What do you picture is going on when you worship? Do you picture yourself in intimate communion with the very heart of God – a basking in His presence?
Of course, He’s always right here. But true worship is the most intimate of times – as we pour out from the very depths of our souls to all that we see, know, and believe about God in complete surrender.
And part of God’s workings in response to that humble offering is a powerful, spiritual transformation from the inside out.
Is there a more dramatic worship transformation story than that of Moses coming down Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments?
After Moses cut the stones for the second set of ten commandments as God requested (Exodus 34), He took them back up Mount Sinai to present them to Him. God proceeded to remind Moses who He was, and “Moses made haste to bow low toward the earth and worship” (v.8). He then asked for forgiveness for the people of Israel, and God renewed His covenant with them. Moses spent the next 40 days “with the LORD” fasting and carving the Ten Commandments. (I’m secretly hoping there’s a video library in heaven of all these great events! Ok, the secret’s out.)
When Moses came down the mountain with the tablets, he didn’t know his face was shining from exposure to God’s presence. In fact, it was so bright, the people were afraid to go near him!
Matt Redman says that this Exodus passage “gives us insight into two things: the deep revelation of God, and the change it brings to those who experience it. The greater the revelation, the greater the transformation. Unveiled in his worship and given incredible access to the presence of God, Moses also became a changed worshipper who glowed with the glory of God.”*
As unlikely as it is that any of us will acquire the same type of God-glow that Moses exhibited, the Bible tells us that we can absolutely reflect God’s glory. As a matter of fact, we can’t be in God’s presence and not change. Looking at 2 Corinthians 3:18, we read,
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (NIV).
In that verse Paul reflects on Moses’ experience and says that we, too, can be transformed as unveiled worshipers. I love what Matt Redman said: “The greater the revelation, the greater the transformation.” For the more time we spend exposed to God’s glory in worship, the more He’s able to do His work in us so we reflect that incredible glory.
It’s impossible to fathom. Such incredible grace! Such power!
Now, this is a transformation that goes way beyond just one’s perspective. It’s recognizable from the outside, but it surely begins with a transformation in the inner man.
This is life-altering transformation that I believe begins with an increased evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23). We’ll more closely reflect God’s love, joy, and peace. His patience, kindness, and goodness. And don’t forget His faithfulness and self-control. As we surrender our all to His all, to His glory, we become more like Him. Wow!
And you know what? Unlike Moses (2 Corinthians 3:13), we don’t have to hide as our “shining” transformation slips away. Because we have the indwelling Holy Spirit who continues that transforming work in and through us as we allow.
Of course, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Bible shows us how those same reflection results work for those who worship idols – anything that’s not God:
“Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them” (Psalm 115:8).
Sadly, we see this happening throughout our culture today along with the horrendous results. But before we say, “Not me!”, it’s a very real threat for the committed Christian, too. We need to pay close attention to what or who gets our most valued attention and affection. Because we will become like the object of those affections. (Yes, I stand convicted, too!)
How would it change your life if you were more and more enticed to be in the glorious presence of God and were less and less enticed by the things of the world? How would it change your everyday life – your attitudes, relationships, dreams, and desires? Oh, pray that would be your heart’s passion!
“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace” (John 1:16)!
*Matt Redman, The Unquenchable Worshipper (Regal Books, 2001), p.62
[In case you missed my 2nd post in this series, the changes in our perspective God brings about as we worship Him are definitely part of this spiritual transformation!]
**Sections of this post is an excerpt from my book, Worship and the Word. If you want to learn more about Worship and the Word, how to get the FREE 3 sample lessons, or where to buy it, this is where you go to do that!
To make sure you don’s miss the rest of this series, 11 Ways God Works in Response to Our Worship, subscribe to my blog here, below, or in the right sidebar! (Hey, some people like options. 😀 )
11 Ways God Works in Response to Our Worship: #1 His Presence
11 Ways God Works in Response to Our Worship: #2 Changed Perspective
11 Ways God Works in Response to Our Worship: #3 Conviction of sin
11 Ways God Works in Response to Our Worship: #5, 6, 7 – Guidance, Supplication, Desire for Heaven
11 Ways God Works in Response to Our Worship: #8, 9, 10, & 11 – Encouragement, Unity, Evangelism, & Help in Battle
Expecting God to be God in Worship!
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