Into His Presence By Tommy Walker
This article was originally published in Worship Leader Magazine.
By Tommy Walker
[He] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is within us. (Ephesians 3:20)
About a year ago, I was sitting in church worshiping God. Or so it looked. It was a morning when I wasn’t up front leading, so I was enjoying a rare time of sitting next to my wife and two oldest kids (my two youngest kids were at children’s church). But truthfully, I wasn’t actually worshiping. I was just singing—politely keeping my head in the game. I wouldn’t call what I was doing “faking”—not exactly. It was more a hesitancy. I knew there could be more to the morning than what I was willing to allow. But I didn’t want to let God disturb me. I was tired. I don’t have the time or energy to go deep with God right now, I thought as I sang. I simply don’t want to go there.
What We Truly Want
I imagine it has happened to all of us—this settling for something less. We take one step toward Him and then two steps back. We temporarily forget that what we truly want is Him. Who is this God who beckons us closer, invites us to know Him, to experience Him—to taste and see that He is good? This is the same God whom the prophet Isaiah saw, as recorded in the sixth chapter of the Book of Isaiah. He saw God seated on a throne, high and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the Temple. Angels covered their faces in this God’s presence and called to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty. I thought about such an image, sitting in church that morning. I thought about a God who prompts that type of awed reaction when a person encounters Him. Truly, I know that God is better than anything I can imagine—anything that I love on Earth—amazing sunsets, the Pacific Ocean, the smell of barbecued steak as it drifts through my neighborhood, the smile of my wife, Robin, as she greets me when I come home from work. God is greater still. Why wouldn’t I want this? I thought. Why wouldn’t I want to actually worship Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength?
Hear the Whisper
I could sense God moving me. “Meet Me here,” God seemed to whisper. “Don’t just attend church this morning because you want to be a good husband or a good dad. Don’t just settle for singing. Worship in spirit and truth. Connect with Me entirely. Believe in Me fully. Know Me more closely than you have before.” There was a deepness to the Voice—not a pressure, but an urgency—an invitation to an incredible celebration that I couldn’t miss. Is this not what we long for in a life of faith? Do we not want to truly experience more of God? And so I stopped—I stopped resisting, and I yielded. I let. In an act of surrender, I raised my voice and my hands and opened my heart to the King of kings. I was not just singing anymore. The same God who spreads out the sky over empty space, who marks out the horizon, who churns up the sea so that its waters roar—this God met me that morning. I worshiped.
Worship artist Tommy Walker has written more than 100 worship songs including “He Knows My Name” and “That’s Why We Praise Him.” This excerpt is from his new book, Breakthrough, published by Regal Books. ©2006 by Tommy Walker. Used by permission. All rights reserved.