In Revelation 4 we see a picture of heaven and the worship around the throne of God. There are some intense displays of creativity and passion. One particular aspect I want to bring attention to is the example set by the Elders seated around the throne of God. It says they are sitting on thrones themselves, dressed in white with crowns on their heads. What’s interesting to note is their response when worship begins:
Rev 4:9-11 NLT
9 Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), 10 the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, 11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”
From one point of view, verse 10 sounds very “respectable”. Through the lens of respectability, one can picture these elders gently stepping down off of their thrones, carefully laying down their crowns, and prostrating themselves in the glory and splendor of our King. However, I want to draw your attention to two phrases.
The first is “fall down (Greek: piptō). This word means to “fall down prostrate,” but every way you look at the word it has a sudden, violent, forceful, or intense connotation to it. This isn’t a gentle, graceful, regal, or stately expression.
The second is “lay their crowns” (Greek: ballō). This is going to crack you up! This phrase means “to throw or let go without caring where it falls,” or “to give over to one’s care uncertain about the result.” This is definitely not gently laying down their crowns. This is throwing them aside, jumping to the ground to worship.
In this passage we see the elders leading in passionate, expressive, and unashamed worship. This is our example. Growing closer to Jesus should result in more passion, and in more freedom in worship. Maturity looks like more passion and expression, not less.
My encouragement to you is this: As you grow closer to Jesus, grow in your passion and expression. Don’t allow the idea of what you think maturity is supposed to look like keep you from freely worshipping Him. Let the examples of the elders around the throne of God inpire you in your times of worship.