Word, and it’s not always this high happy feeling, and it can be an uphill struggle. I think our listeners will totally relate. How do we worship God when we’re broken and tired and weary and frankly don’t feel in a good space?

Cat Brooks:
Thinking back, I’ve definitely been through several seasons of life where I felt lacking joy and struggling, either feeling down or just not feeling much. One thing my pastor said to me once was You need to take responsibility for your own encouragement, which kind of doesn’t sound very. It’s not a very soft thing to say, but it was helpful to me because I think when I feel discouraged or I just feel like I just don’t really want to read the Bible or I’m too tired, I haven’t had any sleep, I kind of want to just wallow in that and I want to wait for somebody to come along and taught me round. And they might do, hopefully, but I need to be. I know this isn’t a very exciting word, but I need to be disciplined about about my own, my encouragement. So I need to put on some worship music, listen to memory verse songs, which we really like doing in our house. I need to go to church. I need to go to my Bible study and keep doing those things that I don’t feel like doing because I know that those are the things that are going to keep me alive in my relationship with God, even if it takes a long time for me to start feeling better.

Cat Brooks:
The great thing about having been a Christian for about 20 years now is that I can see that that does help because it’s happened before. I can trust that God is faithful in those times when I’m tempted to turn to something else. I now know that God is faithful and he’s actually the one that’s going to help me. For example, when I had a newborn baby. One good thing about that is that you know in advance that you’re going to have a baby and so you can plan. And I remember a friend sending me a CD of songs and saying, this is for when sleep is short and truth is needed, and I will just put the CD on and just listen to the the gospel being preached at me. I would listen to sermon podcasts in the night feeds, and they kept me going even though I didn’t feel much because I was exhausted. But I think sometimes we have seasons of life where spiritually or emotionally we’re kind of in that similar zone where we might not be sleeping well or we might just be in a dark time, but we don’t see it coming, so we don’t know in advance to make sure we are listening to those sermons or music.

Adam Curtis:
Well, I find so helpful about that is often we can sort of get caught in that trap that to live the Christian life, I’ve got to be happy all the time because if I’m delighting in the Lord and and in the Gospel and in what Jesus has done for me, that’s the most amazing news. And intellectually, there could be moments where I know that. But I don’t always in my heart feel that. And actually life’s really tough and really, really hard. But actually part of delighting in the Lord and holding Him above all else is is taking that hardship to the Lord, taking it to the Lord and be like, Help me, lead me, guide me, comfort me, I need you because I am just in the dump right now. It’s that posture of going to the Lord like, I just need you. I need You now.

Mike Brooks:
The question is quite real to me. I mean, less than a week ago I went to my pastor telling him that life’s hard and I’m struggling and finding feeling broken and feeling tired. So this is just an ongoing reality of life, as Catherine was saying, is when we’re broken and when we’re tired, we want comfort and we want rest. And where do we get those things? Well, we can get those things from good things. We can get them from friends and exercise and good sleep, and we can get it from not so great places. But Jesus is the best. Jesus is the ultimate place to find that rest. Matthew 11 Come to me. He says, All of you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. We’ve talked about kind of how we’re naturally drawn to worship, and it’s not a question of whether we worship or not. It’s a question of what we worship. Jesus is by far the best person to come to with our with our needs and our brokenness and our tiredness, because he specifically asks us to come to him because he is gentle and humble and heart. He wants us to come. Why? So that we can find rest for ourselves. So I went to my pastor last week. I said, Please give me some advice, like what do I do? I needed to hear these things that we’re saying now. I’m just a complete regurgitation of what he said to me because I needed to hear it, too. And it was and it’s been it’s been an encouragement.

Mike Brooks:
Do anything you can to focus on Jesus. Make sure that you’re the way in which you want to find that comfort and rest is focussed on him. So just in the little things, our prayers, even if it’s a small thing, just keep praying, please. Like you were saying, Please, Lord, help me. Please help me sleep. Please help me not stress. Please help me. Not to worry. To remind ourselves. Of the wonderful things that got us done. So reading the Psalms, Psalm 23 reminding ourselves of of what God’s goodness is to us, reading the promises that He has given us in his and his son. And so what we need to do when we’re when things are going well is to remind ourselves that we depend upon Jesus for everything, so that when the bad times come, we run to Him with our needs. In the complete flip side, we might run to him very easily when we’re in crisis mode and then struggle to maintain good relationship with him when things are going well. And and actually what we need to to remember is to practice thankfulness, to practice gratitude as to what God has done so that we don’t focus on ourselves in those times of goodness, but still come back to thanking him for those times. As God brings us out of that situation, we still go back to Him. It’s those disciplines that are established when our times with God are going well, that help us when we’re finding it a struggle.

Adam Curtis:
I found that so helpful just overall and like honest and open Mike and Cat were. But one of the things which I really enjoyed about this episode is the fact that it tied together the Delight Podcast.

Leah Sax:
I was about to say exactly The same thing.

Adam Curtis:
Well, I’m glad I got that first.

Leah Sax:
Well, it was a humble reminder of why we went with a name Delight Podcast, which I honestly didn’t think about until Mike gave his beautiful description of what worship is, which is Adam.

Adam Curtis:
It’s exactly delighting in the Lord above all else, in all things. I’m like, Yes. And amen. And that’s why this is called Delight Podcast was we want to help people delight in the load. It beautifully ties into that in the name. But also we were just hitting like loads of the holy habits or spiritual habits we did in season one. Yes, yes. Prayer, meditation, Church. We were obviously, unsurprisingly, we’re majoring on singing, which we had in the last season, like tuning our hearts. I was like, This is incredible.

Leah Sax:
Delighting in the Lord.

Leah Sax:
It’s bonus Question Time and our Season three bonus question is what are you most enjoying about God’s character at the moment?

Mike Brooks:
I think that the way in which we use the word content is quite weak, and so it’s right and wonderful that we can find contentment in God, that He is enough. He is more than enough. You know, even when things feel hard to know that I can gain the fullest contentment by being in him, that is a wonderful encouragement.

Cat Brooks:
So recently I’ve been talking to some people who are not Christians about my faith and trying to talk to them about what’s the point of life if we’re just here by accident. Some of the people that I know are really sure about the fact that there is no God, We’re just here by accident and they think it’s sort of a bit silly to still believe in God when we have all these discoveries, like we’ve discovered things about space that we didn’t know before. And one thing I’ve really I’ve really enjoyed is actually singing songs about how God made everything. And he is so awesome, like in the true sense of the word, awesome. He’s so powerful and he’s completely in charge. And something about the fact that that’s been challenged to me. I’ve enjoyed more worshipping him for who he is because he did make everything, and I don’t understand much about that, but I know that it’s true and that just gives me cause to rejoice.

Leah Sax:
Thank you so much to Mike and Cat for being our guest on episode 12 of Delight Podcast. We can’t wait to be with you again next week for episode 13, when we’ll be exploring the topic of relationships with Simon and Tree Pedley. This is Adam and Leah, delightfully signing off, but bye bye.

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