Jesus says in Luke 10:17-21, "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight."
I have to confess something to you for your admonition and encouragement. Walking in the Spirit without sin, clothed in His purity and holiness, feels good. I mean it feels really good. So good in fact that I can get caught up in the feeling itself. God then has to reprove me for taking this feeling to the flesh. That is not where it belongs in the life of a mature believer. And so, having woken up only about five years ago, I now find that in some areas of my nearly 30 years of Christian life, I am still immature, a babe.
That is what Jesus is saying to His followers here. Don't hold onto the feeling. Rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Keep perspective. God allows these feelings, and in fact reveals them to "babes" like me, in order to help us to grow. Turn that feeling into rejoicing. Worship the Lord in the beauty of that holiness.
And this leads to my second confession. I am constantly asked by God, "Worship me." I try so hard, but I'm not sure at all what I am supposed to do. I examine the Scriptures closely but the answer seems elusive to me. There are two verses that are quite direct and yet still the meanings are dark. I absolutely love going through this. God is teaching me and I am thrilled. I want to know how to worship Him the way He deserves and desires. That is in spirit, in truth, in the beauty of holiness. While I understand these three, and know that I am in that state, or need to get there when God prompts me, I sense there is just one more thing missing.
You see, the meaning of the word "worship" according to Strong's is:
1) to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence
2) among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence
3) in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication
used of homage shown to men and beings of superior rank
-to the Jewish high priests
-to heavenly beings
I wonder, is it that simple? Is God calling me to such a position? I have but one reference point to go by and it is most powerful:
God says in Philippians 2:9-11, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
There are times of intense prayer when this comes to mind by the Spirit, I speak aloud to God, and at that Name, I cannot but help go to my knees and confess "that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." I simply cannot help but obey that call.
I think that worship should be just as powerful. While I am not asking for a feeling to follow, I am looking for a fact from the Bible. I want to worship God in maturity, spending time with Him in the same place He has my name written. I do not want to hinder worship for not knowing its proper position. Is it the hand, the knees, or flat out? Perhaps all three. Perhaps otherwise.
Why do I question this? Because the meanings provided by Strong's are cultural. I want what is absolutely Biblical, right from God. Let's take the first example of the use of the word "worship" in the Bible.
It's found in Genesis 22:5, "And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."
How did Abraham know what to do? The meaning of the word, this time in Hebrew, according to Strong's is:
1)to bow down
(Qal) to bow down
(Hiphil) to depress (fig)
-to bow down, prostrate oneself 1c
-before superior in homage 1c
-before God in worship 1c
-before false gods 1c
So it's pretty much the same thing and is quite consistent in use throughout the Bible.
How did Abraham know to bow down? God didn't tell him to bow down. He told Abraham to make an offering of his son Isaac.
I think that in one sense Abraham's first action was that of an immature babe. He simply took God at His word and obeyed by faith. For that reason, God blessed Abraham ("...because thou hast obeyed my voice." - Genesis 22:18b) But God also provided for Abraham because Abraham believed God. God provided for him not only righteousness, but also the ram caught in the thicket.
You see, this is God's way of helping us to grow up. He wants us to believe and obey with childlike faith. The moment we do, God has held in store something far greater for us because now He knows He can trust us with a greater blessing. God does not do this with immature believers. He won't entrust the greater blessing to those who hold onto the feelings of God's initial blessing.
So I conclude this my friends: I will worship when I am called. I will rejoice. I will worship in the beauty of holiness, in spirit, and in truth. And I will do it on my face. The rest I will leave up to God, for I believe now as a simple child that I should obey what I know from God. He will correct me if necessary. But we'll go no further on this point until I do the simple thing.
This is true of any Christian discipline.