Have you ever snorkeled? I love it. The beauty that lies just below the ocean’s surface is breathtaking. And it always makes me long for more – more unknowns, greater depths, unimaginable wonders! Because I know floating on the surface doesn’t begin to give me a picture of all that waits for me in the depths.
Unfortunately, I rarely have the opportunity (or money) to snorkel – much less deep sea dive. But when it comes to the things of God (aka the Creator of all the seas!), we have no excuse!
We’re wired from the moment of salvation through God’s Spirit to both intimately know God.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12).
In fact, we’re continually called to dive deeper in both our relationship with Him and in our worship intimacy with Him.
Proverbs 2:3-5 says, “For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD, and discover the knowledge of God” (emphasis mine).
*The writer of this proverb is describing an active pursuit of knowing and understanding God and the things of God. How active? Do we “cry,” “lift our voice,” “seek as for silver,” and “search as for a hidden treasure” in our quest to understand God?
Warren Wiersbe said, “Worship is the response of all that we are to all that God is and does” (emphasis mine). ¹ We can’t react to what we don’t know. We can only worship God to the degree that we know Him. Otherwise, it’s much like trying to go deep sea diving with a snorkel. We’ve heard that so many amazing things lie in the vast waters far beyond what we can see. But if we’re only willing to float on the surface of the water with a snorkel, then we can never truly experience or attempt to know that vastness.
We settle for the shallowness.
Yes, we can keep talking about that pretty orange, spotted fish that came up close, but that’s not even a speck on the expanse of all that lies waiting to be revealed. And that ocean? Well, it’s merely a speck on the vastness of all that is waiting to be revealed of God. After all, He created it – along with the rest of the universe!
But unlike the ocean, God longs to reveal Himself to us. He relishes those times that we’re willing to dive in headfirst and search with great expectancy for what He has for us next. Will it be the greater wonders of His love? His faithfulness? His power? His mercy? His holiness?
After all, in Romans 11:33, 36 we read,
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”*
And I love Psalm 43, because the psalmist asks God to reveal Himself through His word and His Spirit and prays his response to that revelation would then be to worship!
“O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling places. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God” (Psalm 43:3-4).
Do we dive head-first into our personal times with God – striving determinedly and vigorously against the waters of passivity to know Him more?
What about during worship? Do we come with hearts prepared, minds focused, and souls surrendered? Do we enter His presence with an expectation of diving into the depths to see and respond to the hidden things our unsearchable God has for us? Oh, His invitation is open-ended to all who will come!
And once we’ve gotten a glimpse the depths of the glory of God, our compulsion to go back will grow with each new revelation – with every taste of intimacy with Him. We’ll truly long for more.
“How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts!
My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God” (Psalm 84:1-2).
Yet, it’s so easy to settle for less or slip into complacency. That’s why I spend time with God and in His word everyday. And that’s why on my way to church on Sundays I ask God to help me offer Him pleasing, acceptable worship that day. I pray against distractions (which are many), and that He’d show me anything that might prevent me from worshiping Him fully surrendered. Finally, I ask Him to open the eyes of my heart and mind to whatever He has for me.
We’re each called to so much more than the shallowness of snorkeling our way through worship – than taking distant glances at God.
Make it personal. Ask God’s Spirit to help you dive deeper, draw closer. Pray your heart would grow to seek and respond to God in greater ways – for a heart that is impassioned, patient, expectant, and open as you offer Him all you are in response to all He is. Because He is worthy!
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
*Sections of this post between the ** are from my book, Worship and the Word.
1. Warren Wiersbe, Real Worship (Baker Books, 2000), p.21
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