AUGUST 2021 Worship Matters
“If you’re not worshipping God on Monday the way you did the day before, perhaps you’re not worshipping Him at all.” A.W. Tozer
When I want to be challenged in my faith walk, reading quotes by A.W. Tozer is a sure way to make it happen. He has a way of incisively cutting through any of our pretentions and bringing the Christian face to face with both the immanence and the transcendence of God. The immanence is the “Immanuel”, or God with us aspect of who He is. God who is near to humanity, who enters our time and space, who “is not far from any one of us” Acts 17:27. The transcendence of God is His glory and majesty, His being way beyond us, the great and mighty One whose thoughts are not our thoughts. “For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.” Psalm 97:9
This tension between worshipping God for what He has done for us in His immanence and praising Him for His holiness and transcendence can help us understand the songs we sing and how we worship. There was a movement toward greater intimacy with God in the last 40 years or so which was a kind of reaction against only singing to God about His attributes and never really encountering Him. From this movement we have songs such as “Draw Me Close to You”, written by Kelly Carpenter in 1994 and made popular by Michael W. Smith. The friendship of the Savior, His care and closeness to His people were common themes in every genre of songs written for worship. There has since been a pendulum swing back to songs praising God for his eternal, awe-inspiring, beyond-time-and-space attributes. Songs such as “How Great Thou Art”, Chris Tomlin’s “Everlasting God”, or “Revelation Song” by Kari Jobe proclaim His worth, His holiness and eternal reign over all Creation. We strive as worship leaders to have songs and scripture that point to both the nearness and the awesome holiness of our God.
Part of giving space and opportunity to encounter God and truly worship Him is having a mix of songs which lead us to focus on Him. When we “forget about ourselves, concentrate on Him and worship Him”, we prepare our hearts to hear the Word by coming with repentance and humility. The greatest unity is not found in organization, but in each member being focused on the Person and work of Christ. This awe in His presence, immanence and transcendence creates room for the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. We can begin to worship Him on Sunday morning and take that posture with us into the rest of the week, or even better, we can be in an attitude of praise all week and come into the church service hopeful and expectant. When we really “do business” with God, we enter His presence with both reverence and intimacy. We can only truly appreciate the nearness of God when we understand His holiness and how high He is above us. – Pam Graham, Worship
Coordinator “Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." Revelation 4:8