Search This Blog

Thursday, January 7, 2010

God takes the initiative

At times, we think that since it's Sunday, it's time to "go to worship," and maybe in a sense it's true. We get in our cars and drive to church, enter a worship center and "worship." But if we stop and follow some of the biblical examples of worship, we will realize, that we don't initiate worship, God does.

One of the most vivid examples we find is in the life of Moses and the burning bush. Remember that the bush was burning before Moses got there. As Moses got closer, God told him to take off his shoes, for it was holy ground. It was holy because God was there. Moses responded in obedience to God's self revelation. God takes the initiative in worship.

It is the Lord God that calls us to Himself [John 6:44: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." NIV] Even before the foundations of the earth were laid, it was His plan [Eph. 1:4-5]. The cross was God's initiative, not ours.

When we look at things from this light, we really don't "plan worship services." God is not someone whom we manipulate; as worship leaders we don't go to God and say, "OK, Lord, You can do your thing, now, I've got everything ready, --we've sung some neat music and I think I've got them ready to listen to You."
God and God alone determines when and what He will do. He has given us help in His Word, however.

God takes the initiative and reveals Himself and His nature, but many times we are just not able to respond to Him, because we are not prepared to do so. As "lead worshipers," we cannot take anyone where we ourselves have not been. The passage in Isaiah 6 is a classic example of worship: God reveals Himself, the prophet sees himself as God sees him, he confesses and recieves pardon and then in verse 8, Scripture says, "then, I heard the voice of the Lord saying..." He was not able to hear God's voice until he had responded to God's holiness in confession and repentance. Likewise, many in our churches are not able to hear, because of the same reason. But, worship doesn't stop there: worship is not complete until we respond to God in obedience. Isaiah is able to hear God saying, "Who will go for us?" and the man of God responds, "Here am I, send me!" Worship is not complete until we respond in obedience. Worship is not so much warm feelings about being the presence of God, but living out in reverence what He has called us to do.

1 comment:

  1. So true! Every Sunday I tell Levi that we are going to church "to worship the Lord with other people." I want him to know that we should worship the Lord all the time-by ourselves and with others-not just on Sundays.