“I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it. The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones… And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow.
“Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white [with] gold crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder…
“In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back… Day after day and night after night they keep on saying,
“‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.’
“Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne. And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,
“‘You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.” — Revelation 4
Picture this scene in your mind: brilliant lights, rumbling thunder, a piercing rainbow completely surrounding God as multitudes worship Him.
This awesome, strange, majestic place is God’s throne room where He sits and rules over the earth. All of heaven and earth, all the angels and creation gather here to do one thing. In this holy place there is one focus and that is to worship God. He is mighty, huge, beautiful, awesome, adored, loving and just, holy and graceful, how could they not worship Him?
I believe that our lives should be a reflection of this heavenly scene, but I know for myself it is easy to lose focus and forget. Join me as I remind myself why I’m here doing hard things:
We were created “for [God’s] pleasure” (to worship). You and I exist today to glorify God by having relationship with Him. This is the basics of worship. Often it is easy to adopt the mindset that worship is composed of praying and singing. In reality, worship is living. What you worship is demonstrated by how you live: by the time and energy you give the person, object or activity.
King David grasped this reality. David was only able to be effective as king because of the many years he spent worshiping God in solitude and developing a relationship with God. He built and maintained a foundation that supported him (for the most part) when he was thrust into the limelight.
God gives us dreams and desires and He likes to see us set goals and pursue excellence (maybe this is doing hard things and developing personally).
But as we pursue excellence we must remember to maintain a spirit of worship.
We pursue excellence as an expression of worship to God, as means of communicating to God that He is all that matters to us and we will give everything to serve Him. If developing personally becomes more important to us than worshiping God, then we have a wrong focus (not necessarily wrong actions, but wrong focus).
In reality, personal growth is a lessening of ourselves and an abounding of Him in our lives. And the only reason we need personal growth is so that we can be more effective in the kingdom of God.
If in pursuing excellence we are not building the kingdom of God, we are wasting time, because our sole purpose in life is to build God’s kingdom by glorifying Him (worship).
The kingdom of God is a kingdom where the citizens have relationship with the King and through this relationship He is glorified. When we, the citizens, are completely satisfied in Jesus Christ, God is glorified and the kingdom is built by default. This is all part of what it means to worship God.
The greatest tool we have for building the kingdom is not our tracts, our eloquence, or our talents, but our lives.
When we go about our lives in constant worship of the Almighty, ministry happens.
If we are committed to following Christ [worshiping God] it will not be difficult to find hard things to do. Following Christ will invariably involve following Him right into hard things.
I think that the kingdom of God here on earth should reflect what we see happening in Heaven in Revelation 4.
There everyone fixed their attention on the Almighty sitting on the center throne and gave Him glory, honor, and thanks.
Likewise, every aspect of our lives should operate under a spirit of worship of God. And in order to worship God, we have to first get off the throne and allow Him to reign supreme in our lives.
Essentially, as we strive to excel and develop personally, let us not forget our true purpose for living. Let’s not forget our ultimate goal: we are alive for God’s pleasure.
And remember, worshiping God is a lifestyle. It does not necessarily happen through individual feats of strength, or moments of spirituality, but in the everyday mundane acts of diligence, love, and gratitude.
Well said! Just last week, I had a personal discovery that I worship God when I trust Him. Whenever I am afraid or troubled by my circumstances, He is not glorified, but when I believe His Word is true in every area of my life, I am at peace AND He is lifted up. It is so much more than repeating words from a song in an emotional gathering, this is so REAL! You said it this way, “When we are completely satisfied in Jesus Christ, He is glorified.”
BTW, I love that Christopher hails from Northern (I’m guessing, rural) MN. Our family of 12 moved from the greater Twin Cities area to the metropolis of Morrill, MN 3 years ago. It’s nice to know good things come from such a place. : )
Ah, so true Merri! This reflects some of my recent struggle as well. The simple act of TRUSTING God is so hard but ever so important! Thank you for your thoughts!
Yes, I come from the boarder town of International Falls, way up north! Good and beautiful place for sure! 🙂
As the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray,” so I find myself saying, “Lord, teach me to truly worship!”
You have done a good job here in getting us headed in the right direction. These thoughts particularly have stirred my spirit:
1) “… a lessening of ourselves and an abounding of Him…” Yes! I desperately want this in my life.
2) “… our ultimate goal: we are alive for God’s pleasure.” Please Lord! Help me to remember this.
3) “When we go about our lives in constant worship of the Almighty, ministry happens.” Somehow I believe this is the only kind of ministry that is truly authentic. The rest is a waste of time. So Lord, again… help me to focus MY LIFE upon you in everyday worship and minister to you FROM THAT CONTEXT.
Thank you for the truths you talked about in this post. I couldn’t agree more. I love how you said that our lives and the life of the church should reflect the scene in Revelation 4.