Another place where this concept comes into play is in the area of worship. Two people can witness the same event. They can hear the same songs sung. They can see the same offering plate go by. They can listen to the same message and prayers. And yet they can have two totally different experiences—and it happens all the time. What makes the difference? Often it is our participation in worship. What we put in has a dramatic effect on what we get out.
Now it is true that there will always be other factors involved in our worship. For example, if there are people talking next to you or if you are juggling one or two preschoolers on your lap, that can make it difficult. But not withstanding these factors, one of the greatest factors in what we get out of worship will be your own preparation and participation in worship, in other words, what you put in to worship.
So how do we prepare and participate? We can prepare with prayer. Take a few moments before the service begins to ask the Lord to draw you to Himself, to speak to you through the service. Ask Him to reveal to you anything that hinders your relationship with Him. Spend some time offering yourself to the Lord in prayer.
Secondly, we need to participate. No one on the platform is putting on a show to watch. The people on the platform are there simply to lead so that we can all participate, together, in worship. Sing, pray, follow along with the Scripture reading, listen and try to apply the message; these are all ways we can participate so that when we leave this place, we will have not just spent an hour—we will have met with the Living God!