Sep 24, 2012
God promises that during worship we will —
— feel His love pour into our hearts (Rom 5:5)
— have our heart-thirsts quenched by living water (John 4:13-14)
— behold His glory in the face of Christ (2Cor 4:6)
But how often is our worship like that?
How often is it just going through the motions — mouthing the songs — and feeling nothing?
What can we do?
Here’s one step that often helps me —
Worship in truth.
Which means — set your heart prayerfully on the truth of who God is as revealed in His Word.
How does this help?
Paul explains in Galatians 3:5 —
Does He then who supplies you with the Spirit and works miracles among you do it by works of the law or by hearing with faith?
Notice that God supplies us with the Spirit — which includes the Spirit’s work of stirring our worship so we behold God’s glory and feel His love and rejoice in His mercy.
But WHEN does God supply us with the Spirit? Not when we do works of the Law — but when we hear with faith.
When we hear the truth of God’s Word with faith — THAT’S when God will supply us with the Spirit.
THAT’S when we will start to feel God’s love, sense His presence, behold His glory.
Learning from Yosemite
It’s like I said last week — worshiping God is like coming out of a tunnel into the beauty of Yosemite Valley.
When you do — and see the green valley and blue skies and El Capitan and Half Dome — you feel awe and pleasure and delight.
But where does that awe and pleasure and delight come from?
From seeing the truth of Yosemite.
Same with worshiping God
The awe and pleasure and delight come from seeing the truth of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.
Truth like Galatians 2:20 — that Jesus loved me and gave Himself up for me.
As you behold Jesus’ love for you — which moved Him to give Himself up on the Cross for you — and hear that truth with faith — God will provide the Spirit.
He will stir your heart with awe and pleasure and delight in the person of Jesus Christ.
But too often we try to experience worship without beholding the truth of God in His Word.
We cry out for God’s presence — ask God to meet us — plead with God to pour out His Spirit.
Then we are discouraged because nothing happens. What’s the problem?
In many cases it’s that we have not set our minds on the truth of God’s Word.
It’s like we want to be captured by the beauty of Yosemite valley — but we stay back in the tunnel and never come and and LOOK.
No wonder we feel nothing.
Like a ladder
Jesus said true worship needs both spirit — Spirit-given, heart-felt desire — and truth — the truth of God’s Word (John 4:24).
Truth is like a ladder which can take you high into the joy of worshiping God.
And spirit is like the energy in your body by which you climb that ladder.
If all you have is truth (the ladder) — but no spirit (no earnest desire) — your ladder can be 100 feet tall, but you’ll stay on the ground.
And if all you have is spirit (earnest desire) — but no truth (no ladder) — you can desire all you want, but you’ll go nowhere.
Worship needs spirit AND truth.
Here’s what I suggest —
Start by praying for the work of the Spirit — to enlighten the eyes of your heart so you feel the truth of God’s Word.
Then set your heart on the truth of God’s Word. Hear God’s Word with faith. Focus on the truths in song lyrics — in the prayers — in the sermon.
As you do that, in His perfect time God will provide you with the Spirit — stirring you with longing for God, love for Christ, brokenness for sin, pleasure in God.
And you will worship.
How have you experienced this?
I’d love to hear — leave a reply below. Thanks.
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And here’s some related posts you might find helpful —
Sarah Edwards' Experience of God
Blaise Pascal's astonishing experience
My Father Explains How to Experience the Holy Spirit
(Picture is from everystockphoto — photographer not named.)