You see, I've had some pretty amazing highs lately, but I've also had difficult lows.
If you're like me, then when we're flying high on the thrills of what God has done for us –when we've seen miracles—well, then it's often easy to praise Him and enter His presence. But there are times when we feel a million miles away from God. Sometimes life has just beat us up, and other times we feel a weight of guilt or condemnation because of what we have or haven't done. We don't feel worthy of going to Him.
Most areas of life require us to be qualified in order to obtain something or to get a chance at something wonderful. Only the best students qualify for Harvard. Only qualified employees get raises, and only the most qualified get promotions. Competitions have qualifying rounds before the athlete can even get to the finals.
Perhaps this is why it's so easy for the devil to make us feel like we're not qualified to go to God. We know we're forgiven, but sometimes it's still hard to get past whatever's going on in our lives. But here's where the miracle comes in.
The Bible says to “enter His courts—His presence—with praise.” Praise, of course, is telling someone how great they are. But recently, on a Sunday when I was up on stage getting ready to lead a song and feeling a million miles away from God, I realized in a flash that we generally don't praise people for skills that we also have. We don't praise our equals. We praise those whose skills are beyond ours. We're amazed. We say, “That's incredible that they can do that!”
In fact, the greater the gap is between our level and theirs, the greater our praise naturally is.
In an instant, the miracle of worship swept over me.
We may be feeling a million miles away from God. The devil might be telling us we're not worthy to enter His presence because He is perfect and we are not.
But that very fact that He is always perfect—that's what maintains the miraculous reality, which is this: The more beat up and weary and mistake-ridden I am, the more qualified I am to tell Him how much greater and more perfect He is than me. Remember when Jesus talked about the tax collector and the pharisee?
The devil might be telling me I am unworthy, but the irony is that the more unworthy I am, the more qualified I am to praise Him that He IS still worthy of praise. That He isn't beat up and weary. That He is still perfect.
How incredible it is that when I most need the comfort and strength of His presence, I am also the most qualified to praise Him and enter His presence!
How miraculous it is that the more I realize I need Him, the more qualified I am to do what brings me to where I can receive from Him!
And how overwhelmingly loving and generous it is of our God to make His own unchanging self the standard that upholds this amazing reality!
So the next time the devil taunts you with your unworthiness to worship, just remind him that your unworthiness is exactly what makes you so very qualified to praise the One who is always worthy. And be ready to receive the touch of His presence in your life!