O Worship The King,
All Glorious Above,
And Gratefully Sing
His Wonderful Love;
Our Shield And Defender,
The Ancient Of Days
Pavilioned In Splendor,
And Girded With Praise.
Why did Christ come? Why was He conceived? Why was He born? Why was He crucified? Why did He rise again? Why is He now at the right hand of the Father?
The answer to all these questions is, "In order that He might make worshipers out of rebels; in order that He might restore us again to the place of worship we knew when we were first created."
Now because we were created to worship, worship is the normal employment of moral beings. It's the normal employment, not something stuck on or added, like listening to a concert or admiring flowers. It is something that is built into human nature. Every glimpse of heaven shows [God's creatures] worshiping; Ezekiel 1:1-5, the creatures out of the fire were worshiping God; Isaiah 6:1-6, we see the Lord high and lifted up and hear the creatures saying, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts"; Revelation 4:8-11, God opens heaven and we see them there worshiping God the Father; and in the fifth chapter, verses 6-14, we see them worshiping God the Son.
Worship is a moral imperative. In Luke 19:37-40 the whole multitude of disciples were worshiping the Lord as He came along and some rebuked them. The Lord said, "Don't rebuke them; if they didn't worship Me the stones would cry out."
Worship is the missing jewel in modern evangelicalism. We're organized; we work; we have our agendas. We have almost everything, but there's one thing that the churches, even the gospel churches, do not have: that is the ability to worship. We are not cultivating the art of worship. It's the one shining gem that is lost to the modern church, and I believe that we ought to search for this until we find it. . . .
[Worship] is an attitude, a state of mind, a sustained act, subject to degrees of perfection and intensity. As soon as [God] sends the Spirit of His Son into our hearts we say "Abba" and we're worshiping. That's one thing. But it's quite another thing to be worshipers in the full New Testament sense of the word and up to our possibilities.
Now I say that worship is subject to degrees of perfection and intensity. There have been those who worshiped God to the place where they were in ecstasies of worship. . . . A few times I have seen other people rapt in an ecstasy of worship where they were carried away with it, and I have also heard some simple-hearted new converts saying "Abba Father." So worship is capable of running from the very simple to the most intense and sublime.
What are the factors that you will find present in worship. . . . First there is boundless confidence. You cannot worship a Being you cannot trust. Confidence is necessary to respect, and respect is necessary to worship. Worship rises or falls . . . depending upon the attitude we take toward God, whether we see God big or whether we see Him little. Most of us see God too small; our God is too little. David said, "O magnify the Lord with me," and "magnify" doesn't mean to make God big. You can't make God big. But you can see Him big.
Worship, I say, rises or falls with our concept of God; that is why I do not believe in these half-converted [people] who call God the Man Upstairs. I do not think they worship at all because their concept of God is unworthy of God and unworthy of them. And if there is one terrible disease in the Church of Christ, it is that we do not see God as great as He is. We're too familiar with God. Communion with God is one thing; familiarity with God is quite another thing. . . . There are some things too precious to cast lightly away. . . .
Then there is admiration, that is, appreciation of the excellency of God. Man is better qualified to appreciate God than any other creature because he was made in His image and is the only creature who was. This admiration for God grows and grows until it fills the heart with wonder and delight. . . .
We ought to have again the old biblical concept of God which makes God [awesome] and makes men lie face down and cry, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty." That would do more for the church than everything or anything else.
Fascination is another element in true worship. To be filled with moral excitement. To be captivated and charmed and entranced. . . . [E]ntranced with who God is, and struck with astonished wonder at the inconceivable elevation and magnitude and splendor of Almighty God. . . .
Next is adoration, to love God with all the power within us. To love God with fear and wonder and yearning and awe. To yearn for God with great yearning, and to love Him to a point where it is both painful and delightful. At times this will lead us to breathless silence. . . . Sometimes I go to God and say, "God, if Thou dost never answer another prayer while I live on this earth I will still worship Thee as long as I live and in the ages to come for what Thou hast done already."
F. B. Meyer
When Christmas morning came, the long-expected morning, the prayers seemed long, and the breakfast was hardly touched when the servant came to announce that all was ready. And father and mother let us helter-skelter in. I can see the table now covered with presents, and the tree in the middle. There was a great heap, and I did not need to ask any body for them, I just took them. Off the wrapping paper went and onto the floor - one walked knee deep in waste paper. And when the paper was gone, the presents were appropriated: this was mine, and that.
Can you not imagine God lifting the cloth off a great table full of gifts? All is ready. Child, you have been waiting years for it, and the day has come, and there is your gift . . . .
What do you want? You have been praying for forgiveness. There it is! Now come up and take it. You have been asking for the assurance of sonship. It is there! Take it . . . Power over passionate thoughts and deliverance from an unholy appetite? Well, the purity of Christ will answer all that . . . "I have a terrible temper, sir. . . If I could only keep my tongue still!" Well, here it is, the patience of Christ. What do you want? It is all ready, it has been here a long time but you have never come for it. . . .
On Christmas Day, realize that the once-infant Jesus is in heaven and has set the table. He is the table, He is the gift. His human nature, set free in death, is now glorified on His Father's throne. Is not that enough for you? The Lord Jesus is the complement of your need.
Copyright © 1995, 1996 IN TOUCH MINISTRIES¨, ITM Inc. All rights reserved
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