Posts Tagged ‘worship’

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Choreographed worship in three dimensions

July 13, 2011

Looking today for a different article, I came across this one that I had not added earlier.

One night in May, 2008 I awoke in the wee hours of the morning worshiping God in my spirit – singing to Him about how wonderful He is, how magnificent, how merciful, how loving, exalting and praising him in poetry set to music.

I could see myself doing this, like watching a television set, as part of a group of worshipers in heaven. But it did not resemble any sort of worship service I’ve ever been a part of or seen in my life!

Some were up high in the room, in rows, some low, every space filled with exquisite movement and sound. You’d think some would crash into others, falling in tangles of arms and feet. But no-one did.

We were singing and dancing as we flew around in perfectly synchronized three-dimensional twirls and swirls and bows and leaps. In my mind’s eye I continued to watch all of this, yet also continued to worship and praise and magnify God myself. It was the most amazing experience.

I enjoyed and participated in this heavenly worship for some time, then fell sound asleep again. The next morning I remembered it all very clearly and wrote it down. I thought about it and prayed, wondering about what I had experienced.

“Remember Esther Williams and her troupe’s synchronized swimming routines in the movies?” the Lord reminded me. They were so graceful and lovely, those three-dimensional movements in the water that are not possible on land. That’s what it was like in that heavenly scene, except without water. Indeed, those graceful 3-D movements were in the atmosphere of heaven, where worshipers are not limited by earth’s gravity.

What an awesome experience this is to look forward to. And what an incredible gift this was, this glimpse of heaven’s worship from our awesome God who is so very worthy of our worship!

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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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What about worship

August 25, 2009

One of the very first things I wanted to know about heaven was worship. One sermon I’d heard in the past said that we will worship God 24-7, meaning all the time. Somehow when I heard that, I wasn’t sure that meant what the preacher thought it meant. He seemed to think it meant sitting in a church service, singing hymns or choruses or other religious songs.

But God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit have a definite idea of what worship is, and that’s not it. As I meditated on the question, what is worship like in heaven, here’s what they told me.

Worship comes from an Old English word meaning “worth-ship.”  The worth of someone. Worth what? Money? Respect? Power? Position? Fear? Treat that person accordingly.

In the New Testament, however, one primary word translated worship means to be in submission; to serve as a slave serves his master.

The Greek word “proskuneo” is translated worship in John chapter 4, throughout the section where Jesus talks to the woman at the well. Strong’s Concordance defines proskuneo as kissing the hand, but in practical daily use the word meant much,  much more. It meant kneeling as a slave in submission, respecting the position and authority of the master, waiting for instructions before rising to perform those instructions.

We get a better idea of God’s idea of worship by substituting the concept of  submission for the word worship in these verses:  “But an hour is coming and now is, when those who show true submission will show submission to the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is also seeking such ones who are showing submission to him. God is spirit, and those who are showing submission must show submission in spirit and in truth.”

This is not just serving like a waitress serves a cup of coffee. It’s the service of a slave, taking instructions and orders for the day, doing what you’re told, when and where and how you’re told. Not planning your own agenda and carrying it out, but receiving your master’s agenda and carrying that out.

So God’s idea of me worshiping him means me waiting for his instructions and doing them. All the time. Come here, go there, do that. If that’s singing, then singing is worship. If that’s writing, then writing is worship. If it’s researching the physics property of carrier waves (that was one of my assignments a couple of months ago), then that’s worship.

Obedience is worship; it’s recognizing who and what Father God is and acting accordingly. That is why heaven is such a busy place, not just a church service with singing.

Oh, there is plenty of singing, praising, joy, playing music on many types of instruments, by all ages of heaven’s citizens. Lots of places for it, too, indoors and outdoors. Great cathedrals, small chapels, massive amphitheaters, mountain tops. At all times of the day, somewhere, some group small or large is gathering to praise God with old and new compositions.

I’ll try to describe some of those another time. That was truly fascinating, and fulfilling. But the lesson I am still absorbing is, worship means obedience.