Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Act and Object of Worship

The impulse to worship is universal. If there’s a race or tribe anywhere in the world that does not worship, it has not been discovered. And yet the act of worship is, for the most part, so imperfect, so impure and so far astray that any teaching that might help us worship God more acceptably would indeed be a word well spoken. Psalm45.

There are INGREDIENTS that make up worship. One is ADMIRATION.
We can admire without worship but we cannot worship without admiring, because worship is admiration carried to infinitude. In the same way, we can honor what we do not worship, but we cannot worship the one we do not honor. So, worship carries the second ingredient called HONOR.
Then there is the spirit we call FASCINATION. We can only worship that which fascinates us. The old poet said in an often –quoted passage, “In our astonished reverence, we confess Thy uncreated loveliness.” There’s an astonishment that about reverence. II YOU CAN EXPLAIN IT, YOU CANNOT WORSHIP IT. You may admire it, you may honor it, but there is a mysterious fascination that carries the heart beyond itself and then we are nearer to worship.
Another ingredient, which perhaps should have been mentioned first, is LOVE. We can love without worshipping but we cannot worship without loving. Then love, when it lets itself go and no longer has any restraints, becomes adoration.

   We need to refine our definitions. Such words as honor love and adore don’t mean what they are supposed to mean. We use divine language in such a common way that when we try to rise to the exalted and divine level we find ourselves using words that do not express anything. If I had the power, I would pass a law permitting the use of such words as love, honor, and adore only in prayer, Bible teachings and songs. We have spoiled them and made them common, yet they belong to God.
     Worship seeks union with its beloved, and an active effort to close the gap between the heart and the God it adores is worship at its best.

The object of worship, of course, is God. The Nicene Creed says that we worship “one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.” That is who we worship. If we could set forth all God’s attributes and tell all that God is, we would fall on our knees, undoubtedly, in adoring worship. It says in the bible that “He dwells in light unapproachable whom no man can see or has seen and live” (1Timothy 6:16, Exodus 33:20).  It says God is holy, eternal, omniscient, omnipotent and sovereign and that He has a thousand sovereign attributes. And all these should humble us and bring us down. I cannot accept with any sympathy the idea that we go to church to soothe ourselves and calm our spirits. We do calm our spirits and there is a soothing effect in worship, but the primary object of church attendance is not to relax-it is to offer worship, which belongs to God.

     David sees this God incarnated in Psalm45. He sees Him as God of the substance of His Father, born before the world was, and made as the substance of his mother, born in due time-a radiantly beautiful, romantic and winsome figure. And here are some objectives he used to describe this man who is God and this God who became man; Fair, Kingly, Gracious, Majestic, True, Meek, Righteous, Loving, Glad and Fragrant-yet “dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto” (1tim6:16), inspiring awe in His enemies and terror in His foes. This is the God we adore, He is the Lord, “Worship thou him” (Psalm45:11).

     Even announcing that we are going to have a worship/praise concert must start the wings of the seraphim to waving and the organs to playing, because heaven exists to worship God. The atmosphere and the very breezes that flow out of heaven are filled with divine worship. The health of the world is WORSHIP. #SELAH

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