Letter from Cody: Australia – May 2011
The worship wars in society are nothing new. War over worship predates even the creation of this earth, when the awful mystery of iniquity began to creep into the heart of Lucifer as he coveted the homage and worship given to Christ. Since that dreadful entrance of sin, worship has been a center stage battle in the great controversy, so it should not surprise us when we see the devil’s attacks on true worship today. It has been one of his favorite assaults from the very inception, but praise God, Jesus has lifted the standard of and exemplified true worship. “Christ’s work was to establish an altogether different form of worship. He had come to the world as a man, that he might meet humanity where it was, and show men what constituted true worship.” Signs of the Times, September 16, 1897. True worship joyfully overflows from the heart to our loving Creator. “Religion is not to be confined to external forms and ceremonies. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship.” Desire of Ages, 189. It is only when the burden of our heart is full obedience to our Creator that we can come into His presence to “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Psalm 29:2. The worship gimmicks that have become so commonplace today are distractions leading us away from the real purpose and motive of true worship. If we are to unite among the worshipping angelic throngs, understanding true worship needs to become the goal of our lives and this comes from studying Christ’s demonstration of what constitutes true worship and practicing it in our lives, for “It is working together with Christ that is true worship.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 24. May we be living examples of the true worship that soon will fill the earth made new!
I am very thankful to have returned back from autumn into spring again. About a week ago, I returned from a blessed trip “down under,” where the frosts of winter are on their way instead of the gradual growth of spring. Doug Hurley from Autumn Leaves Ministry had organized a campmeeting in Australia and then a speaking tour from the south island to the north island of New Zealand. Our first stop was the campmeeting held at a Christian camp out in the “bush” of Australia, about an hour away from Cooranbong where Ellen White labored for a number of years and helped to establish Avondale College. The campmeeting began the day we landed, but what a blessing it was to fellowship with those who are striving to live and share the message of truth. Jeff Wehr and I were the main speakers, and the days were full with each of us giving two adult meetings a day, a youth meeting and a children’s meeting. During the children’s meetings, I shared pictures and stories from various mission fields, encouraging them to take a stand for God and to be missionaries for Him. The youth meetings took a slightly different twist as we looked at young men and women in the Bible and the noble stands they took for God and how God is calling us to take a noble stand for Him today. Then with those who did not fit into either the youth or children’s classes, we studied various aspects of the life of Christ with the goal of knowing Him more. We were blessed to be there, and many shared what a blessing it had been to them, as well. After the campmeeting, it was across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand to meet and share with believers there. We worked our way up from Christchurch to Auckland before heading back to spring again. God has His faithful believers around the world who are standing for Him, be they in Africa, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand or here at home, those who are seeking to “worship Him in spirit and in truth.” May we pray for our fellow-believers around the world that we each may understand the deeper meaning of true worship and one day gather together in the grandest campmeeting imaginable when we worship our God face-to-face!
Yours in the hope of our Savior’s soon return,