There was probably no finer exponent of the right worship and fire of God in the 20th Century than Aiden Wilson Tozer. His posthumously published book, The Worship Driven Life, according to his own tradition and literary legacy, is simply marvellous for teaching a Jesus-believer how to actually worship God aright, in the power of the Holy Spirit; for there are so many snares we’re hardly even aware of towards the end of worship.
These below are four features found in competent worship and our engagement of God:
We must have boundless confidence in the character of God. This must be an unswerving respect not simply for what he’s said in the Bible, but for whom he is. This is a full faith in his character to not cheat us; the knowledge that he will never leave us nor forsake us.
This, paradoxically, does not demand perfection of faith, but a humble, simplistic, childlike nature of faith. That sort of full faith should be easy, but our proud hearts are stubbornly resistant. Our faith, our confidence, must be bold and free.
Next is admiration. We must truly admire God, without exception. We admire him unconditionally; not just out of gratitude for what he has done (for us, in creation etc), but simply for whom he is; it’s the same for our parents--the excellence of love is out of the latter.
Total, unequivocal admiration goes well past the sort of conditional love that should be there in the first place i.e. the love of gratitude. That love’s basic. Worshipping God for who he is alone, however, means we don’t rush it, even if that means identifying and breaking our own legalistic conventions. He is the One who commands our presence and our devotion, and we must be wholly glad of that.
Fascination follows admiration; this is high moral excitement; “captured, charmed and entranced by the presence and person of God. It is to be struck with astonished wonder at the inconceivable elevation and the magnitude and the splendor of God.” Tozer sure has a way with words, doesn’t he? How can we not simply marvel?
The images that flood the mind remind me of floating through the air beside a waterfall; we are intoxicated in the Presence of God, which is not, I repeat not, anything like the effect of any thing or any substance created gives; this sort of euphoria is the sort that generates true and light-worthy revelation in Spirit and in truth. It’s genuinely life-transforming. We recognise it only when it hits us. We cannot fake it ‘til we make it. It simply doesn’t work that way.
Can you feel these four phases as a process building toward... ?...
Adoration: this is the nexus and fire of God. “It is to feel, to love with fear, wonder, yearning and awe.” –A.W. Tozer. Adoration perhaps is best felt and not said. But, it also involves cognitive engagement--the mind, and not simply the emotions. It is total, willing, culpable surrender to God--our awed response to his enormous grace, indeed, covenant mercy.
We can never fathom it and we are awed by his beauty; that not alone are we forgiven, but we can enjoy him, the one and only living God, who holds us up specially and uniquely--as much as anyone who ever lived or will live, save Jesus. And the Father gave Jesus up for you, for me! Amazing love!
God is Spirit (John 4:24). He is everywhere, all ways… always. Though he’s everywhere, it is not correct to say he’s wholly available to us. We can restrict our vision and presence of God by our thoughts, words and deeds; and only we and God can truly know.
But, if we focus on these four components, we can steadily build the appropriateness of our worship toward a crescendo-chorus; a lovely tune to our Maker, our Redeemer, our Sanctifier.
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
 A.W. Tozer, The Worship Driven Life – The Reason We Were Created - James L. Snyder ed. (Oxford, UK: Monarch Books, 2008), p. 119.