There is something profoundly powerful about true worship.
In the bible we read the story of one woman’s heart filled with gratitude and adoration for the One she loved. Mary of Bethany brought her alabaster jar of expensive perfume to supper. This she poured over Jesus’ feet while he sat with his disciples after they had eaten.
“Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” John 12:1-3
Not only were the contents expensive but the container itself was made of precious stone. It was probably the most expensive possession she owned but to Mary it was an all or nothing move as she lovingly and sacrificially worshiped at the feet of Jesus.
Though her actions were publicly viewed, her act of worship was one of great intimacy. I want to believe her desire to worship the Lord came from somewhere deep inside her heart.
Think of a time when you were standing in worship on a Sunday morning. You had your hands raised in full surrender. The presence of God came so strong and so real that there was no one else in the room but you and Holy Spirit, or so it seemed.
The experience is overwhelmingly powerful as the presence of Holy Spirit awakens something deep inside – a yearning, a longing to connect with the Father. Tears flowed as you basked in the presence of a Holy God.
I am thinking Mary was experiencing one of those moments. Her love and gratitude towards Jesus so immensely strong, she was willing to give her most valued for who she believed Jesus to be, the Saviour and King. Her worship was nothing about her and all about him.
According to John MacArthur in The Ultimate Priority
“Worship is our innermost being responding with praise for all that God is, through our attitudes, actions, thoughts, and words, based on the truth of God as He has revealed Himself.”
This kind of sacrificial worship pleases God because it is genuine and it invites him to communicate with us. Worship has no value unless it is true worship.
Every opportunity we have to meet with God through worship is an opportunity for the power of God to be released to do amazing things. In this atmosphere miracles take place. One can reach out in the spirit and touch the hem of his garment. It is here we receive healing and deliverance, and have strong holds broken. Great battles are fought and ultimately won in true worship.
I personally want to go back to that kind of worship. Where it’s not about the song, the music, the warm fuzzy feelings or what we want to receive. Though worship has some great benefits, these should never be our motivation to worship. Instead, it is about stepping into the presence of God in total surrender, understanding that we are nothing and He is everything.
This act of worship engages our mind but at the same time exposes our heart to God. As the true state of our heart is revealed, he takes great delight in transforming us to look more like him.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.
God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24
After Mary poured her perfume over Jesus’ feet, we read
“And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
I want my life to be like that. Reflecting the sweet fragrance of true worship.
I love the beautiful words of this song written by Matt Redman and sung by Michael W Smith. Please take a moment to allow this song to minister to your heart and may it encourage us to come back to the heart of true worship.
So come on dear friends, let us journey together by faith today. God bless you!