#601: Come, Thou Almighty King
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Reflections by the Pond
April 29, 2013
True praise is of celestial origin. The rarest harmonies of music are nothing unless they are sincerely consecrated to God by hearts sanctified by the Spirit.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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If we say we agree with what His word has to say about God, then what is our response? When God's word declares,
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
what feelings, what thoughts, what emotions rise within us? And then what do we do with those feelings? When Zophar asks Job,
"Can you discover the depths of God?
Can you discover the limits of the Almighty?"
what is our answer? Can we? The answer, implied, is no.
When we read such things, do we fall down before Him in reverent worship, or has living in this world stiffened our knees? Do we dutifully answer in same measure, or do we blithely pass by, immune to His majesty?
Finally, if our knees do still bend, are we often left grasping for words to match the grandeur of the Spirit-song resounding in our heart?
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Come, Thou Almighty King,
Help us Thy name to sing,
Help us to praise.
Father, all glorious,
O'er all victorious,
Come, and reign over us,
Ancient of Days.
God, in His triune perfection, is the Author of all that is, including our very words of worship and praise.
From You comes my praise in the great assembly;
I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him.
We cannot praise Him if we do not know Him; the unregenerate haven't the language of heaven, nor the inclination to learn it. But if we know Him, how can He not supply us with everything we need, including the holy content for our communion with Him? After all, it is God who initiated the relationship; He is the One who sought us out. So it only follows that He would continue to nurture the communion by feeding us from above.
° ° °
Come, Thou incarnate Word,
Gird on Thy mighty sword,
Our prayer attend:
Come, and Thy people bless,
And give Thy word success;
Spirit of holiness,
On us descend.
So the first words of our worship and praise must be to invite the triune Godhead to attend, to fill our heart, our spirit, our mind and soul with the very language of holy devotion. For that language is not of this earth; it is born and perfected in the heavenly Tabernacle, then disseminated and translated by the members of the Godhead. Without it our words are too leaden with clay, too introspective, too base to reach higher than ourselves. With it, however, we are immediately and effectively speaking one language with the object of our adoration.
° ° °
Come, holy Comforter,
Thy sacred witness bear
In this glad hour:
Thou who Almighty art,
Now rule in every heart,
And ne'er from us depart,
Spirit of power.
In this the Holy Spirit is essential. Worship does not, cannot happen without the ministry of the Spirit, for He is the conduit, He is the translator of the very words we use. It is He who connects mind to Mind, heart to Heart, soul to Soul.
° ° °
To Thee, great One in Three,
Eternal praises be
Thy sov'reign majesty
May we in glory see,
And to eternity
Love and adore.
Worship is the beginning; it is the foundation, the root of what we are and do in Christ. Worship reestablishes sound perspective. Without it we too easily become self-absorbed, self-righteous, for we lose the perspective of heaven.
Worship reconnects us to the reality of God enthroned. Yet, ironically, we cannot do it without Him. Energized by the flesh alone, worship of God is little more than benign cacophony.
Energized and informed from above, however, worship of God is a fragrant, pleasing incense of love, reverent subjection, and exalting praise.
° ° °
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or Who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.