We have come to worship.
Worship. What does it mean? How do we do it? The magi came to the stable bearing their gifts. They worshiped Him, the babe in the manger. We know of Abraham building his altar to sacrifice his son and calling it worship. We assemble ourselves together time after time. We sing our songs, we shout our “hallelujahs. We call it worship. Is it?
We progress through the tabernacle plan from the place of repentance to the inner sanctum of the Holy of Holies and we “worship Him.” But, what are we doing when we worship Him? Are we telling Him how wonderful we think He is? Are we speaking words of gratitude and thanks for His goodness and mercy toward us? Are we falling prostrate with our faces to the floor, unable to speak? All of the above, but is it worship?
For quite some time the Holy Ghost has been opening my understanding and it seems, leading me into another place of knowing Him. I know that true worship is not words nor even actions. Words and actions are the efforts of humanity to express the inner emotion that comes upon us when we encounter something or someone beyond the scope of our understanding.
As a child, my knowledge of God was limited. I knew about Him. I knew He was a force to be reckoned with. I feared Him without “knowing” Him personally. I heard about His awesome deeds and miraculous ways. I was taught how to please Him and all I must do to be obedient and obtain eternal salvation. But I was never informed of what constitutes “worship.” I read of acts of worship, but nowhere did I find the thoughts and conditions present in the worshiper. How do we feel when we worship? What is the state of our mind. What do we think as we “worship?”
In prayer, many times, I have been overwhelmed with His presence. I have experienced being enveloped in love until I thought I would surely melt away, my human body unable to deal with such love. At times such as this, I get a glimpse of just what and who God is. Then, there are times of mighty encounters with a power that cannot be explained. Heavenly glory bathes us in an awareness of a presence so beyond the scope of our human thought and understanding we are filled with an unreal sense of what Heaven really will be. This is when we are on the threshold of a place of worship. When the awe and amazement of Him consumes our thoughts and we are suddenly aware of our smallness and His greatness. When we enter into a state of mind of the utter inability to express our opinion of Him. When we can no longer see any good thing in ourselves and we are reduced to a state of helplessness to tell Him how we feel toward Him. When the power and glory and utter holiness of Him shocks us into silence, then our heart and spirit and mind unite in helpless surrender to His sovereignty, when there is no strength left in our bones and we, like Daniel, fall as one dead, we have entered the place of worship. We are before the King, mute with amazement, consumed by His beauty, our eyes filled with the image of Him, holy, pure and perfect. Our feelings of helpless unworthiness wash over us in waves of inadequacy as to what exactly is required at this moment. What do my hands do? What do I say? How do I matter to this High and Holy One who sits on the throne? The creator of all things. The Lamb who was slain for me. For me? This totally vulnerable, unholy, mistake riddled, piece of dirt that I am? Me, who daily must continually ask forgiveness because of the weakness of my humanity to attain holiness. Even as His glory shines upon me, even as He speaks through me, even as He uses me for His purpose, I am still unworthy to enter His presence. He knows me. Nothing is secret to Him. He sees my sense of helpless unworthiness. He sees the shame of my failures. He knows the regrets of my lifetime. He still displays His loving care. He yet reaches for me, gathers me up close to Himself. There is no need for words, for He reads my mind. He reads the unuttered thoughts I have toward Him. He accepts my offering of myself. It is worship to Him. When I recognize Him as my only hope. When I compare me with Him and see that only because He has covered me with His sinless blood can I even step into the throne room, my heart melts and I am in a state of worship. I lay myself on the altar before Him, caring for nothing except hoping that He will accept the sacrifice of my body, mind and spirit, to do with as He pleases. The terrible stench of the burning flesh of animals was described as a pleasing fragrance that rose up to heaven. So, the terrible stench of a human body presented as a sacrifice to Him becomes a sweet fragrance. So, I worship.
I know I haven’t said it good enough. In our prayer meeting Friday, we experienced something beyond the scope of our human ability to describe. We were caught up into the supernatural in a way different from previous experiences. I have been impressed for some time concerning worship and just what it is and whether we really understand the difference between praise and worship and singing and shouting and dancing. I want to worship in a way I’ve never understood before. As my experiences become more intimate with Him, as I am caught up into His mindset, all I can think is how amazing it is that He loves me.