Senses in Worship
During last night’s prayer group, we watched James Boll’s first lesson “How to Receive More Supernatural Revelation through all “Six” of your Senses” (Revelation Without Deception Course). It made me think back about a conversation I had with a friend Andrew Braine. He said that “if God gave us five senses to know the world, it doesn’t make much sense for us to not use all five of them in knowing him.”
Bringing human senses into the service of remembering God and his story is a wonderful thought. I would go further than Andrew by also acknowledging that God formed our senses not just so we might know the world through them, but also know him through sense experience. He intentionally formed us in this way to know him first, and then the world also.
After a youth group meeting where I specifically focused on the use of sense experience to make my point, I was delightfully surprised when one of the young ladies made a comment that challenged me to rethink my current position. She pointed out that the traditional five senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing are not adequate to capture the fullness of human experience. Senses like that of balance, pressure, and internal and external body temperatures are not even considered. I had to laugh at myself and my inadequate appreciation of the human experience scale and how we can be transformed through sense experience beyond those traditionally thought off.
I remember many occasions where a simple trust-fall (using our sense of balance) taught more in one minute than a eloquent persuasive speaker could have done in an hour (using our sense of hearing). I am provoked by the visual predominance of the Old Testament faith and worship rituals and how they understood God through their sense experiences of God and the sacrificial system, i.e. laying your hand on the sacrifice and feeling the life drain out of the beast as they die for your sins. I am struck by how often I have defended the full use of the senses in worship, yet discounted the non-traditionally mentioned senses.
Heb. 5:11-14 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
It seems clear to me that our senses have a vital place to fulfill in the operation of our faith and within the discernment of Good and evil. Scripture encourages us to train our senses for the work of the Kingdom. May I always be open to the ways God uses to impress upon us.