Saturday, November 20, 2010

THE UNSTOPPABLE WORSHIPERS - PART 1

Charles Wesley
The year was 1744, and hymn writer Charles Wesley was in Leeds, holding a prayer meeting in an upstairs room. Suddenly there's a creak in the floorboards, followed by a massive crack, and the whole floor collapses. All 100 people crashed right through the ceiling into the room below. The place was in chaos - some were screaming, some were crying, some just sat in shock. But as the dust settled, Wesley, wounded and lying in a heap, cried out, "Fear not! The Lord is with us; our lives are all safe." And then he broke out into the Doxology, "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow." Perhaps a bizarred choice of song, considering what's just happened. But there's the point - while everyone else was still licking their wounds, the heart of this unstoppable worshiper was responding with unshakeable praise.

Unstoppable worshipers will never quit when it comes to adoring God. Faced with opposition, danger or even death they just keep going. We're told of worshipers in the early church who, more than simply enduring, actually rejoiced "because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name" (Acts 5:41).

King David
True worship often meets with opposition. Take the life of king David. His first triump was a powerful public act of unstoppable worship. The giant Goliath had put fear into all Israel, and the whole nation was afraid to stand up against him for the honour of God's name. Then in came David - too small for a suit of armour, and as Saul told him, still only a boy. Yet this passionate lover of God can't stand to see the armies of the Living God made a fool of, and he walked out onto the battlefield so that "the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel" (1 Samuel 17:46). Goliath despised him (verse 42), but, anointed by God and driven by passion for the Lord, king David overcame. The worship of God wins the day!

Rachel Scott
The story of Rachel Scott, a teenage victim of Columbine High School (USA) tragedy. It's another powerful tale of unstoppable worship. On 20 April 1999, two bitter twisted students entered the gounds of the school with guns and explosives, planning to wreak havoc. One of the grudges they were bearing was against Christians, and when they found Rachel Scott that grude was made very clear. The killers shot her twice in the legs and once in the upper body. As she struggled to crawl away to safety, they pulled her up by the hair, and asked, "Do you believe in God?" They thought they'd won the battle; expecting her to back down from her faith with whimpering "no". But this bleeding, unstoppable bravely affirmed, "You know I do." Furious with that answer they yelled, "Then go be with Him" and shot her right through the head."

Imagine the heart of God in that moment, as one of His precious worshipers threw her life on the line for His glory. In a gruesome moment of decision, she chose His honour over her survival. And if it affects us so much, imagine what effect it must have on the heart of Jesus.

Stephen of Acts
The story of Stephen's stoning in Acts 7 sheds some more light on this. He puts his life on the line, proclaiming Jesus to cold hearts that don't want to hear, and rebuked them for their religious pride. But just before they stone him to death, God allows Stephen an amazing depth of revelation - perhaps to help this first Christian martyr stay strong to the end. Stephen was allowed a glimpse of heaven's throne room, and saw Jesus 'standing' at the right hand of God. The odd thing here is that Jesus was standing. every other time in the New Testament we read of Jesus at the right hand of God, He's sitting down. So why is He standing now? Smith Wigglesworth's explanation: though usually seated at the right hand of God, this time Jesus gets to His feet to honour and spur Stephen on in his courageous act of worship!

The unstoppable worshiper lets nothing hinder them in their quest to glorify God. Whatever "goliaths" come their way, they walk out onto that worship battlefield and take their chances. They do not shrink back in times of trouble, but instead raise a spirited psalm of trust, obedient and praise!
(an extract from: The Unquencable Worshiper by Matt Redman)

2 comments:

Transforming Keels said...

Wow!!! this is one of the best blogs I have read.... I now have to go get this book... thanks for posting this!!!!

Yvonne said...

love love your posts. Praise and worship is the most powerful tool given to us by the Lord...that and perserverance!