Giver Blessing 8: Worship
Beloved, I call your spirit to attention, and I invite the Giver portion to come explore how God has designed you to enrich the world in your unique way.
One of the greatest gifts the Giver tribe gives the rest of the human community is to demonstrate worship that is pleasing to God.
Cain, the first Giver, failed abysmally at this task. He wanted to give God a gift that brought him pleasure. When God insisted that He and He alone got to decide what proper worship was, Cain was enraged.
From that low point, worship became a bone of contention between God and His people. The Israelites were informed that they HAD to worship at specific times, in specific ways and at precise places. History is full of their worshipping with wrong gifts, at aberrant times, in forbidden places.
But rising above the mediocrity and debauchery of the Giver’s landscape are the towering examples of the Giver’s gifts of extraordinary worship that pleased God and set the standard for all the rest of humanity to emulate.
The Mount Everest of God-pleasing worship is Abraham offering his most valued possession to God. The picture of Isaac on the altar has been used untold millions of times to adjure subsequent generations to yield that which they held as precious to the God of the Ages.
It was a Giver who planted his flag on the highest peak, but this one heroic moment was not the sum total of Abraham’s worship portfolio. Rather the mountain peak crowned a whole mountain range of worship rooted in obedience which synchronized with God.
Again and again, Abraham’s human perspective, agenda and timing asserted themselves.
As he approached God with these seemingly legitimate issues, God always seemed to have a different focus, a different time line, a different approach.
And after each conflict of perspective, Abraham brought his will into submission to the will and the ways of God and sealed the transaction with a spontaneous act of worship. His whole life was built around not understanding God but obeying by faith, and this lifestyle of faith-based worship became a reference point for the rest of human history.
The note of high worship that Abraham sounded was offered to God in a context of abundance, comfort and a promise of the future that was serene and gratifying.
Job faced a more daunting challenge. We have no record of his having had the intimate, personalized encounters with God that Abraham did. His knowledge of God appears to have been drawn from some oral history of a community of faith.
Nonetheless, God drew on his Giver gift and gave the world an even greater example of sacrificial worship. Job’s act of worship did not involve an altar and wood. Rather it came as he sat in the ash heap of his life.
His wealth, health, family, fame and dignity had been robbed from him precipitously. His theology was being battered by circumstances and erudite challenges. In that place of no serenity and no hope of a future, he defiantly cried out, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
Thus the Giver tribe offered to the world a new, higher benchmark of God-pleasing worship. Like the story of Abraham and Isaac, this Giver’s gift of worship has enriched the world. Millions more have stood shoulder to shoulder with Job and reiterated his concise, endlessly profound worship proclamation.
But lest the world think that the only thing that interests God is worship drawn from pain, God also released the Giver’s anointing for worship in Matthew as he sat and penned the first gospel in the New Testament record.
He captured yet another facet of God-honoring worship which was to see what the culture could not see about God and celebrate it.
Matthew’s gospel portrays and savors the Kingship of Jesus Christ yet this was the exact facet of Jesus that people could not grasp. Hundreds of thousands of people saw and heard Him and discussed who He was.
Opinions varied about whether Jesus was the Messiah, and in the end, few were willing to cast their lot with this highly irregular rabbi, who might possibly be a king, although He did not act like one.
But Matthew saw so clearly what thousands never grasped. So his act of worship that was highly pleasing to the Most High God was to paint a picture for all ages of the facets of God which the crowds had missed.
This is what Givers do. Whether from the seat of abundance or the canyon of despair, whether in word or in deed, you define through your lives what worship is pleasing to God. That is a gift of legendary proportions that we receive from your hands.
So we welcome you in our midst, Giver. Each of us must bring our own gift to our God, but you show us the boundaries, and you inspire us to craft immense acts of worship. You are most welcome among us. We bless you in the name of our King, Jesus Christ.
Parked on … Street
Corona del Mar, CA
December 16, 2008
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