In the early days of my developing a relationship with the Lord in worship, I frequently saw His feet as I bowed before Him. That seemed to be the extent of my faith in worship; but, as my faith increased, He didn't leave me there at His feet. Little by little the relationship grew until I stood in His presence and saw Him face to face.
We begin by knowing Him as King. That in itself is glorious. But He wants to take us further. He wants us to know Him, not only as King, but also as heavenly Bridegroom. He wants us to know Him as the Beloved, the Lover of our souls and He whom our souls love.
When we worship, we pour out our hearts to Him. We pour out our love to Him. The deep recesses of our hearts are moved by Him. We in the western world hesitate to let our emotions show. We continually suppress them until they need to be reawakened.
God wants every one of your senses to be alive unto Him. He wants you to be thrilled with the sound of His voice. He wants you to be thrilled with the touch of His hand. He wants you to be thrilled at the sight of His countenance. He wants you to be deeply moved by His presence, as He comes near.
When people are beginning to worship, and they find themselves not moved, as they should be by God's presence, I encourage them to do a little fasting. Fasting decreases the natural and increases one's sensitivity in the Spirit. One develops keenness. It restores and releases those sensitivities that we have suppressed again and again.
When the breath of the Holy Spirit blows across you, there should be an immediate response on your part. "I love You, Lord. I worship You. I adore You." Let your mouth become the pen of a ready writer. Pour out your soul to Him.
You may feel that everyone else can worship better than you. Everyone else seems to be so eloquent, so articulate, while you struggle with your inhibitions. That's not true.
Maybe they can make a better pizza than you. They might do better on a particular job than you. But your worship is distinctive; it is uniquely you. It touches the heart of God.
He longs to hear your words of love, the expressions of your heart, the groanings of your spirit. Even if they come forth in very simple utterances—or sighs—don't compare yourself with others. God desires your worship.
Your husband married you because he loved you. It wasn't because there were not millions of other women. His heart was drawn to you. In like manner, God's heart is drawn to us individually as if there were no one else in the world.
You may say, "He has all those other Christians who love Him." But He's not satisfied unless you are pouring out your love to Him. You can't expect some sister in the choir to do your worshipping for you. You must do it yourself. He is waiting for you.
Cry out in His presence, not from pain but from ecstasy. He wants us to know the ecstasies of this intimate relationship with Him. Worship and adore Him. Bow down before Him. The Father seeks worshippers.
As worshippers we need to get to know that great worship book, the Song of Solomon, also known as the Song of Songs. Get to know it until it becomes part of you. Don't be afraid of its words:
"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is better than wine. Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, your name is ointment poured forth; therefore the virgins love you" (Song 1:2-3, NKJV, emphasis added).
Fall in love with Jesus so much that you will be careful when you say His name. Always say it with love and fullness of expression. Sometimes the greatest worship is whispering "Jesus"—just saying His name and letting the fragrance of His name fill your soul.
I have been in meetings in which God's fragrance has suddenly filled an auditorium. He has walked among us as we said His name.
Once I was in such a meeting. Suddenly, it seemed that somebody had opened the most expensive perfume and poured it out. It was something that Paris would never be able to duplicate. When the fragrance filled the room, there was a sense of the glory of God. It was beautiful.
When you and I worship, we are unstopping our bottles of perfume and pouring them out. Let's not be in any way skimpy, just giving God a dab or two. Let's be lavish. Let's be generous.
Let's let love flow out of the depths of our beings. Let's worship Him with words and songs of love. He is worthy!
God will teach us how to worship. He will anoint us for worship. He will create worship within us. He will touch the depths of our beings and allow us to be those who truly worship Him in spirit and in truth.
God wants us to have the ability to speak words of love to Him. I'm sure that most of us have not spoken to Him as tenderly as He would like. Let's do that in the days to come.
