Journey into the heart of God

My good friend Ryan lent me a book recently that I’ve been devouring. It’s small, brief, to-the-point, but impactful. (Wow, I wish I could write like that!) It’s called The Unquenchable Worshipper, and it’s written by an English fellow by the name of Matt Redman, who leads worship at a church in Watford, England called Soul Survivor. Throughout the book, Matt shares several stories from his life that reveal ways that God has shaped him as a worshipper, and consequently, as a worship leader. These stories are loaded with scripture communicating the heart of God and laced with encouragement and challenge to all worshippers, especially those who find themselves entrusted with the responsibility of leading others to the holy throne room of God.

In my journey through this book, God has burdened my heart for His bride, the Church, and encouraged me in my pursuit of His face and His renown. I have already been burdened, over the past four years of my life, but God’s voice through Matt has helped me to better understand those burdens. He has put them in a light which is significantly relevant to me, in the current phase of my journey with Christ. First of all, the Holy Spirit has convicted my heart in many areas for ways in which I have turned from a heart of worship to a heart of pride.

He has also given me a special connection with the prophet Isaiah when he prayed these words: “I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). As Westerners, we have a difficult time understanding the nature of intercession and corporate sin. Our culture heralds individual freedom and individual responsibility to the point that we no longer recognize and accept the responsibilities we have to our fellow man. Oh sure, we accept the laws that keep us from injuring and taking advantage of one another. But Eastern culture has a lot to teach us about true corporate responsibility. Western culture is ultimately concerned with saving one’s own face, whereas Eastern culture encourages (in fact, demands) its members to save “the other’s” face, first and foremost.

Throughout scripture, both Old and New Testaments, we see prophets and apostles, even Christ Himself, modeling this level of corporate concern and responsibility. Isaiah confessed sin on behalf of his people, as did virtually all of the OT prophets, fathers of our faith, and the apostle Paul. They understood that the fate of “their people” partly rested in their own hands, and they communicated a passion for these people to God. Paul was so zealous for people to know Christ that he wished he could be thrown into eternal Hell so that more might be saved!

And here, somehow, I find myself similarly burdened for God’s people, so much that it torments my soul and keeps me up at night. I guess that is the call of a pastor, to carry the burden of God’s people. And so I feel somewhat of a responsibility, not only for the immediate flock He has placed under my care, but for all those whose lives I might touch in some way. To those of you reading these words, my heart goes out to you. You are the reason God has left me on this earth—to love you, care for you, encourage you that your deepest desires and longings are met in a devoted relationship with Christ. And with you I want to begin to delve deep into the heart of God. Not for the sake of contention, nor for the sake of having something clever to say. But for the sake of Christ Himself, glorified and magnified in and through our lives as His people.

In the coming days, I will be discussing what God has been teaching me through His word and through the wisdom of Matt Redman, in the pursuit of God’s heart through worship. Whatever roles God has entrusted you with in regards to the pursuit of His face and His renown, there is a part of this conversation that only you can contribute. May you allow Christ to speak through you as we submit ourselves to one another and to Jesus, our King.

All glory and honor and power to You, my King eternal.

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