A few years back, well-known worship leader, Matt Redman came out with a small devotional booklet called the ‘Unquenchable Worshipper’. I read it through almost the moment it hit the shelves. I have held onto this treasure as it truly is timeless and always inspiring no matter what year or season I am in when I pick it up again. I want to take us through this special little booklet together, chapter by chapter, highlighting things that shine through and hopefully will inspire you the way they’ve inspired me.
CH.1 The Unquenchable Worshipper
“”Enter the unquenchable worshipper. This world is full of fragile loves – love that abandons, love that fades, love that divorces, love that is self-seeking. But the unquenchable worshipper is different. From a heart so amazed by God and His wonders, burns a love that will not be extinguished. It survives any situation and lives through any circumstance. It will not allow itself to be quenched, for that would heap insult on the love it lives in response to.”
The bible is full of unquenchable worshippers people who refused to be dampened, discouraged or distracted in their quest to glorify God. I love the heart attitude of the prophet Habakkuk who decided he would CHOOSE to respond to God’s worth, no matter how bleak a season he found himself in:
The the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in my God my Savior. (Habbakuk 3:17)
I recently heard the story of Fanny Crosby, the American hymn writer who lived during the 19th Century. She described a life-changing incident that happened to her as a baby:
“When about six weeks old I was taken sick and my eyes grew very weak and those who had charge over me poulticed my eyes. Their lack of knowledge and skill destroyed my sight forever. As I grew older they told me I should never see the faces of my friends, the flowers of the field, the blue of the skies or the golden beauty of stars. Soon I learned what other children possessed, but I made up my mind to store away a little jewel in my heart which I called “Content.”
In fact, Fanny was only eight years old when she wrote this song:
O What a happy soul am I! Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world, Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy , that other people don’t.
To weep and sigh because I’m blind,
I cannot, and I won’t.
This contented worshipper went on to write about 8,000 hymns of praise. Those thousands of songs were simply the result of a fire that burned in her heart for Jesus and could not be put out. Many people might have chosen the path to bitterness and complaint as their response to God; but she chose the path of contentment and praise. The choice between the two paths faces us each day, with every situation that’s thrown our way. Bitterness dampens and eventually destroys our love for God. It eats away at the statement “God is love” and tells us He is not faithful. But contentment does the opposite: It fuels the heart with endless reasons to praise God.
At the end of Song of Songs comes a fantastic declaration of unquenchable worship:
Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. (Song of Songs 8:6,7)
Too often my worship is tamed by the complications and struggles of this world. But I love to be in a place where my fire for God cannot be quenched or washed away, even by the mightiest rivers of opposition – I long for a worship that can never be extinguished.
THE HEART OF GOD LOVES A PERSEVERING WORSHIPPER WHO, THOUGH OVERWHELMED BY MANY TROUBLES, IS OVERWHELMED EVEN MORE BY THE BEAUTY OF GOD.
“Jesus Himself used the words from psalms of lament as He suffered the cruelty of the cross. In agony of heart, mind, body and spirit, He cried out, ” My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” from Psalm 22:1. It is the cry of torment, yet of strangely submissive devotion. The Son of God then breathes His last with a verse from Psalm 31 – another lament psalm: “Into your hands I commit my spirit” (v.5.). Amazingly, at this point of utter torment, Jesus is offering up one of the common worship songs of His day. And in so doing He becomes and inspiration to us. Whatever trials lie ahead in this life, unquenchable worshippers are found with a song of undying worship on their lips.”