Thursday, January 19, 2006

in awe

About a year and a half ago I received a phone call. It was the chief of the Clark County Fire Department. He asked me if I would like to meet the president. I said, “The President?” He said, “Yes, George Bush, the President, he is speaking at the convention center tomorrow and I can get you a personal meeting with him”. I told him that I would like to do that (a slight understatement).

I remember that day: I chose my clothing carefully; I was a little nervous (another understatement); I also thought about how I would address him in advance. When he arrived, we had been waiting in a back room for about 45 minutes. Suddenly, everyone stood up and in filed the presidential cabinet. First, Andrew Card, then Karl Rove, Scott McClellen, Karen Hughes, and others. Then someone said, “The President of the United States”. In he walked. I was called by name and introduced to the president-you had to be there. It was awesome! He said, “It is good to meet you pastor”, and I forgot what I was going to say. I was standing in the presence of the most powerful man in the world! I’ll never forget that.

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever been really impressed with someone? Did you anticipate being able to meet them? Did you prepare for the meeting? How did you behave when you were in their presence? What was your attitude?

Over the next week we will talk about adopting a fresh attitude toward worship. Specifically, the time when we get together on weekends to “have church”. What on earth are we doing anyway? Who are we doing it for? Why?

I am convinced that many people who attend weekend services seldom truly worship, and they probably don't even know it. In Evelyn Underhill's words, worship is "the response of the creature to the Eternal." Simply put, we make God the center of our attention. We come before Him to offer our praise and gratitude, to confess our sin and confusion, to offer ourselves, full of love and wonder, vulnerable to God's desires for us. As we come, God responds to us, too, assuring us of forgiveness, comforting and healing us, embracing us, teaching us, and sending us out to serve.

After all, He is God right? Is that impressive to you? I think we either never really grasp who he is, or we lose sight through familiarity. Sad. No, tragic. Tragic that we have such an amazing opportunity to gather together and experience God’s presence in our midst and we many times miss it. It does not have to be like that any more.

I am seeking to adopt a fresh attitude toward worshiping God. I want to be thoroughly impressed. I want to anticipate our times together in His presence with high expectations. I also want to take more time to be prepared for those moments when we get together so as to make the most of them.

I ask that you let me speak to your heart about this matter for the next few days. We will also discuss this in our services this weekend. Be open to some fresh insights that can lead to some new attitudes toward worship. This could lead to some powerful, transcendant, life changing experiences with God. When was the last time you truly experienced God?

We were intended for God’s pleasure-to warm His heart-to be an object of His desire. Let’s take a fresh look at worship and allow our lives to be lifted and inspired like never before! May we rediscover or truly discover for the first time just how awesome God is. After all, he is really the most powerful being in the universe and for some reason He is interested in having a personal meeting with us.

And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him Heb. 11:6


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