• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

the Mountain

Today’s post comes from Kevin in the US.

The mountain—the transfiguration—provided an opportunity for true worship.  A sick (and dying) daughter provided an opportunity for true worship.  Both of these situations are written about in Mark 9.  In an exercise of pure focus on the only person worth complete attention and adoration, a person can seek to ascribe to God the worth that only He is due. 

But there’s more, according to Keller.  I was fascinated by Keller’s term ”repentant helplessness” as necessary in true worship.  I’m not fascinated in a “what-a-cool-phrase” kind of appreciation, but a gut-wrenching, face-slapping, wake-up call that helped me to see worship in yet another helpful light.

Repentant helplessness.  Yes, in my efforts to ascribe worth to our Savior, there is often a lot of me involved.  My comfort, my setting, my surroundings, my mood, and many other factors often play a role in my worship.  The type of music, the style of dress, the “spiritual temperature” of those around me often affect my focus—and appreciation—of Him.  But how selfish is that?

If my focus is on Him, and if (as I believe) “the things on Earth will grow strangely dim” in light of Who He is, I need to repent of my demand for proper circumstances to influence my worship.  I need to acknowledge my utter helplessness in absolutely everything—even in the fact that I can approach the God of all creation!—in order to really and truly worship.

We are already accepted by Him, but not because of anything we did—or do.  It’s what He has done in light of our selfish ways.  Pursuing Him also empowers us to live for Him in this broken and hurting world.  Like Peter, James, and John on the mountain, we can experience this.

Is there “repentant helplessness” in your worship?  What does that look like?

 

Next week: chapter 11 – “the Trap”

2 Responses

  1. I can so relate, Kevin. I remember reading how Michael Card speaks of being painfully aware of his inappropriate attitude in worship as he often leads worship. This happened to me once again this past Sunday. I was preoccupied (and somewhat resentful that the worship leader never provided me with a list of songs she was intending to use in the service) by all of the “nuts and bolts” I needed to pull together in order to play the music well enough to facilitate our worship. I felt terrible about my own heart attitude.

    But I think there is more at stake here. I’m reading at the same time a book by Bridges entitled The Joy of Fearing God. He talks about God’s holiness and majestic glory as experienced by Isiah in cp. 6. He then states that the appropriate response to God is to become undone, completely devestated and dismantled. Could that be part of the repentent helplessness you are referring to?

    • Carl, I absolutely LOVE the title of that book: “The Joy of Fearing God”. In our fuzzy, Oprah-fied world of feeling good, we don’t often wrestle with those uncomfortable things like fear and the things you mentioned. Devastated? Dismantled? Yep, utter helplessness.
      However, and I’m sure your book addresses this, we don’t want our lives as living sacrifices to be focused on what we need to do: Am I devastated enough? Am I feeling really, really helpless today?
      Our response should be to get ourselves out of the way–whatever that takes–in order to focus on and truly worship Him. And be amazed!

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