Today I am in Spain. I will be teaching this week on New Covenant Realities. We had a great start today with hungry hearts and a loving Father who wants to visit us with His presence and impart His life to us in amazing ways. This is always a delightful and challenging week for the students here at G42. I know that we will have some more ambush times with God and some transformational revelations of His goodness and love.
I have been writing on a culture of honor and today I want to finish on the topic of worship in the culture of honor to God. As I have stated, God does not need us to worship Him. When we sing songs to Him in a service He doesn’t need for us to worship Him. We need to worship Him. We need to recognize who we are. We are an expression of Him. So we give the expression of who we are as a testimony of love to Him. When we do this it changes our world, because He is able to be Himself with us and the blessings of heaven begin to fill our lives. We are not limited by the inherited iniquities of our fathers because God is able to come into our midst and He is a jealous God. He wants to give to us the life-giving, life-transforming substance of who He is. When we recognize that He is the giver we say to Him, “Here we are. We live for you! We worship You! We like being ourselves. We have a great life. Look at what You have done! You created us in your likeness and image. We sing songs to you! We live out loud as an expression of the life of You. We don’t worship to get anything from You!” When we love God like this in spirit and truth, God in His jealousy says, “Wow! I love being Myself with you. I like it when I can be Myself! I love being able to walk into the room and not be resisted in My giving. I love environments where the things coming off of Me are not being thrown back at Me. I love being able to walk into a room and my gifts are not being rejected. I love walking into the room where cheeks are not turning to avoid My kisses. I love walking into My family where their arms are open to receive my hugs and when I hug them the aroma of My perfume sticks on you. The marks of My kisses remain upon you. The gifts that I give become packages to be opened in your midst and heavenly things become discovered in your earthly territory. That is what happens in this worship environment upon the earth. I am not lacking! I don’t lack anything. I am not formless void and dark. I have no emptiness in Me. You cannot give me anything that fills some place in My life. There is nothing missing in Me. You cannot give Me anything that will fill something missing in Me. There is nothing missing in Me! Would you get a revelation? There is nothing missing in you! I like you! Would you look with the eyes that I see and freely give of yourself from security, not from insecurity? Worship is about security. It is not about a need. It is a matter of abundance. You lack nothing!”
In worship our hearts become open to God. The atmosphere of our hearts and minds confess that we don’t lack approval. We do not lack identity. Here we are! We have been carved in the likeness and image of God. “We worship You God! We give all we are to You! We feel good about ourselves but we feel better about You! You make us feel so good! You move our hearts!”
Worship is not coming to God from a place of lack, it is coming to God from abundance and God coming to us in the abundance of who He is. What happens when a family becomes a family of abundance and begins to live in a value of who they are for the sake of who He is? We are a family that should value who we are and realize we don’t come to God because we need anything from Him. We are not in this family because we need anything. We are in this family because we have been born into this community and we have come to give of who we are in the testimony of who we all are for the glory of God!
When this happens, God the Father says, “Wow! Yes! Let me walk among you. Let Me be the giver, the jealous One, the One who has treasures, rivers, and light streaming from Me. Let me walk in your midst and let me take what you think is good and make it amazing! Let me take what you think is wonderful and make it phenomenal!
When we worship things and think that created things give us identity or a sense of value in some way, when bring a spirit of lack into our gatherings. We begin to look at what is not happening. We begin to look at how our needs are not being met and in doing so we redefine who we are. It doesn’t start with us thinking it is about us. It starts with us measuring others by what doesn’t match our own likeness and image. We then begin to think that we have come together to get what is missing in our lives fulfilled. This is the atmosphere of disappointment and offense. When our brother or our sister doesn’t look at us today and we think, “if they really knew who I am they would have looked at me”. The truth is, if we knew who we are it wouldn’t matter if they looked at us or not, because we would have come to look at them. God understands this. He knows who He is and He knows that worship is not about what we get. It is about what we give. God wants us to enter into the life-transforming reality of a culture of true worship.
Another word for worship is love. Didn’t God love us first? We need to get a revelation of God’s love. He really loves us! Did He love us? Did He love us before we did anything right? What about when we did everything wrong, did He still love us? Did He say, “don’t you dare ever come into My house when there are things wrong in your life?” No He said, “come – you are My house! Don’t worry, if there are any shameful things in your life they will all fall away when I walk into the room. Everything changes when I walk into your midst!
In the midst of worshipping God our world is redefined. A culture of honor is a culture of worship, but worship is never based upon need. We do not worship God because He needs us to worship Him. We do not worship God because we need anything from Him. We worship God because we know that who we are an expression of Him. When we do this He amazes us, because our good world becomes a phenomenal one and we become even better expressions of Him!
We do not understand worship because we were busy carving things in the likeness and image of our lack – our insecurities. What will happen when the members of God’s family are no longer insecure? My grandchildren are secure and worship happens in our house in a sense when my grandchildren express their worship to God in their worship of me. Don’t hear this wrong. We do not worship human beings, but there is an expression of our love and worship for God when we have a right attitude in our love for one another. I give gifts to my grandchildren, but they do not love the gifts that I give more than they love me. My grandson was outside one day and I called on Face Time on the phone while away on a trip. He could see me, although I was thousands of miles away. When I went to say goodbye he was some ways away and my wife asked him if he wanted to say goodbye to his grandpa; he ran across the yard, grabbed the phone and hugged it. He didn’t get anything from the phone. He didn’t come to get anything; he came to give me a hug. He didn’t hug me because he was feeling bad about himself. He didn’t do it to get his needs met. It was like worship. His act of love was a confession to say, “I know who you are grandpa.” I was on the phone a few days earlier He said, Opa, I want you home. Sometimes he calls me on the phone and takes the phone in his bedroom and we play with his trucks. He is not getting anything from me. He just has an image of me. He is not getting anything from me. He is sharing his trucks with me. He is sharing his imagination with me. He is giving himself to me and it makes him come alive when he does. When I make truck noises on the phone it makes his imagination go wild. He loves our conversations, even on the phone. Although we are not together my face and my voice make him come alive. I will say, “does that fire ladder rescue cats? Yes, it rescues cats, Opa.” That is relationship! Worship is a culture of honor. So God made it look like a commandment but it’s not a commandment. it is part of our identity. We love Him, so we worship Him!
Ted J. Hanson