Inside: What difference does full freedom in worship make?
But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
Psalm 5:7 (NKJV)
Yesterday morning I was reading my Bible app as I laid in bed, preparing my heart for church. My husband and I were going to be singing a song during worship, and I was a little nervous. It’s been a while for us. But our pastor had already given us a word that I was clinging to. The spirit of intimidation was going to try to come like it had many times before but we were going to intimidate it right back.
So as I laid there, thumbing through the navigation, the Lord led me to Psalms.
There on the screen, the verse above might as well have been highlighted in glittering gold.
I will come into Your house.
In the multitude of Your mercy.
In fear of You, I. Will. Worship.
Toward Your holy temple.
Then, as God often does, He gave me a picture in my mind. It was an image of me, face toward heaven in worship. Worshiping toward his holy temple. Then the vision shifted. Instead of worshiping toward the heavens, I was pushing it out toward the pews of our church.
There were flames dotting our church’s sanctuary in place of the people.
Suddenly, the flames expanded from their points of origin, all joining together and creating one large inferno. A wildfire.
What exactly is the fire?
In Scripture, fire is often representative of the presence of God and His glory.
And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”
So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”
Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. Exodus 3:2-6 (NKJV)
Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. Exodus 19:18 (NKJV)
John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Luke 3:16 (NKJV)
Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:3-4 (NKJV)
In the progression of these verses, we see a shift. In the Old Testament, the presence of God was something that was nearly unapproachable. The people had to fear it. It was just too much to handle. They could quite literally perish in the presence of such great holiness.
Then we see John the baptist prophesying about the coming Messiah–his cousin, Jesus. And we learn that fire is something that His people will be baptized with. Is it literal fire like the water John uses to baptize? Thank God it’s not! But instead it’s His presence. Instead of being too much for us to bear, somehow we would be able to withstand His Spirit cleansing and purifying us from the inside.
Finally, we see the day of Pentecost. The presence of God was now able to rest on His people. Immediately, their own spirits reacted to the difference, and they began to speak in tongues.
And now, we’re temples of His presence.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NKJV)
Full Freedom in Worship
So what does all of that mean for worship?
When we come together, hearts wide open, we let the Spirit within us into the atmosphere. If you haven’t seen my post on spirit, soul, and body, check it out here:
In it, I talk about the distinction between each part of us and how it corresponds to the 3 parts of God. But the thing that relates to worship is this: our soul acts like a valve to the deep well of our spirits. We know that our spirits have been perfected by God. That’s the only way His holiness could live within us. So why don’t we see more of that perfection on the outside?
Our souls get in the way.
I talk more about this in the 30-Day Soul Detox. But it all comes down to aligning our minds, wills, and emotions with what HE says. And we do that through renewing our minds.
So in worship, when we get our souls out of the way–when we focus fully on God, His goodness, and His view–that’s when we spark a wildfire. That’s when the presence of God is free to move and burn.
When we let go of our pride. When we stop worrying about looking foolish. David danced in his undergarments before the presence of the Lord! (2 Samuel 6:14)
When we let go and let God flow, that’s when we experience His presence in soul-shattering, chain-breaking ways.
Until net time,
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