Genuine Worship – My Hiding Place
“1I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. 2And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God 3and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb:
”Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the ages.
4Who will not fear you, O Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
Revelation 15:1-4 NIV
Those who are signing in Revelation 15 have reason to sing. They were the believers who had overcome the best and his image. They hadn’t “put up with” or “survived” the beast. They “overcame the beast”! Perhaps more intriguing thing is the price they paid to overcome the beast. They died. They literally gave the ultimate price for victory for the Kingdom.
Someone once said, “Paradoxical as it may seem, ‘Christian’ victory is often achieved by apparent defeat. We overcome by losing. Those who overcome the Beast are not those who worship him, so as to live, but those who worship God, so as to die.”
Someone else explained it this way, “He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
It reminds me of a story I read not too long ago about Corrie Ten Boom in Billy Graham’s book, Hope for the Troubled Heart. Here is what he wrote:
“At one time she (Corrie Ten Boom) was imprisoned by the Nazis and placed in solitary confinement for four months. The cell was dark, with dirty water standing on the floor. When she heard the piercing cries of other prisoners, she knew that she was also under the constant threat of being tortured.
She said, ‘Once I stood with my back against the wall with my hands spread out, as if to try to push away the walls that were closing in on me. I was dead scared. I cried out, “Lord I’m not strong enough to endure this. I don’t have the faith.”’…
Corrie admitted to having a weak faith, but God spoke to her in an unusual way. She noticed an ant on the floor. The moment that ant felt the water, he ran straight to his tiny hole in the wall.
‘Then it was as if the Lord said to me, “What about that ant? He didn’t stop to look at the wet floor or his weak feet – he went straight to his hiding place. Corrie, don’t look at your faith. It is weak… I am your hiding place, and you can come running to Me just like that ant disappeared into that hole in the wall.”
From the depths of her despair, Corrie pulled up a verse. She continued her story by speaking to all of us; “I know there are moments for you when you lose all courage. You feel as a prisoner that you don’t exist in the eyes of the people around you, in the eyes of God, or in your own eyes. Then you can read in the Bible a promise from Jesus; ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”. (Matthew 11/28).’
When the martyrs in Revelation 15 worship, their focus and attention is on God, and Him alone. They don’t focus on the price they paid or the cost of following Him. They do not make mention of their own victories and accomplishments, nor do they make mention of their own losses, discouragement, or insecurities. When they sing, they make no mention of how their relationship with God makes them feel about themselves or how He promises to make them prosperous. Actually, they make no mention of themselves. They only make mention of God Himself. These saints truly understand the genuine heart of worship. They understand quite clearly that it is not about me. It is all about Him. They understand that God is that hiding place that we can always run to; that place we can come and disappear into. Authentic worship of God does not include what I do for Him or endure for Him. Instead it is all about what He has done and is continuing to do!
Too often Lord I concentrate on too much of myself. My ideas, my feelings, my challenges, my pain, my sorrow, my victories, and my blessings. How different Lord my life and my ministry and my church would be if rather than placing the focus on me, it were placed on You. Lord it is all about You. Amen.