Senses of Worship, Part 2: I Saw the Lord (June 1992)

By Matt Dabbs

Senses of Worship, Part 2

by Ken Young
June, 1992

The year was 1985. For those of us with 3-year-old sons it was the year of He-Man and “I have the power!” Like many parents I was concerned with how a hero shrouded in violence and sorcery would impact my impressionable child. On several occasions I contemplated the possibility of isolation as a solution. But He-Man was everywhere! He was on television every afternoon and on Saturday mornings. He was celebrated in toy stores, in coloring books, on cereal boxes, and on T-shirts.

One evening while driving home from work, the Lord led my thoughts to a plan that would steer my son’s heart away from an unhealthy obsession with He-Man and forever change my family’s vision of Jesus Christ. I was thinking about my efforts to persuade my son to see Jesus the Lamb as a much greater hero than He-Man. But somehow the two images had not seemed to match up in his young, action-oriented mind. Then it hit me. Jesus is not just Lamb – he is also Rider on the White Horse.

One of my favorite texts was Revelation 19:11-16:

I saw heaven open and there before me was a white hoorse, whose rider is called Faithful and True … His eyes are like blazing fire … The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses … On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

It occurred to me, why not make a battle song out of this text and let the victorious image of Jesus as Parthian warrior be impressed on my son’s heart?

I went home and started work on the music that evening. It was finished by midnight. That next day I tried it out on my young warrior and soon we were singing it everywhere we went. Fire would burn in both our hearts as we pictured Jesus in all his heavenly glory and might. It must have happened gradually, but several weeks later it dawned on my wife and me that He-Man had become history. Our son’s new hero had become the Rider on the White Horse.

Soon our whole family was singing the song. Harmony was added and the whole church joined in. It became the most requested song of the children in the congregation. Child after child would come up to me after services with elaborate pictures they had drawn of the Rider and his horse.

I then realized that something had been missing in how we looked at our Savior. We had taken him down from the cross, placed him in a tomb, and that was it – he was dead. In every worship experience I could remember while growing up, I had only seen Jesus as dying or dead. I had always been looking down and had failed to lift my sight to heaven and witness the dazzling glory of a resurrected Christ.

I am reminded of John’s experience in Revelation, chapter 1:

I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me.
And when I turned I saw … someone “like a son of man” ….
His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow,
and his eyes were like blazing fire.
His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace,
and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters …
His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

The Bible goes on to say that John’s first reaction to the glory of Jesus was to be overwhelmed and it seems he fainted. But Jesus didn’t let him stay down long. With a tender hand he lifted John to his feet and invited him to enjoy his spectacular glory. I believe this is what my son experienced in his young heart. His new hero captivated his focus with such a commanding presence. And, aren’t we all yearning for such captivity?

Throughout the Bible we read of the manifestation of God’s presence. It was almost always accompanied by a brilliant display of light. This light was known in Hebrew as shekinah, meaning “to dwell or to reside with.”

In Exodus, Moses daringly asked God to show him his glory. God granted him this request. The experience had a profound effect on Moses emotionally and physically.

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord (Exodus 34:29).

This glorious light was present in the tabernacle, in the temple, and at the transfiguration of Jesus. And let’s not forget, it must have also been part of Adam and Eve’s experience in the garden. I wonder if their faces, like the face of Moses, were radiant after seeing God’s glory. If so, you can imagine how their misery grew even deeper when, after being driven from his presence, they looked into each other’s faces and realized a light was fading that would not return?

Something deep within me longs for the day when I will bask in the brilliant presence of God. Paul talks about this deep desire in Romans 8:22-25 and in 2 Corinthians 5:1-5. I want to gaze into his glory as I stand before his throne. I want to not only feast my eyes on the Rider on the White Horse, but I want to embrace him as he welcomes me home.

Until then, I want to enjoy every moment of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in my life as I worship God. I may not be able to witness his glory in a physical sense, but Jesus has provided a connection to heaven through his Spirit that carries my heart into his radiant light.

There is great awakening occurring in the church today that is causing people to abandon their fears and guilt and look into the face of Jesus. As a worship leader I am blessed to always be looking at the faces of my brothers and sisters as we worship God together. There is a growing radiance in an increasing number of those faces. This radiance is most evident in the children. But then, they have always been able to see the Lord with the clearest vision.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14,15).

Lord, like children, let us enter your presence. Let us lift our eyes and see you in your glory. Let us listen as you proclaim to all creation, “I HAVE THE POWER!” Amen.Wineskins Magazine

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Profile photo of Matt DabbsThis author published 1584 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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