Friday, March 2, 2012

Everything That Has Breath, Praise the Lord

There are a limited number of truths I would stake my life on.  One is God is more than previously thought – it is true no matter how little or much you know God, he is more. Another truth is if you are not worshipping God as a regular part of your day then you do not know the holiness of God.

I am a worshipper but I wasn’t always. For many years, I took offense by what I saw as a requirement to worship. Like a tip for a restaurant worker, it should be voluntary if the service was good, or better. Then one morning we had a woman guest tell us about her ministry at the women’s group I lead. She helped girls on the street get off – sometimes for a night, sometimes longer. In my offense, I scoffed at the idea of saving a girl for only one night but a shift happened in my thinking that day. On average, a street worker will make 10 sales of her body in one night – it might not seem significant but for one night, they will have prevented 10 acts of abuse against that girl. And she gave thanks and praise to God.

The Lord asked me, Can you worship and give me praise for the small acts of loving-kindness? I told the Lord, Yes, I can worship and give you praise for the small acts. Instead of taking offense by what isn’t happening, I praised God for what is happening.

As I started to praise and worship God for what he does, no matter how small he began to show me more and more of his holiness – above everything. There is no one before God; he is supreme in his holiness and his glory. As I discovered more about God by discovering more of God, praise and worship no longer became a requirement but the only appropriate response.

I grew up in churches where the only form of worship was singing. It was unfortunate for me because I don’t sing well so while others sang around me I would close my eyes and imagine movement and colour swirling together; it was a spectacular show in my mind. Two years ago I visited a church where they experienced worship – not only with song and voices, but with dance and movement and flags with colour. It was exactly as I had seen it in my mind.

I wanted to pick up some flags and try them but I was inhibited by fear. I held back but it wasn’t long before I sensed the Lord tell me to make my own flags and worship with them in private. I began doing that, then I started going to the beach. There is so much coastline on the Pacific West Coast where I live, I easily find my own spot out of the way and I worship God as the wind blows around me.

It is my joy, and my delight to worship God and it fills my week. I worship every day, most often with flags, sometimes with dancing, and always in prayer.  

Last summer, someone came to me while I was worshipping with flags at the beach and said, “When I watch you, I want to get up and dance myself.” Heaven is full of worship and when one worships, more start to worship as well. Revelations 4 reveals the way worship builds. It’s progressive; first the four creatures gave God glory and praise, and then the 24 elders joined in their song. Next the angels, numbering thousands upon thousands began to worship and finally every creature in heaven, on earth and on the sea worship. When we are in the midst of true worship, it’s impossible not to join in because of a collective revelation of who God is.

What form does your worship take?

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