In previous posts, I spoke about the corporate worship setting at great length. But what about our personal worship, just Him and us?
And there was also Anna, a prophetess …. She was very old … who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. – Luke 2:36, 37
And the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle. — Exodus 33:11
Here we see an old woman and a young man with something in common that set them apart from everyone else: they loved the sanctuary of God’s Presence. They loved ministering to the Lord’s heart by lavishing themselves on Him. They did not go in and out of His Presence: they stayed there — because they wanted to be wherever He was.
In Anna and Joshua’s day, the Lord’s Presence rested in the structure where corporate worship was conducted. (By the way, there are still physical places in our time as well, where God has been so sought after by true worshippers that His Glory-Presence continually rests tangibly in the building.) But we have something that Anna and Joshua did not have. Jesus promised that when He ascended into heaven, He would send the Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of believers (John 14:16, 17), and that we ourselves would be the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19).
The Lord is still looking for people who desire not to depart from His Presence. Worship and awareness of Him can be a lifestyle. We do not have to step out of dwelling in His glory. We all do step out of it and into natural-man ways from time to time, but we don’t have to. The goal is to stay there. It is what Jesus referred to in John 15 as “abiding in Him.”
Some of us think we have to go from one great conference to the next to experience wonderful worship, miracles, and glory manifestations. But Jesus wants us to learn how to tap into dwelling in a state of worship, having communion with Him throughout every day, not needing the hype that is part of some corporate worship gatherings in order to be satisfied. We are to find our complete satisfaction in Him, not in the tools that are used to facilitate worship.
Corporate worship is wonderful, and I dearly love being in that setting, but we must somehow learn to go beyond only experiencing God’s touch in that way. Pure worship flows out of relationship with Him. And since we are the temple of His Presence through the Holy Spirit indwelling us, we can stay in the sanctuary of worship all the time, beyond what Anna and Joshua had.
Previous: True Worship (Part 6)
You may also like Lee Ann’s 2016 article series on worship,
Making a Place for God’s Presence
Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual