Worship is acknowledging God’s worthiness. I have heard it said that where our understanding ends, worship begins. Put another way, where our eyesight fails, faith continues. We can worship what we know, but we can also worship God when He is beyond our knowing. It is a wordless sense of Something, Someone so much greater than I am. Awe.
I’ve thought that worship depends not on the worthiness of the worshipper, but on the worthiness of the One being worshipped. Therefore, I need not be held back by my own sense of unworthiness, because He is worthy. She who has been forgiven much, loves much, so a fuller realization of what I am without him deepens my worship. As I worship, I am lifted out of and above myself: my cares, my fears, my failures, my self-focus. Yet God does care about the sincerity of our worship, and seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. This means that if I walk after the flesh, I cannot please God. He desires purity in the inward parts, without deceit or hypocrisy.
I can only worship that which I consider greater than myself, so I must be honest and humble in order to give acceptable worship to God. When I come before Him in this way, I have found worship to be an intimate experience with Him whom I most adore. Worship is not emotion, but neither should it be devoid of emotion. I reverence Him, and open myself to receive His love for me, because He Himself is Love. I am amazed. He has loved me with an everlasting love, and with lovingkindness has drawn me. I worship Him for His love best when I have experienced it most profoundly.
Frank Reed writes, “We are desperate for intimacy. Spirit, soul, and body, we long for intimacy. Our lives crave intimacy. Our hearts scream for intimacy. We want to love and be loved. We need to know and be known.” How good of God to meet us at our place of deepest Desire. While we were yet sinners, God demonstrated how much He desires intimate love with us by sending His Son to die for us, and reconcile us to Him. The invitation is open. I desire intimacy too. There is one thing that qualifies me to enter into this shared intimacy with my Lord: my love for Him without reserve.
I experience this intimacy of worship:
…when I feel pain, and die there, taking up my cross to follow Him. I surrender my will to God, and accept what He has allowed into my life. He is my portion, and I can have nothing greater than this.
…when I sacrificially give a gift that is precious to me, and lay it at the feet of Him who is so much more.
…when I delight in His Word, God speaking to me Life: powerful words that make my heart burn within me while He opens to me the scriptures.
…in prayer: writing to Him in my journal, or conversing with Him as I go about my daily tasks, or supplicating Him from my place on the floor.
…alone in bed. I enter in by the Door and lie face up, my bed an altar and myself the living sacrifice. We complete the spiritual transaction: I give God all of me, and He gives me Himself as my Father, supplying all my needs according to His riches in Jesus, and everything I need for life and godliness.
…through music, when I sing hymns and gospel songs, and when I write my own song-prayers to the Lover of my soul. “I love to tell the story, for those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.”
…corporately at communion. What a blessed union with my Lord, through His blood and body; that He enters in to me, and I accept Him joyfully. Like the bread and wine, I choose to be broken and spilled out to become a member of the body of Christ.
I suppose our relationship with the Lord can be as unique and special as each marriage is, and no two are alike. I want to get to know Him better: the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! His joys and burdens, His will and desires, what He loves and hates. As I have given up my plans for me, longing to please Him more and more and laying hold on eternal life which Jesus died to give me, I find He grants me more and more freedom to be myself because He loves my heart for Him, and who He made me to be.
Growing up, I had one primary desire in life: to be a wife and mother. Even deeper than that, though, my heart longed to live out God’s purpose for my life, whatever the cost. After I married the man of my dreams, he voiced fundamental spiritual questions. So, I thought God hadn’t been faithful to give me the desires of my heart. Disappointed, I placed my happiness in having a good marriage and pursued higher education with its resulting money and prestige. Seven years later, God sent a crisis my way and with it, a second chance at processing through whether or not I would believe His goodness and Word. After resisting Him and failing, I chose absolute surrender to God instead of suicide. Since then, my life has been a journey of growing in love, grace, and joy.
Gwendolyn is the mother of two teenage boys and is a part of Bethel Mennonite Church in Gladys, VA. She works from home giving private music lessons, writing and recording music (singthekjv.org) , making pottery (kjvpottery.com), and doing companion care for two widows. Her passion is that all may find the peace that comes from surrendering their lives fully to our loving Lord. It is impossible to trust Him too much!