Reading the Song of Songs will help you. It will enlarge your ability to worship and adore. It will give you an ability to tell the Lord how much you love Him. Some of the descriptions of the Lord found there are so beautiful.
If you have cassette tapes of the Bible, find the one with the Song of Songs on it. Put it in the tape deck in your car and listen to it again and again. Let it get into your spirit. Then, when you worship, you will find you have a new depth of expression.
God wants to awaken your heart to love. He wants to awaken your heart to adoration. He wants to awaken in you the ability to worship Him.
If you make up your mind that you'll never go to the House of the Lord without pouring out the depth of your spirit to Him in worship, He will be pleased. He delights in a people who delight in Him—not just in what He does for us—but in Who He is.
Worship is an attitude of the heart in which the heart bows down before God. No one else is present. There are no thoughts in your mind other than God.
You haven't come with a petition. You haven't come with a request. You haven't come because you need healing. You haven't come because of some other need. You have come because you love Him so much and you feel the need to express that love.
Worship is a time of love. He pours out His love on us, and we pour out our love to Him.
The waiting bride of the Song of Songs does not say, "I love Him because He healed me; He saved me; He delivered me; He set me free; He brought me a long way; He led me; He guided me." She says, "This is my beloved, and this is my friend" (5:16).
The Lord wants us to know Him so intimately that we can present Him to others and can describe Him—from personal experience—from having seen Him, from having heard His voice, from having felt His touch. He wants each of us to love Him so much that it becomes contagious—that others will want to love Him in the same way.
Your love of Jesus must be so contagious others will say, "I want to love God like that person. I want a new relationship. I want to be able to describe Him as the Lover of my soul. I don't want to be inhibited in my expressions of love for the Lord."
God is bringing in a new day of glory in which we are going to be able to pour out our love continually to Him without hesitation, without any embarrassment at all. Our description of Him must be, "His mouth is most sweet, yes, he is altogether lovely" (Song 5:16).
In the Song of Songs, He calls us into the field. He says, "There I will give you my love" (7:12). He calls us away so that we can hear His voice, that voice "like the sound of many waters" (Ezek. 43:2).
Fall in love with Him. Worship Him. The more you worship Him, the more intimately you will know Him. The more intimately you know Him, the more you will want to know Him.
If you really know the Lord, there is no room for indifference. If you are still tainted by indifference, you are living too close to the world. You are too involved in the things of life. The closer you live to Him, the more you will want to hear His voice.
Oh, the thrill of His voice! There can be no greater thrill in the entire world.
If we turn a deaf ear to His voice, if we suppress the hearing of His voice, if we don't appreciate His voice and would rather hear something else, He will go somewhere else and speak to someone else. But if we love the sound of His voice, He will talk to us often.
Have you ever gotten in the presence of the Lord and said to Him, "Let me hear Your voice! I am not asking You to tell me that I am good; I am not asking You to tell me that I am wonderful; I am not even asking You to tell me something to do or someplace to go; I just want to hear Your voice"? You should do it. He is waiting to hear it.
In delight, the bride of the Song of Songs says: "The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills" (2:8). He speaks so tenderly to her—and to us—in return: "You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes...How fair is your love...how much better than wine is your love" (4:9-10). He loves us so.
It is good to compare the Lord with all the finest things of life. I know there is no comparison, but He likes to hear us say it. Tell the Lord why He is the "chief among ten thousand" (Song 5:10).
Don't be afraid of intimacy. In the Song of Songs the relationship goes from King to Shepherd to Lover of the Soul to Beloved. Get to know Him in all of these ways. Worship the Beloved in intimacy!
The late Ruth Heflin was pastor of the Mount Zion Fellowship in Jerusalem, Israel. Adapted from Glory by Ruth Ward Heflin (The McDougal Publishing Company). Used by permission.
For the month of August we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Charisma. Join us for giveaways each weekday, pages from our past, and more. We're including an anniversary special where you can get 40 issues of Charisma for only $40!