Pick your church.
What works for you? What will increase your connection to God?
I watch people do it all the time and much of the time the defining factor is the worship service and what kind of an onramp to heaven it provides for them. These days worship seems to have supplanted teaching of the Word as THE growth tool for the modern American.
One person likes the contemporary music. Another prefers soaking. Someone else likes the old hymns. The tastes are many and varied.
But what if God chose the onramp to heaven for you? Can you imagine the magnificence of the God who created you and knows your every nuance, personally designing the ultimate worship onramp for you?
God knows how He wants to reveal Himself to you and what that unique revelation is supposed to unpack in you that you might not even know about yet. After all, He knows so much about your design that you don’t know yet.
And then to think that He has the whole world of natural things AND all of the unseen world at His disposal to craft this incomparable worship experience.
Are you on tip toes with expectation yet?
Come stand with me, while we watch the Master at work, taking someone into a level of intimacy they had never known before.
I like the story of Habakkuk. One wonders whether this was actually his birth name or just his nickname. It literally means “The Little Hugger.” I don’t know whether his parents had a sense and named him that before actually knowing his personality, or whether Mommie found out quickly that he needed a lot of lap time with frequent cuddles, therefore he got stuck with a moniker for life.
Habakkuk loved music and sang in the Temple choir. He also composed songs. Hebrew scholars point to his poetry as some of the most elegant in Scripture, having a sophistication of form and sound that was never equaled by subsequent prophets.
What a picture! God creates a touchy feely male Mercy, who loves music, and places him in the office of prophet, during the declining years of Judah’s history, while the kings were wicked and foolish.
God exquisitely crafted this gentle genius, gave him a superlative classical education then placed him in an office primarily known for its spiritual, intellectual and functional violence.
Now that God has placed His player on the world stage, what will He do to unpack the finest of treasures from the deepest place in him, so Habakkuk is fit to write Scripture in partnership with the Spirit of the Almighty?
It began with a simple, Mercy question.
“Uh, God. Have you read the news lately? Things are getting pretty ugly down here. There is such violence that there is no such thing as safety any more. I need safety and justice to be the best musician/prophet I can be, and you have been flat out ignoring all my petitions. What’s up with that?”
“Yes, son, I am quite up on the news. No, son, I have not been ignoring you. As THE God Who Plans Ahead, I have been working on this for a while. If YOU had been reading the news, you would have noticed that a two-bit Bedouin tribe has unexplainably morphed into a mighty nation over the last century. That was compliments of Me. Their specialty is violence. They are more violent than Judah is, so I am bringing the Babylonians in to stamp out the violence that is bothering you. Brilliant of me, isn’t it?”
“B R I L L I A N T???!!! I don’t think so. How about C R A A A A A A Z Y! Have you noticed that they are more wicked than my neighbors? What is a righteous God like you doing hanging out with thugs like that, much less putting out a contract on Your own people? THISISNOTWORKINGFORME, GOD!”
“Actually, Habakkuk, I do have a pretty good dossier on them. I know more about their insolence toward Me than you do. And I take it pretty seriously. When I get done using them to spank Judah, I will personally disassemble them with levels of justice and judgment they have never imagined. Let me show you a preview of how I am going to wrap this up with perfection and precision.”
After the preview of Divine violence against Babylon, MISTER Mercy wrote:
“I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:16-19 NIV
So there you have it. The Master Craftsman who knows the Mercy gift inside out designed an onramp to intimacy for the ultimate Mercy’s Mercy, and it was called Sheer Terror.
The bone chilling preview of the God of Vengeance settling a score was determined by God to be the single most effective tool for unpacking the best of the Mercy gift.
Come to think of it, there is another world class Mercy prophet named John who got a preview of Sheer Terror too, as a way to augment his already phenomenal spiritual pilgrimage.
Father, in the natural, Balmoral is a place of substantial peace today. It has a special draw for the Mercy gift as a place to go, to feel safe, to sit and soak in Your presence.
While we celebrate the softer, gentler side of Balmoral, and we know from past experience that it ministers deeply to the Mercy gift, we hereby proclaim faith in Your wisdom and invite You to take anyone You desire, Mercy or not, to a place of incomparable intimacy, even if the onramp is named Sheer Terror.
Copyright December 2011 by Arthur Burk
Sapphire Leadership Group, Inc.