Summary: Get Closer, Whisper Softer

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Gen 22:1-14

There are at least two ways to make something bigger to the eye. You can magnify it with a magnifying glass, microscope, or telescope; or you can move closer to it. Magnification makes an object appear larger to the eye, but there is only one way to get a sense of an object’s true size in relation to you. You must move yourself closer or draw it close to you in some way. To see a mountain on a postcard or to view it through binoculars is less awe inspiring than to stand dwarfed at its base. That’s the perspective-altering power of proximity.


Praise is roughly similar to magnification. Worship, with its characteristic of intimacy and unconditional love, speaks of the power of proximity. When you link magnification of God with proximity or closeness to Him, He fills up your whole screen so that all you see is Him. When you spread your wings of worship, the breath of God, the wind of the Holy Spirit, will lift you high above your earthbound circumstances. What happened? The same problems you had before you walked into church were still waiting for you after church, but your perspective had changed. They seemed smaller, but not because they were smaller. They simply lost their power to overwhelm you because He seemed bigger (and He really is). Everything looks less intimidating when you are perched in Daddy’s arms, viewing the world from His eye view. It also puts you in close proximity to Daddy’s ear! And there’s particular advantage to that position. Have you ever noticed that some people seem to get their prayers answered more than others? It could almost make you suspect that God is a respecter of persons, but He said He isn’t. Is it because they pray right? Is it because they say it right? Is it because they have the right verbiage delivered at the right volume and strength? How many have tried all the different prayer and faith declaration methods only to say in the end, "I guess they’re just better at it than I am"? No, it is not that these people are "better" than you. They may be closer. If you can ever get close, anything is possible. Do you remember how my daughter approached me to ask if her friend could stay for dinner? She knew better than to scream her demand from her bedroom, "Daddy, I want my friend to stay for dinner." My daughter had to exit her room and enter my realm. She worked through the process of winning and wooing my attention through a legitimate buttering up process so she could slide in under my arm and wiggle close to my heart. Only at that moment of maximum proximity and magnification, when she was sitting in my lap, did she finally make her request. Does God require us to "win and woo" His attention? No, but He delights in it. Is it right to butter up God? No, not if you offer Him flattery in place of loving and extravagant worship. The answer is yes if you delight in loving Him and worshiping Him, even while hoping to make a request of Him. The difference between flattery and worship is that those who flatter God in hopes of wringing a blessing out of Him lack genuine relationship and privileged position.


Ask any father or mother what means the most to him or her-the lavish praise of acquaintances on the job and strangers in the community, or the intimate whispers in childish lisps from their own children. I have a mental picture of you sitting at a table with Him enjoying a high tea together. He separated Himself from His usual celestial companions just to spend time with you and collect heavenly snapshots of the worship in your heart and in your eyes. As you sit at a table with your heavenly Father, you realize that many clamor to spend time with Him because of His fame and His power to bless and change human destiny. Yet in that moment of intimacy at tea, He is your loving Father. You instinctively ’must stretch your hands out toward Him from time to time; at other times you suddenly realize all conversation has stopped, and you are simply gazing at Him in wonder over His love. You have no idea just what He can do for you, but it doesn’t matter. His presence matters the most. You know you won’t have to "talk Him into anything" anyway. He already knows your needs even before you ask for them. In that moment, when your heart has melted into His, it is almost as if whatever you look at He will grant you. Since He has become your first desire, everything else has become possible.

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