Photo credit to Brittany Cunningham
“He said, ‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshiped Him.” John 9:38
There are some believers I’ve met, who, when you talk to them or hear them speak, there’s something about them that lights a fire inside your soul. You know that they have something special with the Lord. You know that faith, for them, really means faith. They’ve experienced You, Lord, and when they tell about it, we know. And they expect to keep experiencing You. And it’s just this beautiful “apparency” that they just walk with You, that You are such a part of their life. An “apparency,” meaning it’s so apparent, it’s so clear, it’s so beautiful. And others, well, others who are seeking that, are drawn to them because they are being drawn to You.
I’m not exactly sure why I thought of that when I read about this man today. I think it’s because of his response, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshipped You. Because I think that’s what’s going on in the people’s lives I mentioned. There is this transparent, apparent continual state of worship and communion with You. It didn’t just happen once at conversion. There is this continual walking with You, communing with You, dependency in You, awe of You, friendship with You, and the list goes on and on.
So how do we get to that point? How do we go from being blind and thinking our way is sufficient, to seeing our own insufficiency and totally surrendering to You? How do I go from being blind to really seeing You?
Here was this man, born blind from birth, and You, Jesus, come along and heal Him. And the religious leaders were in an uproar. They called in His parents to verify it but they were afraid of being kicked out of the synagogue so they said, “Go ask him. He’s of age.” Then they call in the man who was healed. He basically gives them a mini sermon about God in his excitement. Yep, that angers them more. He didn’t even know who Jesus really was yet, except that He must be from God by His actions. His belief and statement cost him. He was cast out of the synagogue.
Has my belief and my stand in my belief ever cost me? It’s starting to. I wish I had lived so it cost me earlier. Because it’s not really until we come to the point of our belief costing something that we really begin to know Your worth, Lord.
But, You, Lord, were keeping Your eye on this man. You weren’t finished with him yet. When the leaders cast him out, You found him. And You confronted him with You. “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” A Jew knew what that meant. “Do you believe in the Messiah from God?” “Who is He, Sir, that I may believe in Him?” honestly asked the man. “You have seen Him, and it is He who is speaking to you.”
“Well, isn’t that nice. Now let me put You in a box, Jesus, where I can keep You the way I want You. Because You just caused me all kinds of trouble and You just got me kicked out of the synagogue and I’ve lost all kinds of friends and my family avoids me because they don’t want to get kicked out. What have You done?!” That’s some of our reaction when we start to see You, Jesus, when You introduce Yourself to us. But it wasn’t this man’s reaction.
“Lord, I believe!” And he worshipped You. And it wasn’t that this man just started praising You and saying “Thank You, Thank You!” Because worship was something way stronger then, than it’s become now. The Greek word was “proskuneo.” It meant “throwing a kiss toward someone adored.” This wasn’t a fake kiss. This was a kiss to someone really adored. In Webster’s dictionary, the definition goes back to the Hebrew, “to honor, reverence or glorify to adorn; to be magnificent or glorious, to magnify, to glorify.” In the Latin it means to “carry to one’s mouth; as in order to kiss one’s hand.” It’s also related to praying. Psalm 2:12 says, “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.” Maybe we should heed this instruction.
Now, I’m not finished with Webster’s definition yet, because I think it really matters. To adore means “to worship with profound reverence; to address with exalted throughts, by prayer and thanksgiving; to pay divine honors to; to honor as a god or as divine.” And it also means “to love in the highest degree; to regard with the utmost esteem, affection, and respect.” So, I must ask myself, is that how I feel about You, Lord? Is that what my life demonstrates about You? Is that the reality of my life in You? Or do I even have an inkling of what it is to adore You?
Here You are, my King. What is my response to You? Am I throwing You my most prized flowers and my genuine kisses as You come before my path in Your golden chariot? Am I lavishing You with my affection and obedience? Really? When I kiss You on the cheek, what are the rest of my actions saying? Is it a Judas kiss? And is this feeling deeper than affection? Am I truly surrendered to You? Do I fall prostrate before You, my Sovereign Ruler? Am I truly humbled before You? Have I ever come to the point of “face-to-the-floor homage in utter abandonment of” my own desires? In Genesis 47:31, when Jacob was on his deathbed, Scripture says he knew “enough to turn his face toward the ground and submit to his God” as he worshipped leaning on his staff. He worshipped by faith, trusting in what You had already done and what You had promised to do.
This man who could now see had no idea of what the future held for him. He didn’t have to. All he had to do was know that Jesus, God Himself, was holding onto him and was taking care of him. And like Jacob, he worshipped by faith (pisteuo). “This God who did this wonderful thing in my life already, will continue to be God forever. This is who I can trust. This is my salvation!” We don’t live in the full reality of the Kingdom yet, but we can live in the full reality of Christ right now! When we “submit, bow, and serve” and look forward and live according to all of Your promises, Lord, we are living in that reality which will come to be our reality on that glorious day. “We worship because we trust that [Your] word is true and all that [You] say will come to be.” (Skip Moen)
As I wait for the reality of Your promise, You strengthen my worship. You give me “opportunity to prepare, to confess, to repent,” to be continually transformed, “and to redeem this world for [Your] purposes.” Worship is not a past-time, it is a way of living. It’s not trivial. It means everything about who I am in You, Lord. I think of Abraham in Genesis 22:5. Abraham said, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” What was worship to Abraham?
The Hebrew word for worship here, the equivalent of “proskuneo”, is “shachah.” It describes an “act of obeisance.” Just as with “proskuneo,” it’s the act of “prostrating oneself on the ground before a superior.” Only it’s not just the “outward, physical act.” “Shachah is your soul, spirit, mind, and strength facedown on the ground, in humble adoration, and total commitment to the only One Who is worthy of worship. Shachah is prayer permeating life.” (Skip Moen)
If this is what worship is, does that give a special light to what was going on in this man’s heart and soul before You that day, Lord? Does this shed light on my worship of You? Is it truly worship? Would You consider it worship? Would You consider my life to be a demonstration of truly and absolutely adoring You? Is my life permeated with You? Is my life a continual prayer? Is my soul, spirit, mind, and strength all devoted to, committed to, and humbly dependent upon You?
Lord, I want to kiss the Son, kiss You, every moment of my life. I want You to be the object of my adoration. But, I don’t want to kiss You because I don’t want You to be angry with me. I want to show You how much I adore and treasure You because You deserve it and I just want to be a source of delight for You because I am so delighted in You. I don’t have to be terrified any more because I am Yours. And because You have made me Yours, I am totally blessed in You. You are my refuge that I absolutely adore. There is none like You. Lord, I believe. Yes, I believe. And I am so blessed to have begun an eternity of worshipping You. May I never stop kissing Your hands and Your feet!