Ok, this isn’t one of the warm and fuzzy topics to talk about in regards to worship. But it’s necessary for moving forward – for achieving the greater intimacies at the foot of His throne. So stick with me!
Anytime we enter worship, we can count on a battle. Right? There’s always something distracting us, enticing us, bugging us, or flat-out lying to us to prevent us from bowing before the Lord God Almighty. (Can I get an Amen!)
And often times that battle is coming from within.
You may remember Psalm 24:3-4 teaches us the necessity of having “clean hands” and a “pure heart” to enter God’s presence to worship. Or recall that Hebrews 10:19, 22 tells us what’s necessary to “enter the holy place.”
“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus . . . [Then] Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed with pure water.”
But it only makes sense that when imperfect men encounter the holy and perfect God, He might reveal those broken places that still need exposure to His light in the process.
So a repentant heart is vital to the entering of worship, as well as to the continuation of worship.
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts . . . Woe is me, for I am ruined! . . .
For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3,5).
I love Isaiah’s impassioned repentance in response to His breathtaking vision of His holy Lord.
David had the same plea when remembering the goodness and faithfulness of his God in worship.
“To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. . . . Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. . . .
For Your name’s sake, O LORD,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great” (Psalm 25:1, 5, 11).
Both Isaiah and David’s prayers force me to ask myself,
~ Is my soul prepared to encounter and respond to what God reveals of Himself to me in worship? ~ Do I approach Him in full submission – with an laid-open heart anxious to respond to anything His Spirit reveals to me about myself – including my sin? ~ Do I desire those deepest levels of worship intimacy?
This conviction may happen as you’re proclaiming God’s holiness to Him, and His Spirit whispers, You need to be holy as I am holy – with specifics. Or maybe you’re declaring His strength, and your eyes are opened to how you haven’t been trusting in His strength in a particular area. Or as you’re singing words that lavish love on your beautiful Savior, and He shows you the need to make intimately seeking, knowing, and loving Him a greater priority. I want you here at My feet more often.
So this is a work God does in response to our worship that requires our further cooperation. Of course, an immediate, contrite response at any prompting of the Holy Spirit will always be met with embracing forgiveness by our loving God. And not only that! It will invigorate worship intimacy as the hindrances to seeing and communing with our holy God are removed!
I love how David reminded us in those verses of the primary goal and greatest result – that of a greater glory being brought to His name.
“For Your name’s sake, O LORD, Pardon my iniquity” (v.11).
As we enter worship, let’s ask God to help us approach Him longing to surrender our all to His all. For His glory alone. For He is worthy!
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