Psalm 43:3 NIV “Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.”
This is a test.
Think of the WORST day of your ENTIRE life.
But don’t think about it too long.
Now, here is the question. During that time of pain, were you aching to be in church on Sunday morning, worshipping God with absolute abandon?
Fortunately, there are a bunch of you out there who are sufficiently grown up in the Lord that when things get ugly, you do genuinely want to go be with the Lord. But the reality is that most of us simply want out of pain when we are in pain.
Once things have stabilized, then we can think about intimacy, but when we are in pain, we define God primarily by His willingness to be our pain relief app.
Sad, but reality.
The Hebrews were in pretty much that place. They were in pain and in response to their pain, God said, “Come worship me.” They thought it was a cool idea until Moses and Pharaoh combined to make the pain a whole lot worse, and then the idea of worship got shoved aside pretty spectacularly.
In the sequence of God dealing with them, He said, “Come worship me. Incidentally, we will ditch the Egyptians along the way. Oh, and after the worship, I have a land of abundance for you.”
But there is no question that worship was foremost on His mind. THAT was the only thing God discussed with Pharaoh. There was nothing said about abandoning the brickyards (although Pharaoh was no dummy – he saw that coming). And nothing was said to him about the eventual invasion of Canaan and the establishment of a super power to significantly disrupt Egypt’s hegemony in the region.
It was about worship in God’s mind. But not in the minds of the Hebrews.
So today I have Egyptians on my mind. I would be happy to see them disappear because I have been arm wrestling with them for a long time. And God has given me visions of places He will take me and give me that will be a better place than where I am now. I like the idea of moving toward those places.
But there is a double entendre here. On the one hand, God certainly was intending to have a fantastic worship experience with them at Mount Sinai that was beyond anything they had ever asked or imagined. God came down on the mountain in a pretty spectacular way. If you have not read that recently, I encourage you to place yourself in the desert and watch this impressive manifestation of the presence of God.
Nothing in Pharaoh’s palace or his tomb came close to this.
But beyond that was Mount Moriah in Jerusalem where the Temple would ultimately be built. And the worship there would once again surpass anything they imagined in the desert.
My will is choosing to push the nonsense of each day to the back of the stove and focus on the fact that God’s real desire for this season is to redefine His relationship with me around a very different kind of worship than anything I have asked for or imagined while toiling in the brickyards.
Let’s come into agreement with God’s plans for both the transformational desert encounter and the ultimate place of worship that is an exquisite match for my design in the long run, and ask for His light to lead us there.
It is quite interesting that I have been pondering that concept of how a man worships. We are mostly asked to worship in a woman’s manner in our current religious configurations. I think there is a wide variety of very manly forms of worship that are not socially acceptable today, not taught, not affirmed. Indeed, there is no room for them in many circles.
I have been pondering how there is a form of worship unique for each gift. There is a form of worship for each gender. And there is a sweet spot in that overlay for each individual.
God knows how He designed me. He knows where and how my spirit will be most released in extreme worship.
AND I am convinced that He is moving me toward a divine encounter of epic proportions in the near term, as well as a more lengthy journey toward that situation where the deepest passion of my spirit can and will be expressed in worship like nothing I have ever given Him so far in my life.
“Father, You know my heart is fickle and feels pain more than love. I ask You to forgive my heart and ignore its priorities. With my will, I choose to set my face toward an encounter with You that will be utterly life transforming (possibly even affecting my fickle heart!)
“I ask You to vigorously keep me on track with Your light, not just escaping from the clutches of Pharaoh, but also taking me all the way to the place of Your choice, for an encounter of Your own design.
“I welcome a transformational encounter with the Transcendent God, for me and for SLG. Let Your light invade and control my destiny, regardless of any conflicted messages coming from the rest of me!”
Copyright February 2014 by Arthur Burk
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