Reading: Revelation 4 and 5
I have to admit it: I get lost sometimes. But before you think, “Wow, a man admitting that he gets lost!” it’s not what you think. I get lost sometimes going home from work. No, it’s not because I don’t know where I’m going. It’s because I’m a thinker.
Let me give you an example: I work at a school named for a Revolutionary War hero. If I think about that, I will then think about George Washington. Then I’ll think about the one-dollar bill. Then I’ll think about the different bills and who is on each bill. Then I’ll think about how counterfeiters work. Then I’ll think about how the FBI catches counterfeiters, and how cool it would be to have that job. Before you know it, I’ve missed my turn onto Austin and I’m just passing Harlem.
Getting lost seems like a bad thing, but it’s not always. In Revelation 4 and 5, your last reading for our church fast, we see a picture of what it means to get lost in God in worship. No, I don’t mean lost in a song, or lost in a crowd, or lost in the moment; I’m referring to this lostness in the wonder, majesty, worthiness, and holiness of who God is and what His Son accomplished on the cross.
Our worship centers on God, not us. In these two chapters, we see all these beings, angelic and human, surrounding the throne, falling prostrate and worshiping the Father on His throne (Revelation 5:6) and Jesus, the perfect Lamb, on His throne (Revelation 3:21). It wasn’t about the music; it wasn’t about the experience; it wasn’t centered on emotionalism. They were prostrate before God simply because of who He is, a deserver of worship and a seeker of worshipers. True worship is being caught up in the one being worshiped, being caught up in the glory and majesty of the one being worshiped.
As long as we are still conscious of the world around us in our time with God personally, we have not entered into a place of completely focused worship. If I am truly worshiping God, I should be lost in the wonder of God, in the wonder of who He is. And we may never get to that point here on earth. But we need to aim to get lost in God and God alone, forgetting our problems, forgetting our concerns, forgetting the cares of the world.
This worship that God longs for is centered on the truth of who He is, not merely on the feelings of who He is. Worship is in spirit and in truth. Truth stirs our affections but our affections shouldn’t stir truth. Whether I feel good or not, God alone deserves worship. Sure, we can sing a good song, but can we worship God without knowing enough truth about Him that it overwhelms us and blows our minds, which stirs my affections toward Him with feelings of love, joy, excitement, and amazement? Or even feelings of desperation and reverential fear? The more truth you have should not make you more intellectual or more cold, it should make you a more powerful worshiper. The more you know about Him, the more overwhelming He is.
As you end this fast, it is good to remember – you were created to be satisfied in God alone. That is the essence of worship – knowing and embracing and finding complete and utter joy and dependence on the fact that it is “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:38). That is true satisfaction that the world can’t give us. It is a humble satisfaction knowing that God is about my good because He loves me and wants me to glory in Him. It’s worshipful satisfaction that comes not from the songs I like, or that atmosphere being just right, or the environment being to my liking, or my circumstances being the way you want them to be, or having everything in your life seem right – no! It comes from being lost in who God is and what He’s done for you through the gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ. It is ironic – the way to find satisfaction is being lost in God.
The rest of the book of Revelation, from chapter 6 onward, will seem to focus on the wrath of God. It is from this throne that God is being worshiped where wrath will pour out on a sin cursed world. The earth will be wiped out and God’s wrath, in its awfulness and splendor, will be seen in full force.
Yet before this throne, these worshipers are not facing judgment. This is not a throne of judgment for you, but rather a throne of grace, where you can approach boldly. This throne of grace we can approach boldly and find our satisfaction when we feel we can’t make it, when we’re tired, when we’re weary, when we need help. We have access to this throne because of Jesus. “‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.” Grace is not just for salvation. It’s also for carrying us all the way until the end.
If we can grasp this truth now, how utterly amazing and satisfying His grace is, how unfathomable His love is, how satisfying He is to us through His love, His blessings, His sovereignty, His forgiveness, His new birth, His kingdom, His approval, His shepherding care, His presence, His supply, His joy, and even His discipline – yes, if we grasp this and much more, it would be no wonder why we’ll cast our crowns and cry out to Him in the heavenly song, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty.” It’ll be no wonder why we will lie prostrate before the throne, before a God who saw fit to provide us with everything that we needed for our good and joy, and ultimately for His glory. It’ll be no wonder why we’ll join with the saints of old declaring, “Worthy is the Lamb” who purchased every promise of God toward us through His blood. It’ll be no wonder why we are declaring, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” to a God who kept His promise to “work all things together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). It’ll be no wonder why we will be singing, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” to God who did not budge from His plan to begin a work in us and carry it to completion (Philippians 1:6).
Every moment of your life when you choose trusting in God over yourself, you’re worshiping God. Every moment you choose to ascribe God glory in song or deed, you’re worshiping God. Every decision you make that is based on your call to obey God and not your own will, you’re worshiping God. Every time you gather with the body to sing redemption’s song, celebrating the gospel of the glorious grace of Jesus, you’re worshiping God. Every time you refuse to let your thoughts or feelings or will rule you, but let the Holy Spirit control you, you’re worshiping God. The list goes on. But it is in these day-to-day moments, decisions, and plans that you will find your joy and satisfaction in God alone. Learn worshipful satisfaction now. You don’t want to go to heaven unprepared.
Prayer: Lord God, You have been faithful to reveal to us through this fast that only You satisfy. I look forward to continuing to grow in grace and intimacy with You day by day. Thank You for Your sustaining grace throughout this fast. To You, Father God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, Jesus Christ, be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!
Go Deeper: Fall down and worship!
CityLights Prayer Focus: : Eager expectation for the return of Jesus- As the fast ends, pray that we would long for the return of Jesus and our subsequent enjoyment of being welcomed into the throne room to worship Him.
Suggested song: “In Christ Alone” – Keith and Kathryn Getty
Suggested Daily Memory Verse: Revelation 5:13 “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever.”