And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the one who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things.” (Revelation 4: 9-11)
All of my coaches said the same thing: “How you practice is how you’ll play.” The coaches would say these words to keep us focused and motivated for our games.
Revelation 4 begins with this vision: “After this, I looked, and there in heaven a door stood open!” (v.1). John then describes what he saw through that door in today’s passage. It was an incredible scene of worship with the living creatures, elders, and angels, giving glory and honor and thanks to Almighty God.
Have you ever wondered what we’ll do in heaven? John tells us: worship.
Because our worship here is practice for heaven, it’s essential that we expand our notion of when, where, and how we worship. Instead of simply practicing our worship on Sundays in our sanctuaries, we need to think about practicing our worship all day, every day. How can we do that?
Whenever we sense that we aren’t alone, that our lives are a gift, say, “Lord, bless and praise you.”
Whenever we’re grateful for our spouse, children, friends, or our skills and abilities, say, “Lord, thank you.”
Whenever we’ve done something that’s wrong, mean, stupid, or hurtful, say, “Lord, please forgive me with your grace.”
Whenever we might be tempted to do what we shouldn’t do, say, “Lord, I need your strength to resist.”
Whenever we might want to walk away from doing what we need to do for God, for others, for our best selves, say, “Lord, strengthen me to stand tall.”
Because our worship here is practice for eternal life, I encourage us to stop limiting worship to a day, time, place, or style. Instead, may we endeavor to worship God with every breath that we take.
- How would your life change if you worshipped throughout your day?
- How would your worship change if you remembered that your worship here and now is practice for heaven?
- Our worship needs to be focused on God and not on us. Do you see how the living creatures are giving “glory and honor and thanks” to God in today’s scripture? Are you following their lead?