Follow my blog with Bloglovin“>We long for worship in heaven but do we realize the opportunity to raise worship on earth that we will not have again in heaven; to worship in the midst of sacrifice. How many of us have talked to or known a ‘white knuckle Christian.’ Their knuckles are white because, with everything in them, they are just hanging on until they get to heaven. Muttering under their breath, ‘Just take me home Jesus.’ Ok let’s be honest. How many of us have been this person at one point or another?
Life gets frustrating. Kids are screaming, bills are mounting, we’re sick, struggling with sin and temptation, these things make us crave the way things are supposed to be. Christ came to redeem all things and give us hope that, one day, we will be with Him face to face in heaven, in a place that He has prepared for us.
So what then is the point of life? If the point is to come to salvation through Jesus Christ, why doesn’t he just take us to be with him NOW!? I realize that this question can be answered many ways and there are many things that Christ called us to do while on the earth. But as I worship leader, I’m always pondering what the point of our worship is. There will only EVER be two kinds of worship; worship on this side of earth and worship on the other side. Both are beautiful, both are ordained by God and glorify God. One will continue on through all eternity and one will only echo there and never be seen again.
How Our Worship is Different on Earth Than it Will be In Heaven
Worship on this side, on earth, in the ‘shadow lands’ (as author C.S. Lewis called them) comes through our sacrifice. Only on this side of heaven will we be able to give a sacrifice of praise. Here we worship through our brokenness, through our trial and through our sickness, persecution and suffering; that kind of worship will NOT be able to offered up in eternity. I believe God absolutely loves this kind of worship.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
The kind of worship that you give to God in the midst of your brokenness will echo on through eternity and never be seen again on the other side. Tears of anguish and sorrow poured out before Lord over the loss of a child, death of a spouse, sorrow over our sin; this kind of sacrifice or worship can only happen while we live on earth.
Pslam 56:8 ‘You keep track of all my sorrows.You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.’
God has a scrapbook for our tear count and bottle to store our tears in. Why? …Because He wants to keep them. They are not permanent. I have little kids. I keep lots of their drawings; not because I want to frame them and put them all in my house. They are not amazing artists, yet. I keep them because they are precious. They mark a season that is passing and is not permanent and if I throw them away, I cannot get them back. My son at 8 years old draws differently than he did at 5. If I throw the picture away, I can’t just ask him two years later to draw the same thing… that moment has passed. This is how God views the tears we pour out to Him. There will be no tears in heaven so he saves them, because these moments of worship on earth are passing away and they are precious to Him.
Worshiping in the midst of our own questions and doubts, even unbelief will cease to exist in heaven. We can only give a sacrifice of praise while there is something to sacrifice. Think about that! What a challenge for us to not miss an opportunity that we will not have in eternity; to bring a sacrifice of praise. We have an opportunity while on the earth to worship God through our ‘laying down’, our energy, and strength. When Jesus was questioned as to what commandment was the most important of all he gave us this challenge and mandate saying,
Mark 12:29 “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord your God heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”
What he’s saying is – ‘Spend yourself on loving me. Spend your heart’s affections on Me. Use your soul, that sometimes aches and doubts, to long for Me. Use your mind, that can only fathom so much, is imperfect, and forgets things… Use your mind to think on me. Use the body I gave you that gets tired and weak to worship me, raise your hands, dance, weep… but worship me, love me.’
I’m thinking about this today in the midst of the mundane stuff. I’m cleaning messes that will reappear in a matter of hours sometimes minutes. I’m putting out fires between siblings. I’m thinking of friends that are walking through a very difficult journey as their child battles cancer. We can only worship Him in the midst of our sacrifice now, only on this side of heaven which is simply a blip in time before things really get started in eternity.
Know this, if you are going through a season of brokenness and sorrow, that the worship you give in the midst of that is unique. It is a fragrance that no one else can raise and He notices. Your trial means something to Him. It makes the perfume of your worship all the sweeter.