1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
I’ve been writing here, there, and everywhere, and I’ve had quite a bit of studying and preparing to do with our kids, both big (my college students) and little (our own in-house mission field). When I’ve not been elsewhere, though, I’ve chosen to quiet my mind and spend more time worshiping the Father.
Years ago, I heard the words of a world-renowned pastor in speaking of a need to slow down and ensure that you were aligned with the Father’s will:
“I had so much to do today until I had no other choice than to spend 4 hours in intercession.”
These are the words of a pastor who placed the will of the Father over his list of to-dos. Candidly, these are words you’ll never hear from these lips, except to quote someone else. First, though intercession is any Christian’s responsibility, it is not my gift. I’ve never scored high on those assessments that ask about being able to spend hours in prayer without being aware of the time. I’ll even confess that my own spiritual immaturity at that time led me to focus not on the heart of the intercessor, but on what wasn’t happening while he spent 4 hours praying. A bit older and wiser, I now get it. I still can’t say that I’d spend 4 hours on my knees, but I get it. Our place in this life is not to be taken lightly; the work of our hands requires that we pray without ceasing (which can also be over dishes, in the shower, or while riding in the car), aligning the many activities we are asked to take part in with our Lord’s will for us, and being good stewards of the all-too-precious time that we are given.
Worship allows us, like the prophet Isaiah, to see how big our God is, and consequently, to realize how little we are. His call to us to serve is an humbling responsibility; it means that 1) someone thought you had something to share 2) someone trusted you, or rather, that trusted the Christ in you, to operate in your ministry in the right way. If you have ever been served by someone with the wrong attitude, whether that attitude reflects pride, apathy, or anger, you can appreciate how much of self must be checked at the door in order to minister to others. I once wrote a post on our pastors’ wives and how their spirits were so unlike previous churches that we’ve attended, where the “first ladies” were queens on a throne. I imagine that these ladies must battle against that most clever demon, the pride of life, to move past what the church would gladly elevate them to be and instead humble themselves to be who they are.
Worship transforms our time with the Father from a wish list session, i.e., “give me this, give me that.” We often speak to our children, here and at church, about adoring our Lord for who He is and not always asking for things. If the Lord never blessed us with another thing, though that is a spiritual impossibility, we have more than enough because of what He sent Jesus to do 2011 years ago. When Jesus hung on the cross, He said, “It is done,” and everything we need is indeed done—our protection, our provision, our direction, our healing, our deliverance—DONE. Often I find that I spend enough time with who the Lord is in my life, I never get around to the “gimmees.”
Finally, worship puts our problems in perspective. I can remember, not too long ago, riding in the car one day and feeling particularly frustrated about something in our lives that, at least right now, seems to be an ongoing trial. I heard on the radio a very popular song right now, Wes Morgan’s “I Choose to Worship.” I hear the song at least once per day, but the words of the chorus, though simple enough, tugged at my heart differently that day:
I choose to worship,
I just can’t give up,
I choose to worship,
My mind is made up.
It was at this moment that I was reminded of how the Lord has constantly carried us, protecting our feet from casting against a stone. I found peace in realizing that this situation was temporary; we would not die, literally or figuratively, from it. Not only would we not die, but we’d be better off for having walked through our valley. We’d experience more of God’s grace and mercy; we’d have peace; we’d have more faith. We’d have a testimony to share. In that, I take joy. Prayerfully, your worship time is allowing you to do the same.