We might well pray for God to invade and conquer us, for until He does, we remain in peril from a thousand foes. We bear within us the seeds of our own disintegration. Our moral imprudence puts us always in danger of accidental or reckless self-destruction. The strength of our flesh is an ever present danger to our souls. Deliverance can come to us only by the defeat of our old life. Safety and peace come only after we have been forced to our knees. God rescues us by breaking us, by shattering our strength and wiping out our resistance. Then He invades our natures with that ancient and eternal life which is from the beginning. So He conquers us and by that benign conquest saves us for Himself.A. W. Tozer in The Divine Conquest
Responding to Shekinah Glory in Work as True Worship
The “Shekinah” of God is the “glory or radiance of God dwelling in the midst of His people” [Foster, Celebration of Disciplines, pg. 138]. Almighty God is in your presence right now as you read this sentence off a computer monitor. Stop for a moment and try to grasp that; bask in the wonder and awe of that. Our response to a completely holy (set apart, different, perfect, righteous) God is Worship.
Richard Foster quotes Frank Laubach, “Of today’s miracles, the greatest is this: to know that I find Thee best when I work listening.” The idea is that we were meant to engage with God throughout our daily roles, chores, tasks, jobs, etc. Our lives were not intended to be fragmented and compartmentalized. The truth is that the distractions which often keep us from God may just be the exact activities He wants to be known in the most.
Seek God while you work.
This doesn’t mean that there are times when you must pull away from work and activity to practice other disciplines that draw you into His presence, but as a regular practice, begin learning to see, hear and know “the Teacher” in the midst of your life. Live with a “holy expectancy” that God will be found in your moment-by-moment activities. See God in the faces around you, the voice of the phone call you are on and in the words of the e-mails you read. I am not advocating pantheism in any sense, but advising you the both welcome Him and become receptive to Him in each situation.
It is commonly taught in most evangelical churches today that we as a culture worship many things; sports, celebrities, success, family, etc. Foster/Tozer points out that “the essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.” Let me break that down in a vulnerable sense: my workaholism can stem from a fear of not having enough. That ultimately stems from my un-true belief that God will not provide and thus I must take charge. This “unworthy thought” of God detracts me from worship of Him and leads me towards pain and destruction.
Analyze your life-patterns. Is your behavior reflecting an inadequate view of God?
Foster also points out that Worship causes confession; confession of God’s glorious nature and confession of our inadequate nature. This is good and something that should be done in community, for the edification of the Body of Christ, his Church.
As you head into the rest of your day, where might God be breaking into your presence with His Shekinah?
Are your thoughts of Him right? If not, which areas of your life are being affected by them?
How do you need to respond to God’s glory today? Confessing His greatness or your smallness?
A recent read has been A.W. Tozer’s Reclaiming Christianity. The book was compiled after the author’s death, but reads as if he wrote it in 2010. The depth of perception Tozer had to call out the wiles of the modern church is accurate and piercing.
What stood out to me today was his reference to the modern church’s need for what he calls “gadgets.” He says that we have turned worship into something that happens down the hall, or from a projector booth, and that we have become as the Catholic priest who needs beads and oil to operate. He asserts that if we can’t worship with nothing other than a Bible in our hands and at our beck, then we don’t truly know how to worship. This call out prompts me to ask myself if I am truly a worshipper–how often do I sit alone, with scripture or none, and lift my heart with adoration to the Lord?
If we, as Christians, say we walk in His presence daily, then shouldn’t my Spirit know that to be true more fully? Shouldn’t my driving be effected by it? Shouldn’t my love for the stranger be apparent from moment to moment? Shouldn’t I desire to draw away into silence and quietly meet with my Lord? Am I really content to wait until the next Sunday program to worship my creator? Shouldn’t it all be quite simpler than it is?
My thought today is: aim to find a moment to worship God today.