The other week while we were flying to a mission conference in Las Vegas I read A.W. Tozer’s book Whatever Happened to Worship? The book is actually a compilation of messages he preached at Avenue Road Church in Toronto from a series entitled “Worship: The Chief End of Man.”
His books are always convicting as they call the reader to a deeper Christian life. This book is no exception as Tozer expounds on the “missing jewel” of modern Christianity. There is one particular passage that I have reflected upon over the past few weeks but before I mention it I have included below some other quotes from the book to give you a taste of its contents…
Jesus was born of a virgin, suffered under Pontius Pilate, died on the cross and rose from the grave to make worshipers out of rebels!
It was never in God’s revealed plan that the Christian churches would degenerate to the point that they would begin functioning as social clubs.
How utterly tragic to be a barren fig tree, having the outward show of leaves and growth but never producing any fruit! How terrible to know that God intended us to mirror His beautiful light and to have to confess that we are shattered and useless, reflecting nothing!
Some people claim to be normal Christians when actually they are nominal Christians.
Although I could continue listing quotes that moved me in one way or another, the particular passage that I have meditated upon since reading the book deals with our thought life as it relates to worship…
“I want to dwell in your thoughts,” God has been saying. “Make your thoughts a sanctuary in which I can dwell.”
I have found that God will not dwell in spiteful and polluted thoughts. He will not dwell in lustful and covetous thoughts. He will not dwell in proud and selfish thoughts.
God tells us to make a sanctuary of our thoughts in which He can dwell. He treasures our pure and loving thoughts, our meek and charitable and kindly thoughts. These are the thoughts like His own.
How it must grieve the Holy Spirit of God to “share space” with thoughts of pride, selfishness, hatred, envy, lust, etc. that we entertain in wicked hearts. We push the Holy Spirit into a corner and then expect Him to manifest Himself at our command that we might “experience” worship at a time convenient to us. I have come to the realization that if I am to worship God in a way that is pleasing to Him then I must cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). I want the Almighty to be welcomed in my heart. I want to be filled with Him. May this temple (1 Cor. 6:19,20) be used for that which it was created… worship.
“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” – Psalm 29:2