further thoughts on worship: enthroning God on our praises

In a comment on my friend's post about worship, another friend mentioned a concept that is familiar to me: the idea that God is enthroned upon our praises. I believe that to be true - I also wish I could find it in the Bible. I did just spend ten minutes skimming through verse after verse on Bible Gateway around the keyword search for "throne" - that brought out some beautiful pictures of heaven as I read. I need to read through Revelation again, slowly, sometime soon. The portrait of worship John paints is so achingly, gloriously beautiful. I can't wait - tho I have to! - to go home and see what it's really like - tho there are definitely moments on earth that can give you just a taste of what it will be like. :)

Thinking again of Mike Pilavachi's observation that when you go into worship expecting to get something from God, you might, but you might not - because really, you aren't worshiping at that point - you're trying to bargain with God. But when you come into God's house (be it in a church building, a small group, a meadow, your car) with the goal of what Hillsong calls "the art of losing myself in bringing you praise" (Salvation Is Here - a truly great song) - often in the midst of that you do find you've gained something - funny... Jesus said that would happen. He who seeks to save his life will lose it, but he who loses it will find it... that's a working definition of worship, if you like.

God, You are amazing.

I am glad that feeling worshipful and actually worshiping are two different things. There was a time in my life where I felt that if I hadn't had a certain emotional experience, I hadn't worshiped. Now I know that worship is far more a choice than an emotion, and that God is pleased with (and worthy of) my worship regardless of the circumstances in which I find myself or the way that I feel on a particular day. (This is very good news to those of us emotionally swayed by PMS.) It is also very good news on days when I'm leading worship and can't tell for the life of me what's going on in the room, but just keep plugging away at what I know to do; I generally find out later that God was up to all sorts of things I couldn't see at the time - what if I believed my lack of emotional connection to a worship set to be a reflection of reality and just gave up? We might miss out on a lot. No, worship isn't a emotion - but that sense of emotional connection when you truly worship (sometimes) is a really great gift, and I'm glad for it. It helps when you worship a God you can't see or physically feel - but Whose Presence you can sense all the same.


faintnot said...

Psalm 22.3 is one place that talks about God being enthroned in the praises of Israel. Praise is the chair God can rule from. If our praises are His throne, it comes as no surprise that He always had the worshippers go before the army into battle. Worship, the only ministry that ministers wholly to the Lord. Thanks for praying for me! An amazing post by the way!

Happy said...

Thank you, faintnot. That's a high compliment, coming from you. I so appreciate your wisdom as a worship leader - and I KNEW you'd know where that verse was. :) Thanks!

robert austell said...

I was wandering around the blogosphere and found you. Thank you for your comments on worship... also, looking around, saw you are an INFP... I've never met one! (I'm an INFJ, I'd love to meet the 'P' version of that!)


Happy said...

Welcome, Robert. More to come, I'm sure, as I'm sorting out megachurch versus house church questions and how they relate to worship leading and my call, etc.

I'm just barely not an INFJ - the P and J bit get a little confused depending on the day. :) I read the profile for INFJs and it's pretty accurate to my personality too. They say you have to be slightly schizophrenic to lead worship (eighteen million things to think about in the course of a set, including (but not limited to): what's the next chord, did my background vocalist just burp, is the drummer seriously on drugs - no, seriously? and oh crap, I just dropped a pick inside my guitar...) who knows, maybe you have to have multiple personality (types) too. :)

Read a bit on your blog today - mind if I reference it in a future post? I like what you had to say about worship being central to missionality.