GOD’S LONGING TO BE JOINED TO MAN
Do not think that God wants you to bow before Him, as though He were an idol. He does not want you to think of Him as being on a lofty throne. He wants to get off His throne and be in you. Even if you live in a most humble abode, He wants to be there too, because you are there. He wants to be in you. He is tired of being in heaven.
Do not think I am going too far. Isaiah 66:1-2 says, “Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”
In these verses the Lord indicates that He has been sitting on His throne and seems to be tired of it. He has been putting His feet on the footstool and has had enough of that. Where, He asks, is the place for Him to rest? He answers His own question by saying that He finds His home in those who are of a poor and contrite spirit. He desires to rest in man rather than remain in heaven. His rest comes when He is in those with a poor and contrite spirit.
TRADITIONAL WORSHIP VERSUS WORSHIP IN SPIRIT
Those who worship idols do so by bowing down before them. But idols are false gods, made of clay or wood, or at best gold. They are not spirit. Our God, in contrast to them, is Spirit; He can come into us. Do not treat God like an idol, by bowing down before Him; that is not the way He wants to be worshipped. Suppose there is a delicious drink on the table, containing all the ingredients it needs to taste just right. Instead of drinking it, you bow before it and pay homage to it. The glass would say, “Foolish one! Why are you kneeling there? If you leave me on the table, we both suffer. Stand up! Pick me up and drink me! Drink me!”
This is the relationship God wants. I know you find this hard to believe because of the way you have been brought up. I was raised in a Christian family and taught to worship in a traditional way. I might run around and be noisy outside a church building, but once I stepped inside I would be reverent. I would walk in slowly and quietly. I would sit down, bow my head, and pray. Such is the so-called worship. I practiced that from my boyhood until I was almost twenty. But I never touched God.
One day, however, I heard a gospel message. While I was walking home that afternoon, that message was working in me. I was not bowing before God, but right then I took that glass and drank it!
Do you think I am talking wildly to say that I drank God? Consider the conversation the Lord Jesus had with the Samaritan woman in John 4. He sat by that well, waiting for that thirsty woman to come. She was the one whose thirst needed to be quenched; the Lord asked her to give Him a drink just to make her aware of this. Everyone who wants to drink of the Lord Jesus has to deal with the matter of sin. When the Samaritan woman asked Him for the water, He raised this issue by telling her to come back with her husband. The mention of a husband touched the sinful life she was leading; if she wanted to drink the living water, she had to confess her sins. Her reply was to switch the subject to the matter of worship. Then the Lord told her that the real worship to God was to worship Him as the Spirit in our spirit (4:24).
Do you see that the Lord Jesus was there at that well for her to drink of Him? He told her, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall by no means thirst forever” (4:14). This water was simply Himself. He was there before her as a drink. Why would she talk to Him about worship? He was no longer on the throne in heaven. Now He was on earth, offering Himself to her, not to be worshipped but to be taken into her as a drink. John 4:14 and 24 strongly show us that to drink of Christ as the living water is the real worship to God as the Spirit in our spirit.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)