True Worship – Part 2
And Abraham said unto his young men, “Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you”.
“And all things are of God…
and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation”
2 Corinthians 5:18
What is torn can be mended.
What is separated can be blended.
That which is broken can find repair,
And joy can fill the life in despair.
To seek reconciliation with others is the revelation of a heart which has and is being reconciled to Christ.
“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift”
“Behold, I make all things new”
“We seek truths; God seeks to make us true. The difference is vast, and the kinds of men produced by each pursuit are vastly different”
– Paul Volk
“He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true…”
Make us true in spirit and in heart.
– Brian Troxel
“I wonder if there was ever a time when true spiritual worship was at a lower ebb. To great sections of the church, the art of worship has been lost entirely, and in its place has come that strange and foreign thing called the ‘program.’ This word has been borrowed from the stage and applied with sad wisdom to the public service which now passes for worship among us.”
– A.W. Tozer
“While the king was at his table,
my perfume spread its fragrance”
Song of songs 1:12 (BSB)
The life of prayer brings us to many different experiences and aspects of our relationship with Him. At times while sitting in His presence we are simply struck with Him and are left without words. We are overwhelmed with just the wonder of His presence. It is in these times of quietude there is simply the wonder of His peace resonating through the silence. We feel the simplicity of a love arising from our hearts filling the moment with the fragrance of our worship for Him. It is here where prayer touches the unknowable and in the silence speaks the unspeakable elements of a shared love.
This spontaneous worship is worth life itself. Holy bonds of grace arise from the giver of all good things touching the heart of a redeemed soul binding it in the cords of His love. These are rich and precious times where we are sitting at His table and are bidden to simply feed upon the very presence and glory of Himself.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone should hear My voice and open the door,
then I will come in to him and will dine with him,
and he with Me.” (BLB)
It is the hearing ear and the obedient heart which gives way to such communion with Him. He ever stands at the door of our hearts beckoning us unto Himself. It is in the Holy chambers of our time with Him that our hearts are made right, our fears alieved and our love for Him intensified.
“Jesus saith unto them,
Come and dine”
Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer
“When we believe that we should be satisfied rather than God glorified in our worship, then we put God below ourselves as though He had been made for us rather than that we had been made for Him.”
– Stephen Charnock
“And Jacob loved Rachel; and said,
I will serve thee seven years for Rachel
thy younger daughter”
Love is the fountain from which true service unto the Lord flows. It is to be the inspiration for all of our actions. A river flows effortlessly because of its source. When love is the source and ruler of one’s heart, service unto God is the natural course of life. The work of God can only be accomplished by the love of God. Love robs the flesh of boasting of its accomplishments. It brings all things into the worship of God; our service becomes our offering unto Him. Our reward is His Joy welling up within our hearts. It is the feast of life to love and serve our God.
“And Jacob served seven years for Rachel;
and they seemed unto him but a few days,
for the love he had to her.”
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul?”
Like a sailing ship at sea, the soul fixed upon God is ever dependent upon the winds of His Spirit for movement and purpose. When the wind is withheld and the sails are no longer filled with the wonder of His breath our ship may seem adrift in the depths of obscurity. A cry rises from those whose hearts are set upon Him and Him alone.
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:
when shall I come and appear before God?”
These precious verses describe one who loves Him with a desperate love. The religious have no conscious need for this; life goes on with or without His presence in their lives. It is the heart that is aflame for Him, ever mindful of the need for His presence and His Life beating within, from which this cry arises. It is in these moments that God would have us take great encouragement. The cry for His presence is of great delight to Him. It is the revelation of a heart that understands its dependency upon His Life within. The concealing of His evident presence is a picture of what it would be like to live without Him. It is a gentle reminder for us to remain mindful of His Spirit within the sphere of our life on earth. He graciously brings our attention to the real issues of life and our paramount need to abide in the wonder of His ever-present grace.
Do not fear the times when the winds cease and our ship seems to be adrift in a sea of futility. Do not let the voices of the enemy speak of desolation and abandonment; rather let it be a time for our redeemed soul to rise through the mists of unbelief with the tenacity and longing of pure love unto Him. It is this atmosphere from which the deepest and most fragrant acts of worship ascend unto Him.
“In the day when I cried thou answered me,
and strengthened me with strength in my soul”
“Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people…”
God has an answer for the strife, jealously and contention of religious, partisan discord. Clinging to teachings, ministries of God, and the honoring of men and organizations over Him, clouds His likeness in this world. It destroys the very fabric and wonder of His salvation and the unity of His Spirit. It is as we abide, seek and desire Him alone that He delivers us from the misery and shame of the “strivings of the people”.
