A number of people asked me for the A.W. Tozer quote on worship I used in the message last Sunday. I was pleased to hear that those words were as impactful on some as they have been on me! Here’s the quote, from his last book, The Crucified Life:
"Part of our worship experience is to rise up in a Spirit-filled imagination, see through the eyes of faith and look on God in adoring wonder and amazement. With our feet firmly rooted in the Scriptures, we can rise to that mysterious height of spirituality and become so God conscious that we lose a sense of all other things. Oh, to be lost in the wonder of God! That is our spiritual heritage."
Through worship we soften the walls of our heart and become more God conscious. When we are more God conscious we can hear Him more easily and clearly, and we can actually physically sense His Presence in new and profound ways. I had a lot more to say about this in my message, but time was fleeting. But I can personally testify to this as a reality. As I have learned to worship God more freely and intentionally (Seek, Call, Forsake & Return – remember?) I have had many times when I’ve experienced the nearness of God physically. For me, this typically means my breath is suddenly taken away and I am no longer able to sing. I am moved to weeping as I, quite literally, bask in the Presence of God! The experience always leaves me wanting more of God! I don’t have the experience every time I worship, but it does happen and it’s beginning to happen more often for me.
I wonder if this is a little bit like what the disciples experienced in the transfiguration (Mark 9:2-7).
I’ve had this experience in the privacy of my home, in my car while listening to worship music, and here at church on Sunday mornings. It can happen to someone anywhere – whenever they set their hearts to seek and call upon the Lord. But the other thing I wanted to stress is that it can especially happen for us when we come together here on Sunday mornings. That’s because our weekly worship time is already a “thin” space for us. It’s a thin place because we’re meeting in a facility dedicated to the Presence of God. Every Sunday morning, the worship team members pray that the Holy Spirit will use them to draw the congregation into God’s Presence that morning. And before every Sunday service a number of us meet with the worship team to pray over the morning and to ask the Holy Spirit to move in our midst.
When you come on Sunday morning, the place is already prepared for you to meet God. He’s already meeting you half-way. All you need to do is reach out for Him (Acts 17:27).
So if you’re wondering what all this talk about being Spirit-born and Spirit-led is all about … why not take the risk next Sunday morning? Don’t be a passive observer of worship. Determine to seek God in worship. Think about Him. Think about what we’re singing about Him. Let your imagination help you reach out to Him. Because when we seek Him, we will surely find Him.