Worship: An Ascetic’s Challenge, An Enthusiast’s Dream

I am a natural observer. I tend to look to others for feedback and for an example especially when it comes to the things of God. I didn’t grow up in church, so I learned everything about prayer and expression toward God by observing. When I met Sam, it was no different. I listened to what he was hearing from God, watched how he spent his devotional time with Him, and tried to emulate it. But Sam is what you call an Ascetic (He found this out using a spiritual temperament quiz I will introduce later).

Being an Ascetic means you love to seek God in absolute solitude. Ascetics are thinkers and usually find reading or writing as the most fulfilling ways to express their devotion. In other words you could liken an Ascetic to a modern day monk. Now if you know me, you can imagine how difficult this was for me to ‘emulate’. I am what you call an Enthusiast. I love to show my affection and devotion to God by singing, dancing, listening to music, making music etc. Anything but quiet and monk-like. But before I knew this I was in a constant struggle in my devotional time to Jesus. I would sometimes feel life by reading the Word while other times would feel like I was hitting my head against a brick wall. Shame and guilt would always follow those times when I didn’t get much from reading, because for all I knew, that was the only way to give love to God.

I realized the rut I was in when I attended a training class for short term missions. The teacher instructed the class to take a spiritual temperament quiz of about 20 questions that would point you to your temperament type and your preferred expression to God. When I found out I was an Enthusiast it seemed like everything made sense. I literally felt as though I had been living in black and white and had discovered the key to technicolor. It started to make sense why I could get so much out of listening to worship music, or how I could hear God so clearly in worship. I understood why most of my inner healing and most notable encounters had taken place during a worship service. It explained why I feel alive when I am singing and dancing before the Lord. I know now it was because that is how God ‘wired’ me to be. And I didn’t have to feel bad anymore about not hearing God in silence, or by reading or writing.

Now please don’t misunderstand. This doesn’t mean I don’t have to read the Bible anymore or that Sam is exempt from corporate worship just because those things don’t match our temperament type. I believe it means that I get to express myself to God the way he made me to, while I intentionally choose to grow and give a sacrifice in the areas I’m not naturally drawn to. For me and my fellow Enthusiasts, this means to worship God in song and dance both privately and corporately, but intentionally glean knowledge from the word and teaching. For Sam and all the other Ascetics out there, I think this means pressing in and letting go of the ‘thinker’ aspect during corporate worship times, yet being free to seek God in the word and write down revelation as a way to receive His love and express your love to Him.

I don’t know about you, but this was huge for me. I now have the freedom to be me, but to also know where I need growth in areas of weakness. So I wanted to make this spiritual temperament profile quiz available to you. The link is below! Take it at your leisure, bring it before the Lord, and enjoy knowing your temperament type and expressing yourself to God in the way he made you to!

Quiz: (Manual) http://www.thrivingfamily.com/Features/Web/2011/your-spiritual-temperament-quiz.aspx

(Electronic) http://northpointministries.org/misc/sacredpathway.html

Temperament Types: http://www.thrivingfamily.com/Features/Magazine/2011/nine-spiritual-temperaments.aspx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *