Starting with Worship
I have spent the last two weeks talking about 'Knowing God' in prayer and worship. These incredible truths of God's grace and sovereignty are brought home to our person and our understanding through our experience in prayer.
David Brainerd in a letter to his brother who was also a missionary wrote, "reject fire without light". It was Brainerd's practice to interview people who showed some emotion or affect in prayer. The affect was the fire, but the light (clearity of their understanding of God) was the distinguishing mark of grace. The theology of this is that God by the Holy Spirit reveals God to us, almost exclusively in revelation of Christ. A person having clarity regarding God's person should be able to describe the excellencies of God which He has "seen". In worship, we encounter God's glory, and we come to love His moral attributes and His attributes of infinity.
I have attempted to describe this experience by depicting a type of relationship to the Father that the Christian experiences and by describing what it isn't. BUT...
Seeing God is not our sole purpose. We are called to live. The proof of our spirituality is in the living. My sole point of starting from the Worship experience is because the Lord's prayer starts from the place of "Our Father, who art in heaven". Christ is teaching us something here and it is that our prayer and devotional life needs to be God-centered.
Yesterday, I posted rather practically about time. I stated that our prayer capacity needs to grow. A very practical way to grow in worship is to use music in our personal devotion. Why do you think God invented the Walkman?!! Or in my case the Guitar. I remember when the Langley Vineyard CD, Changed By Your Glory came out(Refiner's Fire etc). I, probably, listened to that tape every day for 5 years. With the stop button in one hand and a pen and paper in the other (today a laptop works even better).
Listen. Rewind. Listen again. Write. Rewind. Listen. Pray. Write. Listen again. Find a scripture. Pray. Listen again. Pray. Write. Go to work.
Going to Heaven
The bible teaches that we are seated in heavenly places with Christ (Eph. 2:6). We are to focus our eyes above where our life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:1-3). When we pray and we experience God, we are experiencing heaven. Heaven is where God is. When we have this experience of God, we see a little glimpse of Him but we also see a glimpse of heaven. Heaven is where God is and where His name is hallowed, His kingdom is and His will is done. At the same time we experience clarity with respect to who God is we also simultaneously experience clarity as to the quality of life that is beautiful and heavenly.
Immediately, we are struck with the gap between our existence and the existence or the kingdom. This gap is our opportunity.
Oh, God your name is not being hallowed on earth. I do not hallow your name. I am undone…
So this is our third point:
1. The true knowledge of God produces passion for the Father's Love to some degree.
2. The true expereince produces passion for His Sovereignty or His greatness to some degree
3. True knowledge of God (being with God) produces passion to live the heavenly pattern of life where God is honored and His will manifest in daily living.
The 1% Rule
When we are in this place of clarity with respect to God and the Kingdom quality of life, we often realize that we spend less than 1% of our actual life in this awareness. This is normal but unacceptable. We are free to fail but our desire is to live in this quality of life.
Christ then teaches us to cry out for this new quality of existence. This clarity produces passionate requests.
Father let your name be honored. Let this pattern of life be the pattern of life of my family and my self. Father let you will, love and sacrifice, and loving words be my pattern of life. Oh, God…Oh God …Oh God…
Indeed, 1% is a stretch but not for long…
Enough for now