Friday, April 22, 2011

Worshipful Awe – Faith’s Best Experience

“Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen among us!’ and ‘God has looked favorably on his people!’ This word about [Jesus] spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.”

~Luke 7:16-17 (NRSV [adapted]).

The fear that seized the people who witnessed this event is surely the same sort of reverent awe that the Israelites experienced when the glory of the Lord appeared before them after Moses and Aaron came from the tent of meeting and blessed the people (Leviticus 9:22-24).

The Western culture is not familiar, generally, with this level of pure subjugated emotion; an instinctive response of deferential wonder.

True Worship – A Response and Nothing Planned

This “face down” experience surely is where true worship is at.

There’s nothing put on about it. It’s not contrived, designed, practised or planned.

It is pure and un-generated. It comes only to a ready heart, the heart tuned to accept God without question.

To know God and to follow the Spirit with undying willingness, to the best of our abilities, is surely rewarded when we’re impacted in these ways.

As a response, then, we’re affected both cognitively — via our thoughts relating to God in our experience — as much as we can take them in — and emotionally. Music and imagery are not primary; they merely assist.

Double Blessing in Right Worship

And when these two personal manifestations — the cognitive and the emotional — combine and fuse most wonderfully together it is a double blessing of God’s inimitable Presence there with us. We’re blessed neither dumbly nor coldly.

Intelligently and warmly we worship with God.

Is there a better reward for our faith than experiencing this glory of the Lord? I don’t think there is.

Additionally, can this experience be ‘scheduled’ every Sunday or at any other time?

Well, that depends, often times, on the condition of our hearts and our willingness to go with the open flow of God’s Spirit as it tends to our beings.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Graphic Credit: Matt Redman, Facedown.

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