Inside the castle it was dark. The only light came from windows set high in the walls. The other source of light was the gates that opened up into the garden. Because of the light streaming in, the intricate details of the castle were noticeable. At one point, our guide drew our eyes upward to the second storey. He pointed out that the second storey doors were open and the chandelier had been lit. His next comment explained the extra hustle and bustle of the facility staff. When the chandelier is lit and the upper doors are open, the king and queen are coming for a visit.
As we stood in the castle that day, maids scurried around dusting and vacuuming with extra enthusiasm. The gardeners were busy working on the fountains. Others were busy manicuring the trees and flowerbeds. All was to be made ready for royalty to descend. The king and queen were on their way and all would be perfect.
I don’t always live my life with that sense of urgency. I often have the gates to my life shut, the lights turned off. I am hoping no one will notice the messes that have accumulated around me. I am not wanting to draw extra attention to myself. If I blend into the background then extra scrutiny will pass over me. I desire Jesus presence in my life, but I do not always want to change, grow and develop the way He desires me to. Too often I want my immaturity to be accepted and allowed. The King’s visit leaves no room for that.
Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty— he is the King of glory. Psalm 24:7-10 (NIV)
Wake up, you sleepyhead city! Wake up, you sleepyhead people! King-Glory is ready to enter. Who is this King-Glory? God, armed and battle-ready. Wake up, you sleepyhead city! Wake up, you sleepyhead people! King-Glory is ready to enter. Who is this King-Glory? God-of-the-Angel-Armies: he is King-Glory. Psalm 24:7-10 (MSG)
If an earthly king comes to visit and all must be made right and prepared, how much more so when entering into the presence of the King of Kings? The gates of the city were deemed too low and it was as if the people were wanting to lift the top off the gates to make enough room for the presence of God to enter!
When I worship, I wonder if I sometimes even forget to open the gates. My heart is not always ready to trumpet the praises of the King. My heart is sometimes closed off not really wanting God to work in my life. In those moments, my worship is not really worship at all but a limiting of God and a vain attempt to reduce His influence in my life.
But when I open the gates of my heart, when I cherish the presence of the King, worship is a sweet experience. It is a delight to enter in and announce with a loud voice that my God is the King who reigns over and in all with justice, righteousness and love. He is the One in charge, ruling over all. It does not get better than living in His presence and abiding in Him.
I choose to throw open the gates of my heart, to lift the top off with exuberance. I do not want to be a sleepy, blend in with the crowd worshipper but one who is purposefully engaged in the worship of the Most High. May my heart and life be His well prepared throne room. He is the King of Glory.