Worshiping at All Levels
As a former airline pilot based in Phoenix, Arizona, I have flown over the Grand Canyon many times at high altitudes—30,000 feet or higher. Being that high up, you can see the great expanse and grandeur of the canyon. The depth and large distinctions of that magnificent wonder can be experienced, even from six miles up.
A New Perspective
As I considered my experience with the Grand Canyon, I found a strong personal correlation to my worship of our great God and King. At the highest, most encompassing view, I worship God for His awesome greatness, His limitless expanse, His all-knowing ability, and His sovereign character, which is in control of all things at all times. This worship is right and true, and is where many folks spend most of their time worshiping God…and that’s good.
One day as I was flying from Columbus, Ohio to Los Angeles, California, I asked the air traffic controller if we could descend and give our passengers a tour of the Grand Canyon. Air Traffic Control gave me more than I expected and allowed us to descend to a mere 7,000-8,000 feet above the rim of the canyon. Further, they cleared our aircraft to make left and right turns so that the 150 or so people on board had a great view of the magnificent scene below. At that lower altitude, the colors, contours, and details began to explode. Everyone was thrilled and excited as they exited the Airbus in LA.
Worshiping God with a closer view inspires our worship to be more detailed. Now we find ourselves worshiping God not only in a broad, general way, but identifying His character as we learn of Him from the Bible. I love to worship Him as my Father, my shepherd, my Savior, my friend, and so much more.
At Ground Level
Living in Flagstaff, Arizona, just a 90-minute drive from the Grand Canyon, has allowed my wife and me to hike the south rim of the canyon many times, not only for our enjoyment but also for the great exhilaration of many vacationing and visiting friends. While the expanse of this wonder is no longer in view at rim level, the detail, complexity, character, and beauty are revealed, and sighs of wonderment are often heard from both new and regular rim travelers.
At “rim level” worship, I drill down more deeply into how God is my perfect Father, who will never leave me nor forsake me. He alone knows exactly what I need and administers it to me perfectly. He directs my path, corrects my missteps, forgives my sin, protects me from “the wolf” and puts a calling on my life. At the rim level, I worship God not simply for all the various character traits He possesses, but more so, for the intricate detail of each of His traits that make up His perfect Person.
He alone knows exactly what I need and administers it to me perfectly. He directs my path, corrects my missteps, forgives my sin, protects me from “the wolf” and puts a calling on my life.
Beneath the Surface
Finally, it is in hiking to the bottom of the canyon that you see the greatest detail and have the most all-encompassing sense, being surrounded by the great walls of the canyon some 4,000-5,000 feet tall. It is the depth and nearness to the canyon that allows you to get to know it more intimately.
This level of worship submerges us into the deep waters of growing intimacy with God. It is the fact that God is near and all around that causes our knowledge of, experience with, and longing for our triune God to explode. Surrounded by God, we learn to know and worship Him with the greatest of detail. As we know Him more deeply, we experience His holiness more regularly, confess more quickly, worship more fully, and believe with greater faith.
As we know Him more deeply, we experience His holiness more regularly, confess more quickly, worship more fully, and believe with greater faith.
God calls us to worship Him at all levels so that we will know Him more intimately, depend on Him more fully, and walk with Him faithfully. The journey of growing in the knowledge of the deep places of God is not simply in this time or era, it is a journey that spans eternity. Clearly, it is the single most important expedition of our eternal lives. Would you join me? I pray that you will!
God calls us to worship Him at all levels so that we will know Him more intimately, depend on Him more fully, and walk with Him faithfully.
Copyright © 2023 Paul Meldrum. All rights reserved
Paul Meldrum has been in the pastoral ministry since 2005. He is the Pastor Emeritus, an elder, and leads the Prayer Team at Flagstaff Bible Church. He also serves as pastoral oversight for the Flagstaff Christian School Board and leads a coaches Bible study at Northern Arizona University. He and his wife Ronna have been married since 1975, have 3 married children, who are serving the Lord in various capacities, and 14 grandchildren. Paul has been involved with The 6:4 Fellowship since 2015, and currently serves as Regional Director for the Mountain West Region and as a Renewal Coach for the 6:3 Discipleship. Paul finds great joy in serving Christ with his amazing wife, through encouraging pastors and their wives to develop a culture of prayer in their lives and in their churches.