Worship Invites God’s Presence

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by Mike Harland , Stan Moser on Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Following is an excerpt from the book Seven Words of Worship: The Key to a Lifetime of Experiencing God.

God deeply desires a personal relationship with each one of us, and He is at work around us at all times. Just as God walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, so He desires to fellowship and communicate with each of us. God has promised in Psalm 22:3 to inhabit the praises of His people, and God is always true to His promises. Our worship provides a place of meeting with God – a place for us to encounter His very presence and embrace His invitation to join Him as He works.

As we focus our time and attention on the Lord in worship, proclaim His place of honor in our lives, and thank and praise Him for His eternal promises, we can expect God to intervene in our circumstances. God has promised to inhabit our worship, and He will. And when the King is present, all things are possible!

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations” (Ps. 100:4–5).

That’s why we must worship through the good times and the bad – when we’re waiting for God’s merciful touch in our circumstances and when we’re standing in awe of His power at work around us. Worship invites God’s presence, enabling us to experience God.

The Bible is filled with many examples of those who responded to God’s revelation with worship and experienced Him. You’ll find their names throughout Scripture – Abraham, David, Daniel and his friends, Mary, Joseph, Peter, and Paul. As you read further, you will soon understand how absolutely vital worship was in their lives.

These great Bible heroes had a clear revelation of God – of who He is and what He has done. They responded to that revelation with worship, and they experienced the presence and power of God in their lives. Their lives are confirmation: you and I can experience God in worship!

Holy, Holy, Holy

Psalm 22:3 is a cornerstone verse on worship. It is often helpful to look at a passage of Scripture in different translations to fully grasp the meaning of each word or phrase.

“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel” (Ps. 22:3, KJV).

“But You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel” (Ps. 22:3, HCSB).

“But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered]” (Ps. 22:3, AMP).

Let’s take a look at the meaning of several key words in that passage from the King James Version, the Holman Christian Standard Bible, the Amplified Bible (see above) or your favorite translation.

Holy – sacred, spiritually pure, sinless, deserving deep respect and awe

Inhabit – to live in Enthroned – placed on a throne and exalted

Our God does indeed deserve our deep respect, awe, and worship! And He has promised His holy presence as we worship. Simply put, our worship expression creates a place for us to encounter and experience God.

Mike Harland is director of LifeWay Worship, a department of LifeWay Church Resources.

Stan Moser is a veteran of the Christian music and publishing industry who has held key executive positions with Word Records, StarSong communications, and Maranatha! Music.

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