Psalm 95:1-7 (NIV) Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
When was the last time that you knelt before the Lord? No seriously. Can you remember when you bowed down in prayer or worship before Him? Privately or publicly counts. Convicted or coerced – either way. Has it been a while? Why? These are questions stemming from a worship experience last Sunday while I attended a weekly church service. It was probably a lot like the one you may have gone to. I felt the need to kneel in worship before the Lord and, honestly, fought it with everything inside of me. Why do fight our feelings in worship sometimes? Why do we ignore the urging of God’s Spirit? What is it that keeps us from passionately worshipping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? I know the answer. Do you? It is our pride. Our need to stay standing to prove our strength or in fear of our inability to rise again. Who wants to be the crazy Christian or the Jesus freak crying and kneeling in a crowded room? Come let us sing for joy to the Lord. With joy and enthusiasm rather than stoic and somber choruses! To shout aloud to the Rock or our salvation. Hey Jesus, I am over here. Please walk this way! Let us come before Him with thanksgiving, extol Him and woo Him with music, song and adoration. Why is this so important?
First and foremost, God is great and greatly to be praised. There is none like Him. Second, Jesus. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His Spirit within us should jump at the call to worship. The opportunity to bare our heart and soul before the Lord. Yet, too often there is no passion in our worship. No exuberance in our praise. No motions other than the occasional raised hand or fallen tear. We were made to worship God. All of our being has the potential to respond in a lifestyle of worship. Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before our Maker…
Luke 10:38-42 (NIV) As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
While I am certain that Jesus fully appreciated all of Martha’s hard work, the Lord pointed out to his busy hostess that the better choice was that of her sister, Mary. Work without worship is busyness. It brings no honor or glory to Jesus. To rush around like a crazy person, sign up for every act of service, and even have perfect church attendance does not make you a better Christian. It makes you a tired, weary and soon to be burned out human being operating in personal strength and not resurrection power. It is easy to become distracted especially pastors, elders, deacons, leaders and teachers who get caught up in church work while the work of God within us becomes stagnant. We must realize the importance of worship. Not just any kind of worship, but the “Mary” kind. The “sit-at-His-Feet-and-listen” kind of worship that allows us to become one with Christ. The lifestyle that prioritizes Jesus above every other responsibility and duty placed upon us or taken hold of. Are you “worried and upset about many things, but few things are need or indeed only one”? Life will carry you away if you are not careful. The Christian life must be defined by the better choice in order to be an effective and thriving relationship with Christ.
Luke 7:37-38 (NIV) A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
She had nothing to lose. She was known for living a sinful life. Her pride forsaken for the perfume she carried. Her life worth in an alabaster jar of perfume. This woman could really be any of us. Who hasn’t given away parts of their life for lesser things? She came to Jesus weeping at his feet and wiping them with her hair. For just a moment, stop reading the words and picture the image. The woman gave herself freely to Jesus in that moment. If the Lord came before you today, would you kneel before Him, weeping at His Feet, drying them with your hair, and anointing Him with the most expensive thing you own? Before you answer, when was the last time you knelt before Him? See this is the message to my heart that I believe the Lord would impress upon you as well. The humility of worship is lost if I cannot fall on my knees and worship Him.
The Pharisees (religion) was appalled at her audacity to come before Jesus. Jesus had this to say to them, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” This sinful woman made the better choice. She chose to forsake her pride and kneel before Jesus. Will you? Will I?
Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
I am convinced that the Lord is inviting us back to our knees. To make the better choice in prayer, worship, and life. To meet Him at the altar again. To humble ourselves now in preparation for His Arrival. At the Name of Jesus, every knee will bow in heaven and on the earth and even under the earth. Every tongue will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord. Can our life truly express our praise, worship and adoration of Christ and remain unwilling to be moved from standing to our knees? I fought the urge to kneel in service because of the people around me. My pride told me to stand. When I could not stand any longer and finally found my knees, it was one of the sweetest encounters with Jesus I have ever known. We must discover the power of His Presence in the humility of kneeling again. One day it will not be our choice but our destiny. Those who choose the better now will find heaven so much sweeter. To humble ourselves before the Lord today keeping our eyes focused on the Center of Heaven and Promise of Forever – Jesus. It is all too easy to get caught up in the confines of religion. We get tangled up in busyness and bound by distractions. Pride rises up to call us worthy and our mind begins to subtly forget that only He is worthy. The heart rebels against the Spirit of God telling us to kneel and bow before Jesus not in overt overtures but simple missed opportunities. We must find our way to our knees again and never forsake the precious time at the feet of Jesus. So back to my question, “Who wants to be the crazy Christian or the Jesus freak crying and kneeling in a crowded room?” I guess I do!
Isaiah 45:23 (NIV) By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.
Romans 14:11 (NIV) It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’”