Archive for September, 2009

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Throne room

September 18, 2009

It wasn’t the throne room. I thought it was at first, because of the raised platform with several large throne-like chairs in the center. The platform stretched across the rear of the building, resembling a theater in its structure.

As the focal point of my vision was changed, however, I realized that the huge auditorium was more like a cathedral; a sanctuary. Broad and deep, a multitude of rows filled the room, arranged stadium style in an arc facing the platform.

On the platform were seated the recipients of the worship about to begin. Father. Jesus. Holy Spirit.

Worshipers soon took their seats in the sanctuary: musicians of many instruments, enough to fill a multitude of orchestras; singers and dancers. Men and women and children, every race and culture were represented.

So many different instruments! Some I had never seen before. Trying to take it all in, I was an observer on this occasion, a worshiper but not a member of that congregation.

As the service began and I listened, I soon realized I wasn’t hearing only one song.

Many different songs were being sung at the same time. Some people were reading poems of adoration, not songs set to any melody. Some were simply standing, silent with arms raised. Some were swaying, some were clapping, some were swirling in intricate dance steps. Some were shouting words of love, honor and praise. I recognized several languages, certainly not all.

The result was joyous and glorious. The amazing sound filled my soul and spirit with Life as I participated with saints from hundreds, even thousands of years ago down to the present. I didn’t want it to end.

In every church service I’ve attended, the musicians are on the platform facing out with the congregation facing them. Watching them. Following their lead. But the center of attention is on those human beings, praise team singers or worship leaders, not on the Lord.

Here in one of heaven’s sanctuaries, the worshipers were facing the Lord, offering to him their hymns and songs, adoration and praise.

It seems to me that the praise team and song leader should face the same way the rest of the worshipers do, turn their faces towards the Lord and lead by example in worship that is focused only on him.

Over the last couple of years the Lord has let me see other worship services in heaven. This was the first one, in this magnificent cathedral-like setting with countless worshipers. Others have been in small, intimate gatherings, or in more rustic settings, some indoors and some outdoors. Maybe I’ll describe one of those another time.

The one common denominator I have found is this: Worship doesn’t strengthen God. It doesn’t gratify him – he doesn’t need gratification. It doesn’t reward him. What can you give him? He created everything.

Worship is for the benefit of the worshiper. It brings strength, joy, energy, fulfillment. Life. Zoe life. God’s life. We need it.

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