Friday, June 13, 2008

Worship, Surrender, Glory, and Abiding

I love it when God teaches me themes in Scripture and in life with Him that work together as one.

Some of you know that for years, John 15 has been one of those “anchor” passages for me in Scripture, a place where I return to time and again to remember that Jesus is my source of life.

In recent months, I have been re-reading a book called “How to Worship Jesus Christ”, which is less of a “how-to” and more of a “why-for” book. As I have tried to spend intentional time in worship, focusing on God and who He is rather than what He can do for me, I am realizing that tied in with worship is surrender. If God is God at all, and if I am worshipping Him, it means that my heart and my life must be more and more surrendered to Him. It means yielding control over areas of my heart and life that I have held onto.

Interestingly, this dovetails very nicely with abiding. Surrendering to God in every moment, submitting to His leadership, is only possible as I abide in Christ. And abiding is really a form of surrender, because in abiding I say that I cannot make life work on my own, but instead I depend on God in all things.

Lately in my Old Testament reading, I have been struck with God’s glory. One of
the passages that most stood out to me is in 1 Kings 8:10-11. Solomon has just brought
the ark of the covenant to the newly constructed temple, and the priests were set to go to
work. But “the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the priests were unable to
perform their service because of the cloud, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

God’s glory was so great that it inhibited the priests, the “religious workers” from doing
their job. In the Bible, there is something about God’s glory that will stop a person in their tracks. Sometimes it brings joy, sometimes dread, sometimes fear and awe. But it is not something you pass by without noticing. When was the last time His glory arrested me?

God is very concerned with His glory, so much so that one of our main purposes, if not THE maing purpose, is to bring Him glory. Ephesians 1:11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

God is The Glorious One, which makes Him alone worthy of our worship. As we worship, we should move to a place of surrender, recognizing the supremacy of God in our lives. And that surrender takes us to the place of realizing that we need the life of Christ in us and through us at every moment of the day, abiding, that we might fulfill what we are created for, which is bringing glory to God.

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