WORSHIP: NAKED, IN THE GARDEN AGAIN…

Raindrops-on-a-leaf

seraphim0The prophet Isaiah tells us that there is a type of angel, the Serapphim, that stands in the presence of the Lord never ceasing to cry aloud “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, the whole earth is filled with His glory…”.  (Isaiah 6:2-4)  Isaiah had a vision of these creatures hovering above the throne of God, each with six wings.  Two covered their face, two their feet and with the last two they stayed afloat.  With this gesture they shielded themselves and at the same time honored Him as the manifested glory of the God of all creation was too awesome to bear.  This is true worship, stepping outside of oneself and focusing all of the attention on God, magnifying His worth and value through word and action.  It is a celebrated intimacy amongst Christians with the sweet presence of the Lord and testimonies abound, past and present, of the joyous experiences had while at His feet.

Yet, why does it seem so difficult to engage in sometimes?  In church, the music plays and we lift our hands with minds wandering elsewhere.  A powerful prayer resounds, eyes closed, hands lifted with good intentions but fighting back a tear, fearing another may see.  I have prayed about this a lot, learning from my own experiences growing up as a young Christian man, wanting more of that living water I first tasted at my conversion.  What the Holy Spirit revealed to me is that one of the reasons worship can be difficult is because we don`t want to be naked.  Our God desires this intimate act from us because many millennia ago, He so intimately shared His very breath with the first two human beings, giving them life.  The book of Genesis accounts that the Lord spoke everything else in the heavens and on Earth into existence.  The sun and stars blazed to be at His very words, as did the creatures of land and deepest sea.

NASA - Hubble Telescope - In the Center of the Rosette Nebula [Full resolution]When it came to us though, the Lord formed our being from the dust of the earth with His own hands, breathing His spirit into our nostrils.  Running through a land that was made just for us, naked and unashamed, we enjoyed a face to face relationship with God, whereas the Seraphim had to cover themselves in protection.  There was no sin, no darkness, no secret addiction to hide, no insecurities to cover up with bravado.  Only walking hand in hand with our Father, our Creator, our friend.  We can imagine how genuine and exciting worship was then, flowing effortlessly from Adam and Eve`s lips as they told God how amazing and unfathomable His works were.  Staring at their own bodies, discovering one another, they beheld the loving design and wondrous craftsmanship, made in the image of their Creator.  (Genesis 1:26)

Now that Jesus Christ has given His life for the world, we have a restored relationship with God, but that doesn`t always mean we are yet comfortable being naked again in His presence.  Worship is at it`s strongest, purest, most vibrant when the worries and cares of the world have been cast off, like dirty clothes.  The sins that Christ has died for and forgiven?  Their memories need to die as well.  The insecurity of what may slip out of our mouths in praise, out of our eyes when overwhelmed with His goodness?  A hinderance, plain and simple.  If it`s difficult to enter worship at church, then how about “practice” at home?  This is a way of life we`re entering into as redeemed children of God and not a rehearsed spectacle confined to a day of the week or a building.  Standing with outstretched arms, laying quietly on the floor, praying the Holy scriptures, however the Lord leads you, take off the dirt and grime and explore His presence without fear but with the knowledge that He wants you to come close.

“Come near to God and he will come near to you…” – James 4:8 
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