Years ago, I took a group of worshipers and intercessors to a large park in Tel Aviv, Israel, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It was a holiday and the area was flooded with hundreds of families having picnics.
We sat down as a group and began to worship. We really felt the presence of the Lord in a strong way, and one of the ladies in our group who had brought several praise flags with her took one out and began waving it to the Lord.
It is hard to explain what happened next. It was one of those "you had to be there" experiences. Suddenly, we were gripped with a tremendous sense of freedom and began walking all over the park, singing, waving flags and blowing shofars.
We happened upon a group of about 25 teenage boys who were beating bongo drums. We walked up to them and started teaching them a simple praise song. They began to sing and play along. Within minutes, there were literally scores of people drawn to the flags and the drum beats. They began to sing, clap their hands, lift their hands and dance. The Israelis brought out their cameras, and two of them their video cameras, recording this event. There was extraordinary openness to the simplicity of joy expressed in music.
I have heard a lot about worship evangelism and the song of the Lord "going to the streets," but this was by far the most incredible foretaste I have ever experienced.
The Spirit of freedom is invading our comfort zones. He is bringing new sounds, new dances and taking us to new places in worship. We are going to higher heights and deeper depths in God. He is drawing us into the holy flame of divine fire. We are no longer satisfied with an outer court experience. The bride is ravished with longing and desire for her bridegroom, and nothing can satisfy us except the passionate release that comes from wholehearted intimacy with Him. The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" (See Revelation 22:17.)
WORSHIP IS A PLACE
For too long we have thought of worship as an activity. We have worship services scheduled at 11 a.m. Sunday morning all across the country. Worship teams, worship recordings and worship conferences all cause us to think of worship as an activity mainly marked by singing, clapping and perhaps dancing. While this is certainly part of worship, it is only a part. Our minds are being broadened to understand more fully the source, impact and scope of true worship.
THE THRONE ROOM
The throne room of God is described by John in Revelation 4:2-11, emphasis added:
"At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
"In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.'
"Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 'You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.'"
There is a real throne room. This is a real place. It is the seat of universal government. The uncreated God, the Ancient of Days, sits enthroned in glory and splendor. This is not a metaphor or a word picture. It is literally the throne room of the King, who is our Father.
The throne room is more dramatic and impacting and fantastic than anything Hollywood could ever create. Lightning, thunder, fire, the 24 elders, and the four creatures—no special effects could come close to the literal awesomeness of this place. And above all sits the focus of all adoration—God Almighty.