The Alabaster Box
There is no better description of this age-old spectacle than that of the story of the woman with the Alabaster box. The room was filled with the carnality, contention, and strife of the various sects of the religious world. The self-righteous Pharisee (himself a leper), the indignant and blind disciples, and the broken-hearted woman (who alone saw the true wonder and glory of the Son) were all confined in one room. Have we not all been in such situations and even sat in the seat of each of these at some time? The Pharisee was oblivious to his own state yet filled with contempt over the woman’s reputation. The disciples were supposedly distressed over the cost and waste of the ointment being poured out. The worshiping woman saw nothing other than the priceless beauty of Christ.
The Pharisee was disturbed with the person, the disciples concerned with the gift, while the woman only had eyes for Him. Singleness of eye is God’s deliverance from the “strivings of the people”. A pure heart rises above partisan politics to see the motivation from which an action proceeds. The reality is that both parties of this drama were offended by her lavish and unmitigated worship of Him! Religious people will always find fault with the true worshiper of Christ; it is an indictment of their own lack of passion for Him.
The Scribes and the Pharisees consulted in the killing of Lazarus for his very presence was a testimony to the resurrection life of Jesus. Cain killed his brother Abel because his gift was accepted and Cain’s rejected. The Pharisees had to cover their ears during the stoning of Stephen because it was a damning of their own true condition. Those who walk with singleness of eye will know loneliness in this world and the contempt of the religious but the joy of seeing Him delivers them from the “strivings of the people”.
“Truly I tell you,
wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world,
what she has done will also be told,
in memory of her”
“For Jehovah’s portion is His people”
Deuteronomy 32:9 (LITV)
The true priests of the Lord know deep within the very core of their hearts that God’s people are His portion in the earth. They carry the burden of knowing that the condition of God’s people, their manner of life, their love for Jesus and one another is paramount to all other things. They cannot be content with the prevalent “business as usual” attitude. True priests are concerned with the fervor, the passion and the temper of God’s Church. True priests are concerned with the purity of heart by which the service and the offerings are brought unto the altar of the Lord. It is one thing to go through the motions of a Sunday meeting where the rote of a “service” is conducted; it is another thing all together when the praise and worship unto God proceeds from hearts filled with the wonder of His Love. Men and women who are content with tepid offerings unto God and the religious garb of a priesthood that delights in the pews being full rather than hearts being full, are hirelings. They are satiated with outward things but the fire within has long gone out.
Those who burn with the fire of God’s love know that nothing less than sacrifice offered with the Holy Fire of God is able to bring forth the sweet aroma unto our God. The Epistles of the New Testament burn with words of fire that flowed from hearts that were aflame for God’s glory, not their own. They were concerned about His inheritance; not their church, fellowship or ministry.
True priests minister truth. They are not interested in being popular or accepted. Their estimation of life is to glorify God and to see that the altar receives the sacrifices and offerings unto God which are offered in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23-24). Worship flows from hearts that know it is on the basis of God’s grace, His shed blood and His mercy that they are able to stand before Him. Those who know they have been forgiven much love much. Little do God’s people realize that as in the Old Testament so also in the New we are to bring forth sacrifices as a holy priesthood!
“…you also as living stones are being built a spiritual house,
a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”
1 Peter 2:5
We are to be a nation of priests. That ministry is not for a select few; every member is called into their own vital ministration in God’s economy. A human body does not have non-vital members (unless it is unhealthy), if it is healthy every member participates with their own function within the context of the whole.
“But you are “an elect race,” “a royal priesthood,”
“a holy nation,” “a people for possession,”
so that “you may openly speak of the virtues”
of the One who has called you
out of darkness into His marvelous light”
1 Peter 2:9 (LITV)
Lord, we pray over Your inheritance in our land. Move afresh upon our hearts to see the true call to which you have called us. Let us see our portion in the rising up of your Church to the glory, the beauty and the expression of all that you are. Remove the blindness, the shortsightedness and the apathy from our hearts. Cause us to see how we have been backslidden in our singleness of heart to serve you. Move with great power to turn us from our religious ways, from the ways of the world, from our kingdom building and the seeking of pre-eminence. Cause us to be broken over Your inheritance in our land and bring repentance from seeking the things of this world and the building up of our own houses while your house lays waste (Haggai 1:4-7).
It is a day for us to consider our ways and turn back to the good and right way wherein righteousness and glory dwells. Turn us Oh Lord and we shall be turned.