I know what you’re thinking…”Did you pick your main Scripture from the book of Revelation?” And yes, I did! Sounds scary, but most of what we know of this book is not contextually accurate (but that discussion is vast and for another day). If you stick with me, I’d like to show Revelation as it pertains to Heaven and the picture of worship that Heaven paints for us. Understanding worship helps enhance our journey and enables us to flourish in the Kingdom of God!
The book of Revelation is our backstage pass to Heaven. John is allowed to witness the very throne room of God — and God allows him to share his experience with us!
Here we are and we want to worship God. A novel idea! We may look at the OT to see God’s system of sacrifice and apply that to our worship, as it was the first performance of worship on Earth. Yet, we can also look at Heaven to see what surrounds the throne of the Almighty One and that is constant worship! Now, here are some things we can apply to our worship:
“And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.” REV 7:10 (HCSB)
“After this I heard something like the loud voice of a vast multitude in heaven, saying: Hallelujah! Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God.” REV 19:1 (HCSB)
Here are two verses which display worship. The common thread within is this: loudly. When the inhabitants of heaven come close to God, of whom they are privileged to even glimpse, they raise their voice loudly in words of honour! It is acceptable and natural to loudly proclaim the praise of our Lord.
“I heard a sound from heaven like the sound of cascading waters and like the rumbling of loud thunder. The sound I heard was also like harpists playing on their harps.” REV 14:2
“Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying: Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty, has begun to reign!” REV 19:6
What powerful verses! The first thing that stands out is the “sound like cascading waters.” Imagine that! I hear a waterfall, maybe two or three, crashing into rocks below or a mighty coursing river, making it’s way downstream with an immoveable stance and a purposeful force. This sound is unified in purpose and in motion. Is my worship unified and forward moving? Sometimes I feel like I’m singing to the air, my heart far from the moment. Is it because I’ve lost sight of my purpose or because I’m ignorant? Maybe both!
“For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne will shepherd them; He will guide them to springs of living waters, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” REV 7:16 (HCSB)
As I read this verse, it struck me that my purpose is more than my needs being met or hoping for a tingly feeling in my stomach! My purpose is to set Jesus, the Lamb, at the center of the throne so that He is positioned to shepherd, guide, and rule in my life! If ALL had this purpose, would not Jesus be positioned to reign? Perhaps our vision is so limited to our own personal world that we have forgotten why He came! Was it for me or was it for ALL? Was it for the Gentiles to be saved and the Jews to be forgotten? I think not. Maybe, just maybe, He came so that both Jew and Gentile would be empowered to put Jesus on the throne and see the fulfillment of God’s purposes here on the Earth.
So now we realize that worship is more than a song service, a tingly feeling, or a preparation for the sermon. Worship is a voice, loud and powerful like cascading waters, that comes from a multitude of people, both Jew and Gentile, and it is unified. Unified not only in purpose, but in motion, drive, or force! Worship is the sound of God’s people putting Him on the throne and allowing His Kingdom to rule and reign in their hearts so that He may, therefore, reign across the Earth. As He reigns, our hearts flourish and the journey becomes more than a trail but it becomes a life-giving adventure! We let Him reign for “Our Lord and God, You are worthy to receive glory and honour and power!” Revelation 4:11a
Bailey Riza is a young, passionate, up-and-coming voice in the music industry. A worship leader, songwriter, and recording artist, she has a wealth of experience and a dynamic approach to teaching and leading. She is a member of the Faith Alive Band and travels throughout North America performing and ministering in many different arenas. Her songs have been featured on the Faith Alive Show, which airs weekly on the Miracle Channel. She was born and raised in Saskatoon, Sk, Canada and attends Faith Alive Family Church where her parents are senior pastors. Her latest EP, Coming Alive, topped the iTunes charts in Canada! Bailey is also the executive assistant to Jodi Kozan, founder of Women’s Journey of Faith. She loves her family, church, and country with a zeal to see this generation experience a powerful outpouring of God’s presence.
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