I was listening through a old podcast by Mike Pilavachi today and after spending an incredible night at RiverStone where extravagant worship erupted, I felt led to share a little from the podcast. I'm not going to add anything to it. It should speak for itself:
In Matthew chapter 2, we read of the extravagant worship of the Magi. They came to bring the new king of the jews extravagant worship with extravagant gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. When they arrived in Jerusalem they asked King Herod, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." This was a BAD mistake...telling the current king of a coming king that will replace him. The king's response was, "As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him." But he wanted to kill him, not worship him.
Extravagant worship also has an equal and opposite reaction in some hearts. Those that cannot call Him king because they want to stay king of their own lives, sometimes under the guise of worship, they want to kill.
Then we read at the end of Matthew's gospel the story of the sinful woman pouring the expensive perfume on Jesus' head. She was showing extravagant worship of Jesus. What happens when she does this? The very next scene is Jesus eating with the 12 disciples [the Lord's Supper]. While they were eating, Jesus says that "one of you will betray me." Then the disciples were in disbelief saying one by one, "Surely not I, Lord" (v. 22). Each disciple said this until Judas. Judas says, "Surely not I, Rabbi" (v. 25). Why does Matthew put this in? To tell us a story. The story is, 11 disciples knew Him as Lord and one didn't. That is why Judas betrayed Jesus. At the beginning of Matthew, the extravagant worship of the Magi led to Herod, under the guise of worship, to try and kill Jesus because he didn't know Him as King. At the end of Matthew, the extravagant worship of the sinful woman led to the Judas' betrayal of Jesus to have Him killed because He did not know Him as Lord.
How does Judas betray Jesus? With a kiss, an act of homage, an act of intimacy, an act of worship [but it wasn't]. So Jesus goes to the cross and on the cross He offers the Father perfect worship. Why? Because the worship of the Old Testament, central to the worship of the old Tabernacle and Temple, was sacrifice. Jesus offered the one, ultimate and perfect sacrifice. Through Jesus' perfect act of worship of the Father on the cross, we too can come to worship and we too can come boldly before the throne. And as we do, as we gaze into His presence, we touch the Holy of Holies.
In Exodus 29 it says, "If anything touches the holy things that are not holy, it defiles the holy things. But if anything unholy touches the Holy of Holies, it becomes holy."
The woman who was bleeding for years, who was ceremonially unclean, touched Jesus, she was made clean because she touched the Holy of Holies. When we come to worship, we touch the Holy of Holies. We are cleansed, we are made whole and we become the people of His presence. And that is THE hope for a broken and hurting world...the ONLY hope. We don't need to get smarter, or more equipment, or better looking, we need more of Jesus! And then, we will be a light to the Gentiles.
Worship is the best evangelism and our greatest example of worship is Jesus. I long to have the aroma that comes with extravagant worship; that comes with spending loads of time with Him in His presence. When alone, or in congregational worship, or when we are out amongst the poor, feeding them and praying for healing. The call is to engage in extravagant worship without considering the cost. There is nothing more useful than spending time in His presence. Because if we don't, when we go out, all the people will be touching is us...and us isn't good enough. If all people touch is me, then they are in big trouble. We long they touch Jesus in us. We long they touch the Treasure that is in our little jars of clay.
If we love Him, then it will come out of every part of our being. We will not be able to shut up about Him. We will bore the world to death [in the best possible way!] talking about the One we love. THAT is what worship is all about!
Worship is the best evangelism.
Grace and peace. Merry Christmas to all!