I’ve been in meetings this week with representatives from hundreds of churches – new and old – from around the world. I have missed this meeting the last few years, but I am enamored with the things I see God doing among us.
Our brother that was chosen to lead this meeting has challenged us with three very simple, very powerful phrases. The first one, “Exalt in Worship,” I must confess at first seemed a little plain to me. But he pointed out that all that we ever hope to accomplish in the kingdom of God begins with acknowledging God for who He is…recognizing His worth…which is precisely the meaning of the word, “worship” – to see the worth of God.
As I have been reflecting on this idea, I realized that the most powerful things that God has done in my life have come out of a time of intimate experience of God’s presence.
Yet again, it should not surprise me to see this. In fact, the greatest expansion program that God’s kingdom on earth has ever experienced was born out of a group of people worshiping and seeking God’s presence together.
In the book of Acts, Dr. Luke records in chapter 13 how the followers of Jesus in the city of Antioch were gathered as a church seeking God in studying what they had of the Scriptures, talking with God in prayer, and even setting aside their very food for the purpose of earnestly seeking more knowledge of God. Notice this powerful statement in verses 2-3:
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then, after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. (Acts 13:2-3)
This may not seem all that significant at first glance, but the vast majority of those who will read these words owe their opportunity to hear the message we proclaim to the work that began there. That guy Saul soon had his name changed to Paul – the Apostle.
The folks there in Antioch had their attention fixed upon God through worship. Much like a child is born out of the intimacy of a husband and wife, the vision for what God had for them was born through that worship – the intimacy of Jesus the bridegroom in spiritual union with His bride, the church.
And, just like the believers in Antioch, the vision for what God has for us is born out of worship.
Maybe, like me, you’ve been struggling to find the vision for what God has for you. Fix your attention on Jesus and the vision will come.