4 Weeks Before Travel

Logistical Preparations

Check onebag.com for packing tips and begin shopping and packing
Read CultureGram
Explore Cultural Values Comparison website

Enhancing Your Cultural Intelligence: CQ-Knowledge

Review CQ Drive on page 96 from Expand Your Borders by David Livermore

  • How much knowledge have you gained about the region you will be visiting?
  • What can you do to increase your CQ Knowledge?
  • Take some time to read the CultureGram that was sent to you.
  • Consider doing some research: History, government, leaders, people groups, religions, economics and customs (including do's and don'ts).
  • Consider watching a movie, documentary or read a book from or about the region of the world you will be visiting.
  • Visit a museum that highlights are from the region you will be visiting.


Once the cup has been made clean, the Master can fill it with something good to drink. He empowers us and gives us all that we need to complete the work that He has set before us.

Once the cup has been made clean, the Master can fill it with something good to drink. He empowers us and gives us all that we need to complete the work that He has set before us.

Spiritual Foundation: Begin with Worship

During a turbulent time in his reign as king of Judah, as we read in 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat learned that three great armies had gathered to destroy Israel. Even though he was a powerful king, he was afraid and probably thought, “How can I possibly defeat these three strong enemies? Their superior numbers will crush us! I can’t save our people.” His assessment was right. He could not personally save his people from this assault. But Jehoshaphat wisely remembered that there was more to the situation than him and the problem. There was God.

Jehoshaphat gathered his people and began to declare how big and faithful and good God was. He responded to the army’s threat by remembering that God was present and by reflecting on what God had done in the past.

Jehoshaphat remembered that God had won the victory even when the circumstances seemed impossible. Then this king declared to God, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” God replied through His prophet, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this great army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” The next day, Jehoshaphat put his worship team in front of the army, and as they marched, they praised God. “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the [armies], and they were defeated [and destroyed] one another” (2 Chronicles 20:22–23). Jehoshaphat knew he couldn’t do it alone. God promised to do the work. Beginning with worship was the key.

When we enter into this battle proclaiming the truth that every human life is sacred, we throw ourselves directly in front of the enemy’s line of sight. His focus and ultimate purpose is the destruction of the very image of God. This is by far the largest-scale battle the enemy has waged, one that goes beyond even a “David and Goliath” sized fight. Our first action needs to be a humble posture, bowing down to the only One who has the power to defeat the schemes of the enemy.

What Is Worship?

We often limit worship to music. Music is one means by which we can worship but worship is also found in our simple acts of service, in the kind words spoken to someone in need, and the time we take to be with our families. There are countless ways to worship God and music is just one of them.

Worship involves both adoration of who God is (our heart attitude) and actions that express our love for God (our behavior). Anything that praises and pleases God is worship. The Bible expresses the idea in this way: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). If we think of offering to God everything we are for His service, the words of the apostle Paul help us express what we mean: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1).

Why Is Worship Important?

We worship God in our lives for many reasons. We worship because God is worthy of worship, because we’re made to worship Him, because impact with people flows out of closeness with God, because worship wins spiritual battles, and because worship builds up our faith.

God is worthy!

The main reason worship must have top priority is because of who God is—the person and character of God Himself. He is worthy to be honored and glorified in every place and at every time. We also praise God for what he has done both in history and in our lives. No matter the circumstances, God deserves to be praised.

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself. 
Psalm 89:1–2

We are made for worship.

We were created to know God and enjoy Him both now and forever. We have a built-in need to be connected to God and to adore Him. We cannot be truly satisfied without worshipping God, and our lives are filled with joy when we fulfill our purpose.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 
1 Peter 2:9

Impact with people flows out of closeness with God.

If we neglect our worship time with the Lord, we can only offer to other people what is ours: limited energy, inconsistent love, and flawed deeds. We will never be enough on our own. People need what is God’s: unlimited power, unfailing love, and perfect deeds. He will always be enough. Before we minister to others, we must be filled up with God Himself through worship.

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 
John 15:4–5

Worship wins the battle.

Worship causes us to turn our eyes from our circumstances to focus on the One who sits on the throne with power and mercy. It enables us to persevere when our ministry is discouraging, and it strengthens us to endure when we are mocked and scorned.

[Fix] our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:2–3

Before we set foot on the battleground, we need to do as King Jehoshaphat did: worship the One who has all authority and power. God will work the victory for us and for Himself.

Worship builds up our faith.

Wholehearted worship causes us to believe God and put all our confidence in His promises. Consequently, as we talk with individuals who come to us for help with a life-and-death decision, we are no longer helpless, no longer unsure of what we must say. We can pass on a vibrant hope that comes from worshipping our God whose mercy is new every morning.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6–7

How Does Worship Affect Us?

While we worship God because He is worthy of all praise, worship also changes us in significant ways. Worship often corrects our thoughts, our emotions, and our actions.

Worship corrects our thoughts: HEAD

Lies and truth are constantly warring for our attention, and that battle takes place in our minds. Lies fuel thoughts like, “God is not enough. He can’t possibly forgive this. He doesn’t care about me.” These lies obscure God’s power, mercy, and love. Choosing to worship, however, will defeat the lies. Each time we choose to worship God, we give attention to truth. As we give truth attention, truth gets more rooted in us, correcting our thoughts. When we choose to say, “Thank You, God, that You are bigger than this problem. Thank You that You forgive even this. Thank You that You love this person,” then the lies fade away. Because worship involves speaking the truth about God, it has the power to correct our thinking, realigning it with the truth.

Worship corrects our emotions: HEART

When we adore God, we tune out all the other things competing for our attention and we focus on Him, His names, and His ways. As we do, we remember that He loves us no matter what happens, and our insecurities fade away. We remember that He is our Provider and our Defender, and our fears dissolve. We remember that He cares about us and has promised to make all things turn out for our good, and our anxieties crumble into dust. At some point, we discover that instead of feeling insecure, fearful, and anxious, we now feel safe, confident, and at peace.

Worship corrects our actions: HANDS

Even as Christians, we often have sharp tongues and rough hands. We simply do not love others as Christ loves us, and it shows in our actions. However, as we worship Jesus Christ, He reveals Himself to us. He fills us with His love until we spill over. At some point, we find ourselves looking around, longing to pour out this love on others. In this way, we become more like Jesus, who seeks us out to love us. As He fills us each day with His great love, we give that love to people in everyday ways by donating our listening ears, honest tongues, practical helps, valuable time, and fervent prayers. These loving actions are the result of God at work in us.

Conclusion

We live to worship God in all of life’s activities, from the ordinary, everyday tasks to the most special events that happen in a person’s lifetime. Through God’s call to us in redemption and our response to Him in worship, we draw near to God, and He draws near to us. As we see Him more clearly, we realize how able God is to meet the needs people have and help them respond to their problems. As we are humbled by His love, we begin to truly love those whom we are trying to help. Knowing how loved we are, we are finally free to step back and let God do His work of redemption in people’s lives, and this is when the battle is won.

King Jehoshaphat of Judah was wise to trust the prophet’s words that the battle was not his to fight but God’s, and he was wise to believe God was able to defeat the enemy, for this ensured the victory. When we minister to others, let’s begin with words and lives that worship God in spirit and truth, for we can be sure He is going to love people through us and win the victory for them.

For Reflection

How is the "Begin with Worship" Spiritual Foundation important to becoming a life-giver? Why is it particularly necessary to any life-giving ministry?
How is God using worship to prepare you for your upcoming trip?