Do you ever struggle with worship? I mean do you ever come to a time of prayer or a Sunday morning gathering and find that you stammer and sputter when it comes to expressing your self to God? When I first became a Christ-follower, I was taught to pray using the acronym ACTS, which stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. I can do the last three of these easily. I am very conscious that I sin and can confess my sins all day long. God has been good to me and I can thank God for specific blessings in my life. People ask me to pray for them and I have a long list of things I want God to do for me, which is what supplication means. When it comes to adoration and praise of God, however, I quickly find myself running out of words. I typically say something like, “God you are… so awesome… I praise you… because you are… so awesome… yes, you are… so awesome… awesome…” And on it goes. I remember the first time I went to a Vineyard worship conference. The opening worship set was 1 hour and 45 minutes! I didn’t know what to do with myself. The music and singing were great, but there was a lot of space to express myself in love to God, not just sing about God, and I found that to be a very stretching experience indeed.
Now contrast that with what we see going on in Revelation 4. God is praised and worshipped for who God is. This seems to go on endlessly. I learn a lot about worship from this part of the chapter. First, all kinds of beings are worshipping God. There are four bazaar, animal-like, living creatures and 24 elders. Second, God is worshipped because God is holy, almighty, and the one who was and who is and who is to come. God is also worshipped because God is the Creator of all things. Third, God is worshipped day and night with no rest through words of verbal declaration of who God is. When God is praised, the 24 elders fall down and throw down their crowns. Fourth, worship is described as giving ‘glory,’ ‘honor,’ and ‘thanksgiving’ to God. In sum, worship seems to be gazing upon the beauty of God’s being and letting the sight of God’s being penetrate our being until we erupt with praise, honor, thanksgiving, awe, and humility. Let it be so among God’s people!