Pastor, preacher, and author of the mid-20th century, A.W. Tozer wrote “This may be hard for some to admit, but when we are truly worshiping and adoring the God of all grace and of all love and of all mercy and of all truth, we may not be quiet enough to please everyone.”
Psalm 34:3 says “O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together.” [NASB]
To magnify means to ‘make large, to make great, to show the greatness of, or to make large through honor.’ Just as a magnifying lens enlarges the image of a seen object, when we worship the Lord, as the Psalmist exhorts, we enlarge our personal view of God. Although the magnifying glass, in the natural, doesn’t make the object that it’s viewing any larger than it actually is, worship does not make God any larger than He actually is. Magnification simply enlarges the viewer’s perspective and allows details to be seen that were hidden when the magnification was absent. So, worship magnifies or enlarges the worshiper’s perspective of God and in the process reduces the size and power of everything else happening in our time and circumstance.
When Mary, the mother of Jesus, was presented with the challenge of being the mother of God, she immediately responded in worship saying, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.” (KJV) When the Holy Spirit interrupted Peter’s message to the Gentiles in Acts 10, the text says that the onlookers “…heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God….” (KJV) Mary saw beyond her experience through magnifying the Lord in worship, and when the Holy Spirit came upon the Gentiles, they could do nothing less than worship and magnify the Lord. Their spirits had been enlarged and so they cried out with joy giving honor to the Giver. The first heart-response of both Mary and the Gentiles was to magnify the Lord in worship and adoration.
May we, the worshipers of God in this generation, magnify the Lord, giving Him the honor and glory that He is worthy of. As we magnify Him through worship, may our challenges become small by comparison, our desires to know and worship Him become large, and may we “not be quiet enough to please everyone” but Him in the process.
-Glenda Malmin (Instructor, Portland Bible College)