Who Do We Revere?
“Oh my! I can’t contain my joy. I am in the same room with Pastor @Benny_Hinn. This is huge. This is so huge!”
This was tweeted by somebody recently. It caught my attention.
We are a people who take respect to another (unhealthy) level where we reverence people because of something we believe they have attained – wealth and fame, for the most part. In Yoruba land, praise singers make a living doing just that – singing the praises of people. The people being exalted revel in the exaltation and those doing the exalting are simply doing what is in their heart.
The question that came to my mind when the tweet I quoted above was shared with me was, “Do we feel this same way in God’s presence?”
I can come up with two possible reasons why we don’t feel this way about (being in) God’s presence.
1. We don’t really know God: To know God is to worship and revere Him. To know God is to know how insignificant every human being is. To know God is to stand in awe of His magnificence, His splendor, His majesty, His mightiness,…..and yet His mercy, His grace, His love……it goes on and on. When you see a person who speaks of God yet shows no reverence for Him in words or deeds, that person knows OF God but doesn’t know Him.
2. We have become too familiar with God: It is commonly said that familiarity breeds contempt. The origin of the proverbial saying “Familiarity breeds contempt” is widely credited to the traditional translation of Aesop’s fable “The Fox and the Lion,” which reads:
When first the Fox saw the Lion he was terribly frightened, and ran away and hid himself in the wood. Next time however he came near the King of Beasts he stopped at a safe distance and watched him pass by. The third time they came near one another the Fox went straight up to the Lion and passed the time of day with him, asking him how his family were, and when he should have the pleasure of seeing him again; then turning his tail, he parted from the Lion without much ceremony.
Has our privileged status as ‘sons of God’ robbed us of a healthy and true picture of who God is? I personally love praise and worship songs that paint a picture in my mind of who God is – not what He necessarily does for my benefit but just who He is. Any time I sing these songs, I’m reminded that He is the Almighty God; the Maker of the entire universe (remember that planet Earth is just one planet in the midst of galaxies); the I AM who exists outside of time; the One with all power and all knowledge – Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent; the One before whom mountains melt like wax; the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, First and Last…….hallelujah!
“Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me.” (Revelations 3:20, TLB)
This was a statement made by Christ to Christians. We might say, “How could Jesus be at the door and Christians wouldn’t open up? Don’t they recognize His voice? If they do, don’t they long for fellowship with Him?” But in truth, how many of us long for fellowship with Him? How many of us recognize Him for who He is and give Him reverence that is due Him? Why would we rather entertain ‘famous’ human beings – mere jars of clay – than entertain and hang out with Christ (though why He would want to chill with us I still don’t understand)?
Look, it is such an awesome privilege to be able to relate closely with Christ. Let’s not see Him just as the Teacher that walked the streets with His disciples or just as the Baby born in the manger or just as the Lamb of God. Let me end with some verses of scripture that portray who the Christ is that we take for granted, so that as we enjoy the privilege of being called His friends and brethren, we will not lose sight of who He is and the worship and honour due Him.
On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet…. I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. (Revelation 1:10-19, NIV)