Thursday, December 2, 2021

True Worship Happens in the Presence of God

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.  Matthew 17:1-2

True Worship Happens in the Presence of God
The passage above tells about a time when Jesus went up the mountain to worship.  Jesus took time to stand with friends in the presence of God, and this is true worship. The words of Matthew lead us to believe that a decision was made on the part of Jesus to meet God.  He changed His focus.  He intended to worship.  This is an example of worship on purpose.
On Purpose Worship.
The simple fact that He chose His companions and went up on a mountain suggests this was no spur-of-the-moment action.  He didn't awaken one morning, look at the calendar and then at His daytimer, and say, “Oops, today is the day we are supposed to go to the mountain." No, He had preparations to make.
Ministry to people was suspended so ministry to His heart could occur. Since His chosen place of worship was some distance away, He had to select the right path and stay on the right road. By the time He was on the mountain, His heart was ready. Jesus prepared for worship.
Let me ask you, do you do the same?  Do you prepare for worship?  What paths do you take to lead you up the mountain? The question may seem foreign, but my hunch is, many of us simply wake up and show up.  We're sadly casual when it comes to meeting God.
We need to fill our spiritual cup if we are to be able to minister to others around us.  We need to do the same thing Jesus did – suspend ministry to others so our heart can get a refill.  Let me urge you to come to worship prepared to worship:
  • Pray before you come so you will be ready to pray when you arrive.
  • Sleep before you come so you'll stay alert when you arrive.
  • Read the Word before you come so your heart will be soft when you worship.
Come hungry.  Come willing.  Come expecting God to speak. Come asking, even as you walk through the door, "How can I meet God today."
As you do, you'll discover the purpose of worship - to change the face of the worshiper. This is exactly what happened to Christ on the mountain. Jesus' appearance was changed: His face became bright like the sun Matthew 17: 2.
There is a line in the 1965 musical Man of La Mancha that has stuck with me.  “It doesn’t matter if the pitcher hits the stone or the stone hits the pitcher, it’s going to be bad for the pitcher.” We change when we meet God.
If worship does not change us, it has not been worship. To stand before the Holy One of eternity is to change. Worship begins in holy expectancy; it ends in holy obedience. - Richard J. Foster
Our face naturally glows like the sun when we are in harmony with God, worshipping Him and engaged in a daily relationship with Him.  It shows to all those around us.  It radiates, and then we can spread it to others.  Spend time worshipping God today and feel your cup being filled.  Then you will be ready to let it spill over into the lives of those around you, your spouse, children, co-workers and friends. 

Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; Sing the glory of His name; Make His praise glorious. Say to God, "How awesome are Your works!  Psalms 66:1-3a

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