Oct 28, 2012 01:00 am | Anabel Gillham
“Earth is crammed with Heaven. Every bush is aflame with the fire of God, but only those who see take off their shoes [and worship]. The rest just pick the berries.” 1
Our Bible teacher seemed set on making me feel very “unspiritual”! Now he was talking about worship and when, and how, and where do we worship. My thoughts? Pretty dogmatic, isn’t he? But his probing started the wheels turning in my mind about my own worship experiences.
My searching led me first of all to some people in the Bible. Let’s think about it. Moses definitely had a fantastic worship experience when he met God in the burning bush. Paul had an incredible experience of worship when he met God on the road to Damascus. Samuel marked the very spot with a stone where he had a worship experience with the Lord and named that stone “Ebenezer”. I think Peter might say, “On the morning when I saw the Lord on the shore and I jumped in the water and ran to His side. That was a great experience of worship for me.” Nebuchadnezzar “raised his eyes toward heaven” and worshipped the Lord when his reason returned to him. Very exciting, memorable events, but David journals many times of worship with the Lord as he was just meditating.
We could probably go on and on and find worship experiences from many different people in a lot of different settings. Which brings this question to mind... Why do we anticipate “worshipping” the Lord on Sunday morning as we sing–as though this was the only time during the week when we are free to worship? Worshipping with others is Biblical, wonderful, and very fulfilling, but I see worship as a very intimate thing, unique and personal for each of us. When everyone else is singing and clapping and raising their hands is it all right for me to whisper, “Oh, Lord. I love You. I know You as my compassionate Friend, my constant Companion, the One who never leaves me and understands everything about me. I worship You.” But there’s no raising of the hands, no swaying with the music, no singing, no dancing. Can this be worship for me?
If I were to ask you to give me your definition of worship, what would you say? I would define worship as a personal encounter with God and I think we limit our worship for Him and with Him when we designate a special time set aside for “worship” and have these great expectations for burning bushes, Ebenezer’s, and soaring emotions. He is with us constantly, not only around us but IN us–as close as the air on the outside as we gulp it and take it to the inside! We can’t get away from Him! Every moment spent in His presence can be worship, acknowledging His awesome nature. He and I are together and I am awed being in His presence. Yes, there are special times when He seems closer, more real, more a part of my infinitesimally small world. I love to “worship” the Lord when I’m sitting in the swing out in the screened-in “Summer House”
Submitted By – Lynn Moore