Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Wide Open Worship - Pt. 1

When I was growing up a friend of mine had a dirtbike motorcycle that we both thoroughly enjoyed riding - especially "wide open." By that we meant highest gear, full throttle, taking it to the fullest extent possible without regard to safety or the possible consequences. Yes, maybe dangerous in that situation, but I like the term when it comes to describing the kind of worship that crumbles walls and breaks chains. How do we reach that level? It takes focus, sincerity, recklessness, reverence, and passion. It may seem like recklessness and reverence are mutually exclusive, but they are not. By recklessness I mean the abandonment of any concern over what people may think if we truly engage in wide open worship. King David danced recklessly without regard to people's opinion of how a king "should" act. Reverence seems to be more and more scarce these days. It is defined as "profound adoring awed respect." Because of the blood of Jesus we can come boldly before the Father. However, let us never forget that the privilege to approach was very costly. The blood of Jesus is so very precious. We should enter into the Holy of Holies boldly, but also with humility, honor, respect, brokenness and gratitude.

I have a feeling that when the Israelites were marching around the walls of Jericho, they were not kicking sand on each other or looking for pictures in the clouds. I believe they had their "game faces" on and gave undivided attention to the task at hand. They were psyched. They were ready. They were expecting a move of God. They were steeped in anticipation of God's reaction to their focused, sincere, reckless, reverent, passionate shouts. Ribcages buzzed, God's power fell, walls crumbled, the separation between where they were and where they wanted to be was no more. Victory.

I sometimes wonder what went through the minds of Paul and Silas right before they decided to pray and sing despite their trying circumstances. They had just been severely beaten and thrown into a dungeon with their feet in stocks. The opportunity to complain or indulge in self-pity was certainly present, but they decided to pray and sing anyway. I have a feeling they were not flippant, casual, or easily distracted. I doubt Silas said anything like, "Hey Paul, check out the reverb in here! Echo (cho cho). Echo (cho cho)." On the contrary, once they made the choice to offer up the sacrifice of praise, they put their game faces on and sang with focus, sincerity, recklessness, reverence, and passion. What happened? A song was lifted, God's power fell, the earth quaked, prison foundation crumbled, the chains that bound them were broken. Freedom.

Father God, show me what to change - teach me how to grow - take me to that level of worship in Jesus' name.

8 Comments:

At 4/19/2006, Blogger Cameron Cloud said...

Focus and passion in worship are greatly lacking today. Great thoughts!

 
At 4/19/2006, Blogger Godwyn Lim said...

Awesome Post Brother Mark! I have linked up your blog with mine, hope you don't mind:-)

I just love to share & your blog is awesome, full of goodness of the Lord!

Thank you for your kind compliment you gave...God Bless!

 
At 4/20/2006, Blogger Kitty Cheng said...

I also join with you in that prayer Mark.

 
At 4/20/2006, Blogger Deb said...

Amen...

 
At 4/20/2006, Blogger curious servant said...

I like this post. Not just for its content, but how it is constructed. Playful, careful word choice and an intelligent point make it a worthy read.

I dropped by because I saw traffic from this site to my blog.

I notice you have a link to my blog and I would like to return the kindness.

God bless.

 
At 4/20/2006, Blogger wilsonian said...

Something's changed in your heart in the last week or so...

Thanks for this post.

 
At 4/21/2006, Blogger jel said...

just stopping by to say Hi,
hope all is well!

 
At 4/22/2006, Blogger CJ said...

This is an awesome post! Actually I would say it's my favorite post that you've done. I completely resonate with you. I love it!

 

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