Today, I’ve been reading in “Desiring God,” by John Piper. The topic for today has been Worship. And how it is an “end in itself”. I’ve been reading and rereading, trying to grasp this concept for the last 30 minutes. And then it clicked. Worship is ultimate, because glorifying God is our ultimate. What I mean by “ultimate” is that it is our chief end, as Piper likes to put it. It is the biggest thing we can do: give glory to God. “He must increase, but i must decrease!” cries John the Baptist, and so should our lives heed that cry. It is no longer I who am central–it is God. That is the exchange we must make in becoming crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20).
So, worship as ultimate. I typically would define worship as, well off the top of my head (I cannot find one of my favorite books, “Wired,” by Louie Giglio, in which I wrote several definitions of worship), as a line from one of the worship songs we’ve song recently at church “Glory to God” by Fee:
Creator God You gave
me breath so I could praise
all my days, all my days
so let my whole life be
a blazing offering
a life that shouts and sings
the greatness of our King!
and in the end it says,
Take my life
and let it be
all for You
and for Your glory
take my life
and let it be Yours!
It’s not just about a duty of singing a song, raising of hands, feeling emotion. It is a lifestyle of all these things. Emotions are a big part of my life. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, but I don’t care. I truly believe that God is in them. Yet I test them, because God’s word says that the heart is deceitful about all things (Jeremiah 17:9). Especially because the fall gave me a darkened heart. But God’s light has come in and exposed my worthless deeds, and here I stand now, free from guilt & shame & sin. Worship is a way, for me, of expressing that freedom, again, not just in a song on Sunday mornings, but of expressing it everyday, being found in complete happiness, living in the presence of my God, “dwelling” with Him: Psalm 27:4
“One thing I ask of the LORD,
that I will seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD,
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD,
and to meditate in His temple.”
The “house of the LORD,” and “His temple,” are now within my heart! He has dethroned Satan from within my heart, and placed Himself on the throne. I am His servant, but also His friend. I am His! And I long to dwell with Him, gaze upon Him, and meditate with Him, in His presence. And I don’t have to go through a priest, I don’t have to risk death by walking from the outer court for the women to the innermost place, the Holy of Holies. I can simply come, with confidence, knowing I have a high priest who intercedes on my behalf day and night.
So, in worship, I come. Not just to sing. But to live.
**This is part one because next Wednesday night, my church here (Pinelake) is having a worship night. Let’s see how God works this little message He has laid on my heart between now & then. Journey with me, as I journey with Him. Not that I have this all figured out. I’m just walking, following Him to wherever He leads.