The Heart of Worship
- Wednesday, June 13, 2007
David — warrior, king, poet, songwriter, musician, and dancer — definitely accomplished great and wonderful feats for God. “Alone” he faced and defeated a bear and a lion. But he wasn't really alone. During time spent shepherding his family's sheep, he learned how to worship God. His relationship with God gave him the strength to face and defeat those two mighty animals. His intimacy with God also gave him the courage and strength to face and defeat one of Israel's greatest enemies — Goliath (1 Samuel 17:34-36; 45-49). After becoming king, he subdued his enemies and forged a unified national identity for Israel. However, of all David's roles and accomplishments he is most remembered as a true worshipper.
David’s worship flowed from his ever-deepening knowledge of God. With his heart brimming over with knowledge of the Divine, he penned powerful phrases and metaphors sketching the face of the invisible God. “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2, NIV). “[God] is my mighty rock... You, O God, are strong... loving.”(Psalm 62:7, 11-12, NIV).
David's life — one marked by worship — helps us to understand A. W. Tozer’s belief that “worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God.” David obviously held high thoughts of God.
As Christians, we yearn for a deeper understanding of God. But the Apostle Paul helps us to understand that the knowledge we gain of God while on this earth is incomplete. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12, KJV). In this world our knowledge of God is not only limited, but distorted because we filter it through our own perceptions of Him. Seeing God through our very subjective points of view is like looking through a dirty window. When we look through a dirty window, we are unable to gain a clear view of what's on the other side. Instead, we are faced with a hazy reflection of ourselves. Likewise, when we look at God we see Him through the "dirty window" of our lives layered with our perceptions, our experiences, our worldview — the limiting and flawed things of this world. These projections taint our image of God, hindering us from forming an accurate picture of Him. Before we can get a clearer picture of God, the window through which we view Him must be washed clean.
Tozer insists that what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. As our perception of Him changes, our view of ourselves changes as well, and ultimately our worship becomes more pure. What thoughts do you hold of God? On the subject of gaining knowledge of God, Arthur Pink writes, “the foundation of all true knowledge of God must be a clear mental apprehension of His perfection as revealed in Holy Scripture. An unknown God can neither be trusted, served, nor worshiped.”
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