Worshiping Up Close and Personal

I have designated this month ‘God
Pride Month
’ in our church. I will post a series on worshiping God up close
and personal. We are going to boast and brag about our God, our heavenly
Father, our Savior King, our Redeemer, our Messiah, our mediator of a new
covenant. We are going to proudly speak His Name in praise and worship as we
focus on Him and worship Him!  
In Exodus 19 we find Moses about to go to Mount
Sinai to meet with God. We know from reading Exodus 19-40 that Moses has a
powerful, fateful encounter that sets the course of history for hundreds of
years. He receives the covenant of the Law…all of the legal requirements for
spiritual and social righteousness that would guide man’s relationship with
God.  It was a frightful, earthshaking
experience for Moses and especially for the Hebrews. They were so filled with
fear they were glad that only Moses was called to the mountain. They
were glad that God was not going to talk to THEM!  They told Moses ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God
speak to us or we will die.’(Ex. 20:19)
That encounter, followed by the
giving of the Law, set the stage for mankind’s worship of God until the time of
The Law prescribed construction of a Tabernacle,
celebration days, and described the form and process of worship. Within the
tabernacle was the ark and in the ark was the Testimony (the 10 Commandments).
It was here (the Holy of Holies) that God’s presence would reside. A curtain provided
visual and physical separation between the presence of God and the people. Only
one person, the high priest, could enter God’s presence and, then, only once a
year on the Day of Atonement following the required blood sacrifices. Hundreds
of years of worship can be summarized by the words of Ex. 20:21; the people remained at a distance,
while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
Mankind’s worship
experience was relegated to worshiping
at a distance
We know from scripture that Jesus’ death on the
cross changed the covenant and, therefore changed man’s relationship with the
Father. We know that the moment Jesus gave up His spirit on the cross, the
earth shifted and all things became new in terms of our relationship with the
Father. And when Jesus had cried out
again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the
temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.

(Matt. 27:50, 51)   The words from Hebrews 12 summarize our new
relationship in worship via the work of Jesus; a work that opened the door to
intimate, personal and corporate worship of the Father.
You have not
come to a mountain (Mt. Sinai) that can be touched and that is burning with
fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice
speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to
them., because they could not bear what was commanded: ‘If even an animal
touches the mountain, it must be stoned. ‘The sight was so terrifying that
Moses said, ‘I am trembling with fear.’ But you have come to Mt. Zion, to the
heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. 
You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, the
church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to
God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to
Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a
better word than the blood of Abel. Heb. 12:18-24
live and worship under a new order; freely approaching the Father knowing He put Mt. Sinai in the past and Mt. Zion
in our present.
We enter His presence boldly and confidently. We worship
accompanied by thousands of unseen angels in a heavenly scene. We worship as a
church, a corporate body of believers, the ‘church of the firstborn’ whose
names are ALREADY written in heaven.  YOU
and I now worship with confidence and freedom approaching the throne of grace
in joy because our spirits have been
‘made perfect.’  Thank you Father! You
are awesome, oh God!
We no longer
worship ‘at a distance’
. Today’s experience and our reality of God’s presence
should be up close and personal! We come to Him freely. So, enter His
presence with thanksgiving and joy today! Brag about Him. Boast of His
greatness and His grace as you worship Him!!


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