Are You Missing Out?
Human nature is driven to curiosity. We all like to be in the know. No one wants to miss out. Even my pixies, young as they are, scramble to find out what is going on. If one pixie is talking to me in private, the other wants to know what about.
We don't want to miss a thing.
We will drive 40 minutes to not miss out on a sale, spend $50 to save $10, and stand in line for our free sample of something we don’t even like.
So why do we choose to miss out on the greatest experience of our lives?
As creatures, we were created to worship our Creator. And we do, at times. We raise our voices in praise during the worship service. We might even blare some worship songs over the radio in our car. But do we truly live out our days in praise?
There is something glorious that happens when man is reminded of his true place in creation. When we recall that we are but dust and to dust we shall return, but God Himself, the Creator, chose to breath life into us, this should result in a glorious outpour of affection.
We look at the skies and ask what the heavens declare. “The Glory of God!” we shout in reply. And something happens in our spirit. Communion takes place. Our eyes are opened to the most profound beauty. Our ears are tuned to hear a melody that hushes our soul. Everything is more alive.
“He is that Object to admire which is simply to be awake, to have entered the real world; not to appreciate which is to have lost the greatest experience, and in the end to have lost all." ~C.S. Lewis
I don't want to miss it all. I don't want to look back over my life and see that I failed to appreciate the One with hands scarred for me.
If we fail to give our praise to God, there are several ways we miss out.
1) In worship, God gives Himself to man.
It is no secret when we seek Christ, He is found. He gives us His very self. In order to bring us into union with Him, Christ gave us His flesh. He carried our condemnation on His shoulders, so that we might be one.
He uses the picture of marriage in Scripture to signify this union. Ephesians 5:25 says, "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her." He longs to impart Himself to us and when we reach out in worship, He gives.
We experience Him. Like a lover tasting the love of his bride, we taste our Eternal Lover. We know Him in the richest sense.
2) In worship, God communicates His presence to man.
The times in my life when I have most experienced Him near are usually centered around times of praise. When I give God His worth with my mouth, my heart, my lungs, His Spirit consumes my being...His presence is so near.
When the Lord commissioned Isaiah in the sanctuary, he "saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple." (Is. 6:1) Isaiah's response was worship:
“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.”
This began the great adventure for Isaiah. He shouted "Here am I! Send me!" Confident the presence of the Lord would be with him, he went forth to communicate truth to a people who saw but did not perceive. Isaiah was certain of the Lord's presence as a result of his worship in the temple.
May we not only see but perceive Who He truly is. When we do, His presence will overwhelm us.
3) In worship, the condition of our hearts is exposed. Humblest minds praise most.
I had a Hebrew professor who taught me something I will never forget. This wise man, endowed with numerous degrees, said with humility, “There is always something to be learned. I never sit in a sermon without a pen in hand, waiting to gleam new truth. It does not matter who it is speaking.”
I watched him sit with pen and paper in hand, while we, his seminary students, presented our exegetical papers. He embodied humility to me. He sat down at our level, open to learn.
I have never forgotten this. I want to sit with expectation in every sermon, every podcast, every human encounter. But how many times do we spurn one another? We enter conversations only concerned with our point of view. If our favorite pastor is not preaching the sermon, we tune out, dismissing truth that may be gleaned.
God give us humility.
“I had not noticed how the humblest, and at the same time most balanced and capacious, minds praised most, while the cranks, misfits, and malcontents praised least. The good critics found something to praise in many imperfect works; the bad ones continually narrowed the list of books we might be allowed to read.”
Worship births humility.
May we not miss out on the greatest adventure before us: the opportunity to live our lives in praise to the Maker of it all. We get to enjoy the Almighty God. The sky is bluer, the stars brighter, His grace deeper, when we live the melody of His cross. This is it...let's not miss out.