Archive for the ‘Thoughts on Worship’ Category

In thinking about your ‘gift’, ‘talent’, ‘grace’, the thing you can do that you want to do, that people like it when you do it, do you ever have trouble sorting out your motives? OH C’MON!!!!

Really, sometimes it’s hard to know your own heart. TheBible — and our own experience with ourselves — tells us that’s true. I’ve been thinking of a simple saying lately that really helps me with this…

“By Your grace, for Your glory”

In other words, whatever I’m able to do, whatever talents and gifts I have, I only have by the grace God has given to me. He’s given me those abilities. I didn’t create them myself. I didn’t decide to sing, work hard at it, and – wham! I can sing! No, that’s a gift, a talent, an ability God gave me that at some point I recognized, developed, and began to utilize.

That’s the “what”. The next question is “why?” The answer to that is, for the glory of God. He gave me the gift to bring His Kingdom from heaven to earth, to proclaim His infinite worth, to show His character and nature to the world, to bring Him glory.

This keeps me from making two mistakes – esteeming myself too highly, or esteeming myself too lightly. I don’t have the right to overestimate my value or to underestimate it. What God gave me was a free gift – I can’t claim any responsibility for it, but neither can I leave it laying there undeveloped, unused, like the unwise servant who buried what he was given.

“Worthy is the Lamb.”

These are some of my favorite words in all of the Bible. The truth contained in that four word phrase from Revelation 5:12 is powerful, eternal, awe-inspiring, all-encompassing, and offers us a timeless definition of what worship is all about. Say it out loud, to Him, right now — “Worthy is the Lamb!”

What’s He worthy of? Well,…everything!

Because He is the Creator — not just the assembler of existing things, but the originator of all things, and has chosen to create us to love and serve Him, giving each of our lives unique purpose and the incredible privilege of being able to let Him live in us, which brings praise to His Name — He is worthy of our full attention, obedience, time, energy, and every resource within our grasp.

Because He is always right — not just correct, but upright, righteous, honorable, just, completely true and incontrovertibly wise — He is worthy of all honor and glory, worthy to be obeyed and magnified.

Because He is love personified — not just good, but goodness itself, unendingly merciful, gracious, wonderful, and kind — He is worthy of our unbridled expressions of deep, deep love and adoration.

Because He is our Redeemer — not just someone who bought us for a price, but the innocent Lamb Who in His flawless perfection took our place, dying the death we deserved to die, delivering us from darkness and translating us into the glorious light of His eternal Kingdom — He is worthy of all praise, glory, honor and thanks, in the form of whispers, shouts, whistles, songs, tears, applause, leaps, [endless list]

Because His worth is immeasurable, incomprehensible, and everlasting, the worship He is worthy of is also. Think about that for a moment — what God is really worthy of being given can never be completely satisfied, or exhausted, or come to an end. He is so glorious, so magnificent, so holy and without flaw that all His creation proclaiming and demonstrating Who and how He is 24 hours a day for eternity can’t even come close to representing Him fully!

That’s why the twenty-four elders in Revelation keep casting their crowns at His feet and falling down before Him. They are in constant awestruck wonder at every new aspect of His person, character, and nature that He is revealing! That’s the singular aim of God — to continually reveal Himself, His limitless glory, throughout all worlds to all creatures.

Rev 5:8  When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Rev 5:9  And they *sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
Rev 5:10  “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
Rev 5:11  Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,
Rev 5:12  saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
Rev 5:13  And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
Rev 5:14  And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

There’s so much more to be said about this, and how foundational an understanding of the infinite worth of God is to the concept and practice of worship. Yet, there’s enough in these scriptures to keep my knees bowed and my mouth proclaiming His praise for all eternity.

Worthy is the Lamb!

Harold

Heart Of Worship – Captured Heart from Harold Forbis on Vimeo.

Heart Of Worship – Seeking Heart from Harold Forbis on Vimeo.

Heart Of Worship – Humble Heart from Harold Forbis on Vimeo.

Heart Of Worship – Part 1 from Harold Forbis on Vimeo.

I love how God has given us powerful, tangible pictures in the Bible to illustrate spiritual principles. Through the true stories of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, we can literally see how God desires to relate to man, and how man is expected to live his life before God. I’m a visual guy, and it’s so much easier to understand something by having a picture or a 3-D model to take a long, studied look at, and then to make observations, explanations, and applications from.

For instance, we see Moses going up the mountain to meet with God face to face, and we understand that man is designed to ascend to a higher place, with the capacity to break free from the pull of earthly things that cloud our view of Him, and distort the clarity of His voice as He speaks to us. We can see the reality of the spiritual principle that if we draw near, or come up, to Him, He will draw near to us.

We see David going out to meet the Philistine giant Goliath, with only a sling and some rocks. David is incredulous that while this heathen champion is disparaging not only the people of God, but the Name of the Lord Himself, the whole army of Israel fears the giant man more than the Great I AM! Now, rock throwing is generally considered to be more of a mischievous activity than an act of war, but in this case we get it – David is moved to fight for the honor of the Name of the Lord, and because He’s trusting in God to vindicate Himself, the weapon doesn’t matter, what counts is possessing the faith to act!

Get the picture (pun intended)?  I Cor. 10:11 says, "Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the age have come." A picture really is worth 1,000 words! For a worship leader, musician, or singer, one of the most important pictures the Bible paints for us is of the Levites, particularly the portion of the tribe of Levi that was separated by David and his leaders to minister in music to the Lord.

Primarily in the books of I & II Chronicles, as we watch how David made assignments of the Levites to their particular duties and how they carried them out, we can see some clear examples of who we are to be, and how we are to serve in this calling God’s given us. It’s interesting to see how those called to serve in this capacity did so when the Kingdom was intact and things were going great, and when, well, not so much.

I’ve been looking at the different portraits of these guys that the Bible paints for us for around 20 years, and I’m still finding fresh insights that help me understand who I am, what I’m called to do, and how I’m supposed to fulfill that calling.

In the next few posts, I’d like to take a closer look at the Levites. Who were they? Why were they chosen to serve the Lord and His people in this capacity? When, where, how did they fulfill their duties? As we look at this together, my hope is that God will more fully develop inside each of you the picture of who He created you to be.

Harold