“Remember that this is the one thing you do here on earth that is practice for heaven.”

Our son-in-law often reminds his congregation of this as he welcomes them to join him in worship during their weekly service. The first time I heard him say it I realized that I had never thought of it this way before.

When I come before God in worship, whether in a group setting like a church service or in the privacy of my time alone with him, it’s a foretaste of what we will all be doing one day as we are told in this passage of Revelation. ‘Every living creature in heaven and earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them’ will be worshipping him (Revelation 5:13a).

We are quite literally practicing for heaven! When I began to think of it this way, I found that it changed both my attitude and my actions. Instead of focusing on what the people around me were doing, what I didn’t like about the song or the leader, or what I was going to do when I finished spending time alone with God, I visualized myself before the throne of God as it talks about in Revelation.

Initially it was very emotional for me because I found myself weeping any time I sang or even prayed. Picturing myself focussed solely on ‘the Lamb who was slain’ changed my perspective and my heart in a way I had never imagined. It touched me in a deep place as I thought about who he is, instead of my list of requests or challenges that I am facing. And it has changed my worship experience!

Next time you are invited into God’s presence to worship, whether communally or individually, remember that you are practicing for heaven! Take a minute before you start to lay aside those things that distract you, and then focus your heart and mind on the one who you will worship through all eternity with every other living thing. Reflect on his character, his attributes, his many gifts because remember, every good and perfect thing is from him!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the incredible blessing of being able to worship you while I am still here on earth. Help me to set aside those things that distract me today, and instead focus my heart and mind on truly giving you all the honor and glory and praise. Amen.

Throughout this Day: Before you start to worship, take a minute to empty your mind of all the distractions. Then picture yourself before the throne of the Most High God, giving him your singular focus and praising him like it’s just the two of you and no one else around.

Tags: praise Revelation 5 anticipate worship
Photo Credit: Joey Huang on Unsplash