John 4:23 tells us “… True worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him.” God is still looking for people who will give Him the true worship He longs for.
True worship is not fervor over how uplifting or how exciting the music is. We can be in performance-based praise settings that appeal to our senses, make us feel good, or get us dancing to the driving beat, and think that is worship. Really, it is not much more than music executed so well and with such energy that it pleases our flesh. This is the only “worship” experience many have ever known.
I once had a vision that illustrated this type of attempt at worship. Jesus was standing outside two huge oaken doors leading into a ballroom. He was waiting in happy anticipation for the doors to be opened so that He could come in. Everyone on the other side of the doors was rejoicing and dancing because of Jesus, but they forgot to throw wide the doors and announce that He had come. Perhaps it was not so much that they forgot; maybe they didn’t know they were supposed to. So Jesus continued to stand and wait, and all the while people were rejoicing about Him without having Him present among them. It was like celebrating at a wedding and forgetting that if the bridal couple is not in the room, the whole celebration is without meaning.
Essentially, the problem in this kind of scenario is that the “worship” is about us — are we enjoying the music, are we feeling good, do we get a “high” from the worship experience. When we shift from it being about our satisfaction to what satisfies the Lord, that’s when we come into true worship. We have then “opened the doors” to Him and He can make glorious entrance among us, reveal Himself to us, and truly fellowship with His people.
This is what the Lord longs for. It is what we are really longing for as well. True worship provides genuine satisfaction for both the Lord and His beloved people, and it lasts beyond the momentary experience. Anything less may give us a temporary thrill, but we end up feeling empty when the excitement is over. We need to entreat the Lord to bring us into true worship and to keep us there.
Over the last few posts, I have put a lot of emphasis on worship in the corporate setting. Next time, I’d like to delve into personal worship.
Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual