WONDERS OF WORSHIP
WE BOW – HE BLESSES
The occasions when I have felt the most prepared, practiced, excited and organized have been the times of my greatest disappointments. And other occasions where I have felt the emotional frustration, panic, weakness and been literally overwhelmed with stress to the point of starting the service in tears, I was left numb and in awe of his glorious presence. How many times do we need to be reminded He is our friend – not a religious idea we can manipulate. We do not create His presence with our abilities or turn on His power like a faucet – we sincerely bow before Him and He blesses us with His presence. We make the conscious decision to reach out to Him and approach Him wherever and whenever and are granted the gift of knowing the spiritual reality of His person.
I am convinced when we approach God with humility,
brokenness and an attitude that realizes we are desperately needy for him; we will find him – (or maybe it is more like in His compassion He draws near.) The question is; do we really desire to be close to Him? God is not searching for ability alone – he is seeking availability. He is not just seeking talent – He desires to move through a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17). He already knows who has the gifts and talents (He is the one who gave the gifts). Our free-will responsibility is to offer these gifts back to him as a sacrificial offering of thanksgiving and adoration. This is why worship should not be a burden but rather a joy and privilege to express the way we appreciate him and what he has given to us. This is not to say there is not a price to pay in living for Him but the sacrifice cannot be compared to the reward of knowing Him more deeply. When serving Him becomes a burden, something has clouded the vision of our heart. Maybe we are involved with a worship team just because we like music. Or maybe we have allowed the distractions of this world to pull us away from the tenderness of His touch. Wrong motives, pride, carnality and religious apathy can build walls that gradually become a prison cell that holds us captive to our own distorted imaginations. The simplicity to His unspeakable joy is to bow before Him and lay our life at His feet – then our deeds can grow into agape love and our singing and playing will blossom into true worship.
I found these nuggets and wanted to share them with you from the book “Worship and entertainment” by A.W. Tozer.
“Believe it or not, I would like to be decent and nice. If I could, I would join Norman Vincent Peale in thinking about roses and symphony orchestras. But I can’t join the good brother. So I must tell you that if you do not worship God seven days a week, you do not worship Him on one day a week. There is no such thing known in heaven as Sunday worship unless it is accompanied by Monday worship and Tuesday worship and so on. You can worship God at your desk; you can worship God on a train or driving in traffic; you can worship God washing the dishes or ironing; you can worship God in school or on the basketball court. You can worship God in whatever activities are legitimate and right and good; you need not be in church all the time. Everything inside us should worship God all the time”
“Let us suppose we are back in the old days of the high priest, who took incense into the sanctum and went behind the veil and offered it there. And let us suppose that chips of rubber (the worst-smelling thing I can think of when it burns) had been mixed with the incense, so that instead of the pure smoke of spices filling the temple with sweet perfume, there was the rancid smell of rubber mixed with it. How could a priest worship God by mixing a foul ingredient with the sweet-smelling ingredients that would be a stench in the nostrils of God and the people? And how can we worship God acceptably when there is within our nature something that, when it catches on fire, gives off not a fragrance but an offending smell? How can we worship Him when there is something in our nature which is undisciplined, unpurged, uncorrected and unholy? Even granted that a man with evil ingredients in his nature might with some part of his conscience worship God half acceptably, what kind of a lukewarm way is that to live?”
“Remember, there is no magic in faith or in names. You can name the name of Jesus a thousand times; but if you will not follow the nature of Jesus the name Jesus will not mean anything to you. We cannot worship God and live after our own nature. It is when God’s nature and our nature begin to merge that the power of the name of God begins to operate within us. We cannot pray toward the east and walk toward the west.”