Summary: God wants an intimate relationship with us in worship
Intimate Worship March 17, 2002
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.
Isn’t that how you felt this morning? Yearning to come into the presence of God? Desperate to come to Church to be amongst the worshiping crowds?
Today we are going to continue along the line that Hana Started last week, and talk about intimate worship.
What is good worship? – some songs you liked? Music that moved you? Or is it that you met with God?
How do you characterize your worship time here and at home?
– From a distance, or close at hand? If you look at the Temple in Jesus’ time there were different courts, the court of the Gentiles, Israelite Women, Israelite Men, the actual temple (just for the Priests) and then the Holy of Holies – Where are you when you worship? Jesus paid the price so that we can enter the Holy of Holies. Are you there?
– When you worship, is itAll head or is there heart? How much passion is there for God?
– Focused on God? Or on you? Do the words of the song focus on you and your needs, or are they centred on adoration of God?
What is intimate worship?
- Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” There are a number of times that we read about Jesus stealing away to be with his Father. When he goes out to the mount of Olives to pray before he was arrested, It says “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives” (Luke 22:39) It speaks of this great intimacy between Jesus and the Father.
It’s like when you find a good friend at a party and you just have to get them away everyone else and have some quiet conversation, and just enjoy their presence.
We can have that same intimacy with God in worship
- David seems to be our prime example of intimate worship. He could be completely lost in the moment of worship, so much so that he would dance before the Lord, completely oblivious to those around him.
- I have a friend who died years ago now, but John Chang would come into a small worship setting, spread his arms out before God and just be lost in the moment. (John was truly worshiping God with his whole heart, his whole being. God wasn’t ‘out there’ John was worshipping intimately. God was close, God was present in response to John’s adoration)
Mark Burlinson: Intercession=parga = impact, collision with God, where we are changed. (car crash analogy) It is more than just prayer. Intercession is ‘meeting’ God face to face and we are changed.
Some of us attended the Intercession conference at TACF, and we found that much of the teaching in prayer & intercession also applies to Worship interchangeable – Praying to God when I sing) Worship Intercessor Sheet
· Rev. 5:8 harp and bowls
At its base, what we call “intimate worship” is worship that is fully aware, desiring, and open to God’s presence. – it is obeying the first and greatest command: to love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength – Deuteronomy 6:6
Ø God is not at a distance. God is close. When we come to worship, isn’t it awe-inspiring that we can be with God ‘up close and personal’?’
Ref: Hana call to worship-before the throne of God) Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach the throne of Grace with confidence.”
*** One time I was in the sanctuary trying to talk to God and I was dealing with so many conflicting issues. My head was buzzing going around and around in circles. (Looking back I actually think I was avoiding God and avoiding the truth about myself) I finally ended up face down on the floor with my hands in front of my face. I kept repeating, ‘Ok, just you and me God’ God came and met me there. The encounter changed me profoundly. Now that was up close and personal. From then on I recognize the difference when I pray & worship. My worship is now qualitatively different. There’s longing in my heart for God. The desire of my heart is to speak intimately with God. God will come as close as we will allow Him.