The Most Powerful Act Humans Can Engage in This Side of Glory

Most Christians prepare to guard against threats from outsiders. Too often, though, our deepest wound turns out to be an “inside job.”

Ask King David.

The warrior king was heroic. Proven in battle against enemy nations.

Those who opposed the people of God found David a formidable opponent. He’d learned to rely completely on God and turned to Yahweh before every engagement. So, God’s true enemy knew David was most vulnerable at home.

David’s first taste of this threat was dodging Saul’s spears.

David was only a youth, soothing the sullen king with the strains of his harp. He did, indeed, know secret chords he played to please the Father. Chords that inadvertently raised the ire of Saul’s rebellious soul.

This should have been David’s first inkling that pure worship of the One True God who reigns can be the most dangerous act a human can engage in this side of glory.

The prince of the air rages against God’s church. His armies are ever watchful for this most effective weapon against the powers of darkness – the single soul engaged in pure worship before the One True God.

Too many of us fail to respect the power of worship.

Like children who have discovered a live grenade and toss it in a game of catch, we sometimes worship unawares that we’ve drawn the attention of evil forces hoping to shut us down before we realize what we’ve uncovered.

The enemy often seeks someone lurking inside God’s house to use against God’s children. 2 Samuel 6 is a lesson for us all that there is always more at work than we see:

The nation of Israel celebrated a great victory. They had recovered the Ark of God. They carried it along and rejoiced before God when suddenly, one of the oxen stumbled. Uzzah, assigned to escort the Ark, reached out to steady it. God struck and killed him.

The Ark was the embodiment of God’s presence with Israel. The poles designed for transporting were to prevent anyone from touching it. Uzzah violated this prohibition.

One of the mysteries of God we can barely grasp is His Holiness – His “otherness” from us. His voice was hard for the Israelites to bear. His presence overwhelming. His holiness so beyond us in our fallen state we dare not reach out and handle that which is holy.

The incident angered David. It left him sobered and afraid, this potent reminder that His Father God was also powerful, holy, and worthy of complete obedience.

At first, David refrained from bringing the Ark to the City of David. He placed it in the house of “Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.”  2 Samuel 6:11b

Thus, God demonstrated to David that while it can be a fearsome, holy responsibility to invite God into your household, He brings blessing along with His powerful presence.

As the Israelites processed the Ark into the City of David, David danced and worshiped before the Lord with abandon. It was noteworthy to the biblical writer that the king wore a linen ephod. David worshiped unguarded. His public worship demonstrated his complete adoration of the Lord.

His worship was so free and exuberant, he leapt and danced. This battle-hardened warrior set aside his armor and pride to yield himself wholly to the act of worship.

Satan found a willing weapon against David within his own household. Michael, David’s wife, daughter of Saul, “looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart.”

We despise most, what reminds us what we lack.

It is true now, that even within the church, there are lurking wolves, stunted sheep, and posers whose hearts fester envy, hatred, and all manner of evil against those who dance like crazy men and women before the Lord, against those who offer pure worship in the name of Jesus to the One True God.

Samuel continues his story in verse 20, “And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!””

Ahh, the sarcasm intended to wither David’s joy and exuberance before God. Michal set herself up as “above all that.” She tried to bring David in line by painting him as an unsophisticated, thoughtless fool.

There are those within the visible church who try this same tactic on those in Christ they see as an embarrassment. Those foolish enough to take the Bible literally, who publicly speak of obedience and submission, those who follow God openly with guileless hearts.

David doesn’t fall prey to Satan’s snare in this moment. Even without armor, he enjoys the protection of the One True God he has worshiped with abandon.

David sees through Michal and replies, “And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes.

David has seen battle for the Lord. He has taken responsibility for the Ark of God. He knows the One he worships and this sets his priorities in right order. He withstands the scorn – even within his own household – unashamed.

Consider this then, when the minefield laid out to wound you falls within familiar territory – your community, your church, your home.

When faced with friendly fire, be unafraid to worship with abandon. Instead, dance like a crazy man right into the arms of freedom.

Worship offered in the name of Jesus to the One True God is a raised fist against the enemy on this outpost of glory until He comes.

Ask God for the courage to worship with abandon even in the face of a mocking world.

**I invite you to discover a powerful podcast on blog talk radio called Christian Devotions Speak Up, hosted by Scott McCausey. This week, he features an interview with a writer with whom you are probably too familiar. No Cowardly Christians Allowed with Lori Roeleveld

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    The Conversation

  1. Marge says:

    Beautiful and timely article.

  2. Cindy says:

    Lori, this is a fantastic article and well needed. God bless you richly and may your pen and praise never waiver!