The “Secret” to Real, Life-changing Worship
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Col 2:13–14. NLT2
25 Please, LORD, please save us. Please, LORD, please give us success. 26 Bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD. 27 The LORD is God, shining upon us. Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar. 28 You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you! Psalm 118:25-28 (NLT2)
What should happen in genuine conversion? What should a man or woman feel in the transaction of the new birth?
There ought to be that real and genuine cry of pain. That is why I do not like the kind of evangelism that tries to invite people into the fellowship of God by signing a card.
There should be a birth from above and within. There should be the terror of seeing ourselves in violent contrast to the holy, holy, holy God. Unless we come into this place of conviction and pain, I am not sure how deep and real our repentance will ever be.
First of all, it is true that not only should Christians regard and recognize as sin the actual violation of God’s commandments in their deeds, but they should also perceive and recognize that the horrible, dreadful, inherited disease corrupting their entire nature is above all actual sin and indeed is the “chief sin.”  It is the root and fountainhead of all actual sins.
Paul exhorts us to take for granted that we have already received as a pure gift in baptism all that we need in order to attain salvation by virtue of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. We have only to enter by faith into the kingdom that has already been established in the depth of our spirit and take possession of it. Thus, if we truly give ourselves to God in faith and open our minds and hearts to him, we may begin to find him in the silence of the prayer of faith very quickly
I just received several ads for several events on worship. Some of these were invites from friends, somewhere corporate ads for conferences, with nationally renowned speakers. Each was interesting, and if it wasn’t for working on my dissertation, I would probably attend one or two of these events, probably the ones that are more small group dialogue based, and see worship as more than singing.
As I was reading my devotional readings this morning, I was struck by an old thought.
The power of worship is not based on the music, or how a liturgy is delivered.
The power of worship is a reaction to the power of God, which delivers us from the bondage of sin!
The more we feel the pain caused by our sin, and the “violent contrast to the holy, holy, holy God, the more His merciful healing touch means to us. The more that means to us, the more worship is generated in our soul. This is the point of Tozer, but it is also seen in the quote from the Lutheran Confessions, seen in blue. There we see the incredible debilitating power of original sin, for in that would all other sins are created.
Sin is brutal, and though we know in our minds the cause and the cure, to deal with it is hard. It is painful, and to be honest, we would rather treat the guilt and shame as if it were grief. We will deny we sinned, or that it is as brutally painful as it is. We will try to negotiate or bargain away the pain it causes. We will get angry, at God, at others, and finally, honestly, at ourselves. Our inability to do anything about it can cause severe depression, and ultimately, we have to options to accept.
That we are sinners, so we might as well enjoy it.
Or that God loves us so passionately, so completely, so intimately that He took on that sin, removed it, and brings us into His Kingdom.
All that weight of guilt and shame is gone. The wounds of our sin and the world’s unrighteousness – healed completely! What was broken in our lives is restored completely! Better than the original! What was corruptible is incorruptible, what was mortal, now is immortal!
This is the masterpiece God has made of our lives,
An amazing masterpiece.
Looking in the mirror, seeing our lives as Jesus does, for this is the joy He looked forward to as He died for you an me… is amazing.
It is worthy of all our thanks, and all our praise.
So the secret to powerful, pure worship… is found when we see ourselves as wretches, but realize God saves wretches like us….and so we cry out to Him.
No other sophisticated, choreographed, orchestration compares to knowing the God who loves us is here.
Lord, help us cry out to You, for only you can heal our sin caused wounds. Only You can restore our brokenness. Only Your mercy and love can change us. Help us see Your hand at work… and then, Father, receive our praise and thanks! AMEN!
A. W. Tozer, Tozer for the Christian Leader (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2015).
“Article 1: Concerning Original Sin. The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord, Robert Kolb, Timothy J. Wengert, and Charles P. Arand, The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2000), 533.
Thomas Keating, The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living: Excerpts from the Works of Father Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O., Sacred Scripture, and Other Spiritual Writings, ed. S. Stephanie Iachetta (New York; London; New Delhi; Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2009), 231.
Posted on August 19, 2022, in Augsburg and Trent, Book of Concord, Catholic Theology, Keating, Martin Luther, Tozer and tagged glory, In the cross of Christ I glory, Jesus, mercy, Powerful worship, praise, Worship. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.