LOOKING UNTO THE LORD
As the Psalmist writes on the approach to the worship of God he ushers us into a world view which is very different from the one which we were raised in. He begins with an emphatic word which causes us to look up to God. The Psalmist comes to Jerusalem, the place where God has caused His Name to dwell, and as He enters into that holy place he is caused to looked up to the Living God. His worship is concerned with God, and not himself. At the heart of his worship is the development of a vision of God which is true to the Word of God.
When we examine the Scripture we see Isaiah in the Temple at worship and He sees the Lord in Chapter six. His whole world was turned upside down as he sees the Lord. John tells us that Isaiah is in reality seeing the Lord Jesus Christ. Initially this vision was not a boost to Isaiah’s self esteem. He was overwhellemed by the holiness of the being he has encountered. He was undone by this because it exposed his sinfulness. He could not stand before the Lord in his sinfulness. He needed to be cleansed with a coal from the Altar of God. Such is the way we are changed by grace when we come to worship.
John’s vision in Revelation has exactly the same impact upon the aged Apostle. He falls at the feet of the Lord as one dead, and he has to be restored by grace. This is what we need so desperately. We don’t need to come to worship in order to be moved by the artistry of it. We come to worship in order to encounter the living God in his Word. Our whole life is turned upside down by this encounter. We cry out to God for His grace, which atones for our sin. In worship we hear His call to service.
Such grace completely reorients our lives. It lifts us out of our self centredness, greed, lust, self righteousness, and self sufficiency into a deep trust of the Lord. It opens our lives up to the necessity of prayer, and the power of prayer. It forces us to live with a deep consciousness of the active presence of God in every part of life. It invites us to live in trust of the promises of God. In fact everything is changed as we look to God in Worship.
Such worship requires the working of the Indwelling Holy Spirit within us. Worship must be in Spirit and in truth. There is no other way to worship. We cannot worship on our own. True and effective worship is always bathed in prayer. There is an awareness of the leading of God’s Spirit as we draw near to God. When we really worship God we will be changed by it. Praise God.