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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Armed and Ready

Worship as preparation for life.

Worship and Public Policy (5) 

Let the saints be joyful in glory;
Let them sing aloud on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand…
Psalm 149.5, 6

Prepared how?
We said that one of the purposes of worship is to prepare the saints of the Lord to live out the joy of their salvation—the song of their Creator/King—in every area of their lives. But how are we prepared? What happens in us during worship, and what are we given that enables us to fulfill this high and sacred calling of serving God in all areas of life?

Our psalm explains: As we enter the Presence of the Lord in worship, exulting in glory, we encounter the living God as more than just an idea or a far off, otherworldly Being. We encounter Him as a living and present Being, the Creator and King of the universe, and we know His Presence and power, penetrating to the depths of our souls and lifting us above our merely mundane experience into an unseen realm of glory where we exult.

In worship, rightly conceived and conducted, our minds and imaginations expand beyond their everyday thoughts and dreams, stretched and molded to fill up with the glory of the heavenly throne room, to be conformed to the mind of Christ, and to see the world as He does (1 Cor. 2.16).

In such worship, our hearts are flooded with the living water of Christ’s Spirit (Jn. 7.37-39), Who gives us a new heart, a malleable, spiritual heart, which is capable of affections of joy and exultation empowering us in ways more than we’ve ever dared to ask or think (Ezek. 36.26, 27; Eph. 3.20).

Our values and priorities are adjusted and confirmed, so that the set of our will becomes something like, “Whatever my Creator and King requires of me, I will gladly and unhesitatingly do!” (Ex. 19.7, 8)

So that in worship, our souls are transformed and we rejoice to know and magnify the Lord, to be transformed in soul and life, and to be sent by Him into the everyday circumstances and vocations of our lives (Jn. 20.21).

Prepared with what?
In that state of transformation and exulting, we are given a “two-edged sword”. In ancient Israel the armies of the Lord worshiped before they went into battle, because they understood that they needed the Lord and His strength for their sortie into the “public square”. So they worshiped, then they took their swords in hand to do battle with their enemies.

In our day the Church does not bear the sword of warfare, but the sword of the Spirit. The Word of God equips us for every good work, in every area of life, for all aspects of culture, society, and life. This includes whatever opportunities may arise in the arena of public policy (Heb. 4.12; 2 Tim. 3.15-17). Whether our calling is to talk about public matters, support or elect candidates, or augur for policies more in line with the good and perfect will of God, the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are able to equip us for such good works, and to arm us for whatever conflict we may face.

God intends the light of His truth, the leaven of His grace, and the preserving salt of His Word to permeate all aspects of our lives and everything we do. The more fully we are prepared with the Sword of the Spirit, the more likely we will be to wield it effectively for God’s glory.

Doing battle in the public square
These days Christians seem to have little stomach for battling in the public square over matters of public policy. We look for candidates we think we can support and policies we think should change, but as for the daily skirmishes of word and deed where public policy battles are won or lost, we tend to leave that to the professionals.

But, whether we choose to do so or not, we are participating in public policy, even if we only stand on the sidelines. As we have argued throughout this study on the Law of God and public policy, all Americans, being members of “We the people,” have an interest and stake in policymaking and can play important roles in shaping the moral, social, and cultural climate of our country.

Imagine how the moral climate of our day might be shaped if Christians, exulting in the glory of God, adorned with the grace of salvation, and armed with well-honed words from God, were to become active in all the loci and levels of public policy. It is not too much to believe that, by our faithful application of the teaching of God’s Word—beginning with His Law—into all areas of our lives, and by talking about and working to realize more of the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom in as many areas of culture and society as we can, that the goodness of God can once again begin to flourish in the land of the living (Ps. 27.13, 14).

And the preparation we need for wielding the Sword of the Spirit with such effects must begin in worship.

For reflection
1.  Should we expect the King and Lord to Whom we come in worship to be interested in matters of public policy? Explain.

2.  Is working in the public policy arena a good work? If so, how does Scripture apply in preparing us for it (2 Tim. 3.15-17)? How can worship help to tune our souls for such a calling?

3.  Meditate on Psalm 45.3-5. What does Jesus wield as He goes forth conquering and to conquer (cf. Rev. 6.1, 2)? Should we wield anything else?

Next steps—Preparation, Conversation: Should you become more involved in matters of public policy? How can worship help to equip you for this duty? Talk with another believer about these questions.

T. M. Moore

Our bookstore offers three resources to help you grow in knowledge of, love for, and obedience to the Law of God. Please check out The Law of God (click here), The Ground for Christian Ethics (click here), and A Kingdom Catechism (click here). The Law of God arranges all the statutes and commandments of God under one or another of the Ten Commandments. It can be a useful guide for reflection as part of your daily time with the Lord. For The Ground for Christian Ethics and A Kingdom Catechism, read the table of contents and listen to the audio excerpts to learn more about each book.

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ReVision comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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