Tuesday, July 10, 2007

the Queen of England

A couple of years ago, I had a pretty intense spiritual discussion with my dad concerning worship. Him and I have very similar views when it comes to spiritual matters, so its nice to be able to discuss things. He'd noted that our church had started singing lots of worship songs containing the word "me."

"Draw me close to You..." "Take all of me....Lord I'm laying down my life at your feet..." "All I need is You" "This is the air I breathe....your Holy presence living in me" and the list could go on and on...

Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy singing these songs....but how is that worshipping God? It feels more like exalting myself to God.

Wait. Hold up. You're probably stammering a "but Stephanie" about right now...so lets look to the Bible.

The word worship in the old testament means "To bow before." Its practicing humility. The perfect picture of us flat on our faces realizing that we are not worthy to be in the presence of the almighty Creator. Its recognizing His superiority. Well, isn't that where we belong?

So picture this: You are in England. Suddenly, you are arrested for stealing an apple from a street vendor (like in Aladdin, ha). You're handcuffed and shamefully prodded until you get to Buckingham Palace. There, you journey down the dimly lit hallway until you reach a beautifully candlelit room, with pillars and gold and velvet draperies. Then you see her, the Queen of England, Elizabeth herself. They put you right at her feet so you can plead your case. Now, what do you do? Well, you surely aren't going to stand up and look her in the eye and say "Oh, hey girl! I wrote about you in my diary last night. I really wanted to meet you. I've had a great time in your country. Nice work!" Um not so much.... Personally, I'd be on my knees, afraid to look her in the eye because I'm obviously not on the same level as a Queen. I'd exalt her as much as I could....tell her she is beautiful and a great ruler and I don't deserve to be in her presence.

If you'd do that for the Queen, why not for God? We have this buddy-buddy mentality with God. Sure, He is our friend... but we are created for the sole purpose of worshipping Him. God is so much bigger than any human. James MacDonald says that "God is ineffable glory. He dwells in unapproachable light." God is so much bigger than ourselves. He's the utmost highest and holiest. In fact, He says of Himself in Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Once we can achieve worship as it was fully intended, God will do great things. "Though I can’t explain it exactly, when the God of the universe is rightly worshipped, powerful things happen. When Jesus is passionately adored without shame or pretense, without entertainment or needless comedy, God shows up." (James MacDonald)

So stop singing about "me" and "my." Start focusing on God...maybe then you'll experience a moment truly in awe of Your creator.


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