Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Got Satisfaction!

Worship?! As a born and bred Pentecostal, I should know all about worship. On top of that, I just finished a seminary course in worship leadership. I got a perfect 100% in everything. Does that make me a budding expert on worship?

I’ve analyzed and critiqued two worship services of different "genre." I crafted my own Biblical foundation for worship and a theology of worship. I led a worship service and made a DVD of the experience for a grade. I commented on all different aspects of worship. Two very complete orders of worship were submitted-not to mention the project on dance in worship. You can see that one here. I read four books.  All this after being a lifelong Pentecostal, a wacky Charismatic and having taught worship classes in churches. Wow, that was a lot of work on worship.

What about experiences? Well, there are plenty of them. I’ve shouted and done Jericho marches to the tune of I’ll Fly Away. I’ve literally rolled on the floor (I guess that makes me a genuine "Holy Roller"). I’ve knelt, been slain, danced, waved my hands, waved flags, own a glory hoop, a Tallit, a shofar and had some very, very deep, quiet intimate times with Jesus.  Let me tell you, these were all great times.  And for those of you who know me as a bit more nerdy and quiet, yes, I was sane the whole time. In fact, I recommend all those experiences!

Yesterday, David reminded us that our work is a part of our worship. I want to take that a bit further. The Westminster Catechism asks, What is the chief end of man (humanity)?  The answer is: To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I think this begs the question, if worship is about God and His glory, then how does God feel about what I offer for worship. Is the worship about me? How I feel? How I “perform?” or is it about Him?

I don’t know how God feels when we do a Jericho march around the church. Or when I wave my banners and dance?  I like to think He enjoys it. God cares about me. Jesus died for my freedom. We know those ancient Hebrews got pretty expressive as they worshiped. When the glory of the Lord fills a house, we must react. When Moses asked to see God’s glory, he was only allowed to see his goodness. To see more would mean Moses’ death. You can read about it here.  

So this business of worship and God’s glory is pretty serious business.  I read a book last summer that said some things about how to please God in worship. After all that is our goal, not to feel good or have those Holy Ghost Goosebumps but to glorify God.  John Piper says in Let the Nations Be Glad:

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied with Him. (Piper 20)

I pondered this phrase for weeks last summer. When I think of worship, I think it is not only about actions, liturgy, manifestations and the like. It is about being satisfied with God. Some of the meanings of the verb, to satisfy are:
·         to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs, or demands of (a person, the mind, etc.); give full contentment to
·         to put an end to (a desire, want, need, etc.) by sufficient or ample provision
·         to give assurance to; convince
·         to answer sufficiently
Yes, satisfying sure sounds like something only God can do?
Are you satisfied with God? The more satisfied you are with Him, the more you have worshipped and glorified God.

Hallelujah I have found Him
Whom my soul, so long has craved
Jesus satisfies my longings
By His blood I know am saved.

For all the lyrics to this wonderful hymn, see here.
Top of Form
Piper, John. Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books, 1993. Bottom of Form


David said...

Holy roller? HO!

Thanks Joyce for reminding me that it is Him that is my worship! When I think of pleasing God, I often can only focus on the times that I have failed.

I guess if Jesus is my everything, He is my worship, my prayer, my friend and my Salvation.

It is interesting how these truths unlock - might be Jan's prayers.

Thanks for a great message.

photogr said...

Release our inhibitions and glorify God. Why is that so hard for some to do? I don't think God meant for us to sit quietly and restrained in worship to Him but to raise up our voices and and praise Him through song and dance.

OK. A lot of this is fairly new to me but It brings back memories of the old tent revivals I attended as a young lad.

~ Jan ~ said...

"I don't know how God feels when we do a Jericho march around the church or when I wave my banners and dance. I like to think He enjoys it". Immediately, upon reading this sentence, I was witnessed to, by the Word of the Lord, from the book of 2nd Samuel, chapter six.

Herein, David and all the house of Israel are bringing the Ark of the Covenant into the City of David. In his worship unto the Lord, David literally dances his pants off. Further reading tells us that the only one that found fault with him was his wife, Michal, the daughter of the former King of Israel, Saul. Her complaint? David had exposed himself to the handmaidens of his servants but that wasn't the true reason for her displeasure. She was bitter and jealous.

David reveals her spirit when he reminds her that the Lord chose him over her father and his heirs to rule as King of Israel. LOL, I get a real kick out of his next comment, "I was dancing and playing before the Lord and I will be more vile (undignified) than this and will be more base in my own sight but I will find honor and respect from the handmaidens of whom you speak."

David gained the respect of the handmaidens and all of Israel because they too, were rejoicing in the fact that the presence of the Living God had come to rest in their city. Not so with Michal. As with God, it is always a matter of the heart. So, go ahead and lift your arms, wave those banner, shout for joy, wear your Tallit, blow your shofar and fall down on your knees - your heart is in the right place, I'm sure God is very pleased.

A little word of knowledge...don't lose your panties in the process - I don't think the church would be as understanding as all of the house of Israel.

Be blessed,

Tony C said...

Beautiful hymn Joyce, thanks for sharing the link. I love your post also. I started a prayer today 'Father, thank you for being God. For that reason alone I will sing You praises and worship You until my last breath in this world...'

It's just so awesome He goes so much farther for us than we deserve.

Anonymous said...

As a worship leader, I really appreciate your comment on being satisfied with God. Finding rest in him can be amazing.