While the reality of what Jesus did was pictured in several ways in “As God Sees It”, this articled paints a new picture of the praise and worship in heaven. These concepts follow neatly from the “The Music of Heaven” where there was simply an intangible quality about the music. Here, a modern day metaphor yields insight into a process that academic discussion cannot capture.
Have you ever wondered why the worship of God is so amazing in heaven? Have you ever heard the deriding accusation that God is an ego-maniac, demanding praise? As a believer, it’s not hard to come up with a response that would generally declare God’s awesome, amazing, wonderful, beautiful attributes—His mercy and righteousness etc. For sure you could follow that up with a large number of examples from the Bible. But there is something that has happened in the heart of a true believer that sees the intuitive response to those glorious attributes as praise and worship. Satan and his demons are equally aware of those attributes, yet their heart is set to oppose God. Their rebellion caused them to be expelled from heaven.
OK, to God, who searches the hearts of men (Romans 8:27, Revelation 2:23), everything is a heart/spirit issue (Matthew 15:15-20, 1 Corinthians 2:14-16). So what is the heart of the issue here? What is the heart of worship in heaven? Why is worship, which includes rejoicing and thanks, such a focus of heaven?
There are so many critical decisions in life. You are either for Him or against Him. You are either a Son of God or a son of Satan. You are either alive or you are dead in you sins. All things were created by and through Jesus (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:17), and all these decisions depend on your response to Jesus. When Jesus was born (into this world) we see the angelic worship break into this world (Luke 2:8-14).
Well, guess what, the song of the lamb is, and remains, the worship in heaven. The article about “God’s Anatomy” pictures Jesus as the very conscious mind of God. In effect, God has made Jesus the focus of His being; the visible image of an invisible God (Colossians 1:15-20, 1 Timothy 1:17, Romans 1:20). All of heaven focuses on the worship of God in general but specifically of Jesus:
So, God almighty, God the Father has placed all things under His Son, Jesus (Matthew 11:27, Luke 10:22, John 3:35, John 16:15, Ephesians 1:20-23), who in turn gives all the glory to His Father (John 17:9-11, 1 Corinthians 15:24-28). Isn’t it beautiful! The Father gives glory to the Son and the Son gives glory to the Father. No ego problem, yet all glory is given to God.
This section shows how the Father and the Son direct worship to each other. They do not seek for themselves. But, if we are going to harmonise, (align) our worship with that in heaven, Jesus MUST be centre front!
Jesus declared that he is the Truth and the truth is that God is overwhelmingly more than we can imagine. His greatness is beyond our comprehension. It seems like I should not need to quote scripture to reinforce this point but I will include these few:
Surely worship and praise is the natural response to our unique awesome merciful loving God? Even when God is jealous for us it is a good thing because He does not want any of us to be lost by turning our hearts to false gods. The only problem related to ego is when we are envious of God and want to be God. That is rebellion.
Another peculiarity of heaven is that the closer you get to God, the greater the demand that you respect Him alone as God, almighty and sovereign. He seems to have created this world as a place separate from His full-on presence so that we could freely come to know and love Him before stepping into His presence. Of course Adam stuffed that up by rebelling and Jesus had to step down from heaven to fix it up. The Book of revelation has several examples of how closeness to God manifests his Holy presence more strongly:
OK, so we might struggle a little now, but there is no doubting that heaven is going to be fantastic and acknowledging the Father and the Son will be central to our thanks and joy. We simply signal our decision to choose God and Jesus ensures that we are presented in perfection before His Father. Most of the articles in “The Way Back” expand on how Jesus, and only Jesus, achieves salvation and cleansing for us.
The following section is what I had in mind when I started this article. The previous sections just flowed as I started to write because I needed a framework. I think that it was good to write them down and I have heard many other preachments and sermons about heaven, so there is plenty of material around. There are also testimonies of people who died and then came back to life and their accounts are astounding and beautiful. But now for a new analogy…
A finely tuned car motor just purrs. Every part works flawlessly and people who understand engines can admire how the power flows smoothly from the engine to the wheels. When there are problems, say something is not bolted down correctly, it rattles—you can hear it. The same power now rattles and shakes the whole car; sometimes to the point of complete failure.
Now it’s this simple... The worship in heaven is that purr. The power and glory of God flows smoothly throughout His heaven. But rebellion, like a rattling part, a loose cannon, now attracts and opposes that power. But being so close to God as in His heaven, that power will utterly annihilate the rebellion.
I have made this type of point in other articles like “Just one rule” and “As God Sees It”. In those places it has to do with entry into heaven being blocked by sin. The analogy here shows that even if a person in rebellion could achieve entry to heaven, the natural state of heaven would be unbearable to them. Now what God has established in His heaven is undeniably beautiful and a natural spin-off of His divine attributes. It’s only our own failings that can prevent us from delighting in heaven and in Jesus specifically.
...And so, the focus of heaven itself came down to earth to set us straight and make it possible for us to be with Him, if we so choose. By choosing to belong to Jesus, our rebellion is wiped away. And now, in heaven, with Jesus already as our focus, we are in tune with the worship of heaven. We can delight in His presence just as God had desired from before the beginning of the world. We are in harmony with heaven.
There are accounts in the Bible where worshippers are sent out in front of the armies of Israel and the LORD (angels) fight on behalf of Israel. We are also told that demonic forces flee when God is worshipped. These accounts are encouraging. We see that the enemy is rattled by the worship, but I don’t want to go into that here. Our worship should not be manipulated for effect or treated as a weapon—it must always be to exult Him. Then when God inhabits our praises, we can simply delight in Him. (Zephaniah 3:17, Psalm 84:4, Isaiah 57:15, Psalm 149:4, Psalm 5:11-12)
When we make Jesus the focus of our worship here on earth then we are in harmony with heaven. Some of the atmosphere of heaven seems to manifest amongst such worshipers. On the occasions that I sense it, it seems to be His very presence and my heart melts. What always amazes me is how little we need to do. He will come for just two or three people and even one instrument is optional. Now, a personal suggestion from me — when He does come, don’t be afraid to stop everything and just delight in Him. So many people think you have to do or say stuff. No, just be still. (Psalm 46:10, Psalm 37:7)