“Romancing The Throne, A Lifestyle of Praise & Worship Born in Heaven” is a spiritually-inspired book about the true essence of being a Christian and a child of God. This is the author’s own way of explaining the “patterns” or “methods” the Lord has ‘shown him on the mountain.’ These patterns are employed in Heaven and are to be implemented here on earth, but the author notes that he is not laying out a liturgical approach to God. He just wants to clear out how real praise and worship must be done. The portion in the Introduction explains what ‘Romancing the Throne’ is all about.
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Trammel (2003) persuades Christians to love God and show their being Christians by actions and not through a shallow way of loving God. He explains every subject or theme in his book with Bible passages, personal experiences and feelings, and leads the readers to the true way of Christianity and of their being children of God.
Romancing God’s throne is ‘wooing’ God in order to have a sweet and heartfelt relationship. “Only after tender and patient devotion will the seed of relationship bloom into the full and sweet flower of romantic love.” The words are poetic and romantic; they evolve out of a sincere love for God, just like a lover who is always submissive to his beloved, whatever she says, whatever she wants.
Our relationship with Jesus Christ should be like the relationship of lovers, where one is always seeking for the betterment of the other. To attain a romantic relationship with God’s throne, we should praise and worship Him, and by being His fervent, obedient worshippers and followers of his Son, who is our Messiah – the Lord Jesus. We can also minister to the Lord and bless Him with all sincerity, honesty, purity, and openness of heart. We should continue to praise and bless Him until we attain a permanent relationship and receive blessings from Him, and as we continue to love him, our characters become more like His. We have to thank God’s blessings everyday and ask for his guidance, to continue the relationship every minute, every second of the day.
God’s Plans, Not Man’s
There are different ways of praising and worshiping God. While others feel that solemnity and contemplative silence before God mean praise and worship, some also feel that keeping our thoughts on God throughout the day and living “honorably before Him because of conscious awareness of Him” constitute praise and worship.
Worship does entail the offering of our bodies to God in holy devotion. Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service”. In worshipping God, we should have a clean heart, and not be hypocritical in our devotion. If we are for the Lord, we do it through actions and with clean hearts. There should be no reservations or doubts in our hearts and minds. If we are for the Lord, then we are for Him.
“True praise and worship are always centered on God and Jesus His Son, not us.” (13) This means we have to give our devotion, praise and worship, all the time and not just when we are in the mood of doing so. “Having a consciousness of God and a sincere desire to please Him is extremely commendable to Him.” (13)
We have to show that we worship Him by living a simple and Christian-like life, or God-centered lifestyle; meaning we are not forced of doing so. We do it wholeheartedly. The figurative speech revealed in this section of the book is like that of a marriage between two people with devotion to each other. And married people should remain like real lovers, always loving one another; there are no boring moments.
Spiritual Dedication – Akin to Marriage; Marital Consummation – Akin to Praise & Worship
The “acts” of praise and worship could be compared to two people in love. They devote their whole life, their whole being and time to each other; they live “together in the most intimate ways with tenderness, purity, passion, and love.”
God’s people are involved in the everyday life, but they remain devoted to the Lord in the New Covenant, similar to a married couple who are in a covenant. But we have to do things to show our love by worshiping Him, i.e. a Holy Spirit-led praise and worship with a correct, corresponding attitude. “Faith without works is dead, praise and worship without specific acts of Holy Spirit-led expressions is also dead, genuine faith produces action, and so does praise and worship.” (14) God sets rules and ways for our relationship. When He established a relationship with the Israelites, through Moses, he laid out specific things to be done. God has a specific way for his people to approach Him.
“Praise and worship that pleases God must flow from hearts focused on Him and desirous to please Him and love on Him.” (16)
Transformed, Not Merely Informed
We have to show our love for the Lord, not by mere singing and dancing but by showing our obedience and love for him. The love that we have should be shown through our pure thoughts, words, and deeds; we have to be pleasing to the Lord. We are in love with Him, therefore we have to show this love by being obedient to him, otherwise, our love becomes a hypocritical love. We have to be transformed and not merely informed. We have to be selfless in our love, and submit ourselves to God. We have to seek, and thereby choose the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Be humble in His presence.
Moreover, we also have to understand each other and be willing to submit to God. We have to know our beliefs, understand correctly what God wants us to know, and not depend on other people’s interpretations.
Not Easy, But Simple
Following God is not easy, but simple. Sometimes it is just simple to obey God because if we disobey Him, we will die spiritually. The Lord requires that we become selfless so that He too can give everything that we want of Him. As in His teachings, we have to forget everything, leave everything to Him, so that we can follow him in his Kingdom. “Did He not lay down His glory and life so that He can bring us to his glory?”
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Obeying Him Involves Loving Them
“Them” refers to our brothers and sisters. Our relationship with the Lord involves our relationship with our neighbor. We cannot love Him if we cannot love our fellow man. “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” We have to show our love to God, and we cannot show this love if we have something against our neighbor. Before we offer something on the altar of the Lord, we have to see to it that we have nothing against our brother or sister. We can only show to the world that we are followers of Christ if we follow this commandment: “A new command I give to you, that you love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples if you love one another.” (22)
With God’s grace, we can have the power of God to overcome sin. In Galatians 5:16, we are “instructed to walk and live habitually in the Holy Spirit.”
1 – No Substitutes
Right after the Introduction, the next subject is “substitutes”. A good thing should not be good if it’s not for God. “To love and know Him ought to be our goal.”
“The Scriptures of God – No substitute for the God of the Scriptures”
Scriptural knowledge about God should never take the place of our relationship with Him. If we know and quote the Scriptures, we have to be guided by the Holy Spirit, because even the devil can quote the Bible. The devil debated with Jesus Christ on the Word of God when He was tempted in the desert for forty days.
“Sloppy Agape – No substitute for God’s Holy Love”
God loves us so much that He does not want us to remain in our state of sin. His love transforms us.
“No substitute for Godliness through grace – wholly Holy”
God’s grace enables us to say No to ‘ungodly’ things or to sin. But it does not force us, instead, it allows us to choose Him. This grace leads us to Him.
“We must choose if we want to be chosen”
When God said that “many are called but few are chosen,” this is because they (those who chose sin) really did not have the intention of choosing Him. They do not have God’s grace to choose him. They have chosen the path away from God. But when we choose to be with God, He equips us with the power to live holy through our personal relationship with Him. With this, we can conquer sin and Satan. But like Paul, we have the responsibility to discipline our bodies so that the Holy Spirit can control our lives.
“Excuses for Sin – No Substitute for Holiness”
We have to overcome sin to preach holiness, and we can only do this through God’s spiritual mercy and grace. Grace does not enable us to overcome temptation, but it gives us the strength to overcome it.
Jesus also struggled against sin and he was triumphant. In Matthew 26:36-43 and Luke 22:39-44, his sweat turned to drops of blood as he prayed when he struggled against sin. So intense was his dilemma that he cried to his Father to change his course of action if at all possible. Jesus was tempted but did not choose to sin. We too can resist sin through Jesus’ resurrection power over sin. If we could just focus our eyes and attention on Him, we too can overcome sin by deriving strength from the cross that we bear.
“Vessels of Honor”
In 2 Timothy 2:19-22, there are vessels of gold and silver, vessels of wood and earthenware in the house of the Lord. There are other vessels of dishonor that are for menial or ignoble use. And we can make the choice; if we can isolate ourselves from worldly corruption, we will be vessels of honor that the Master will use.
“Head Information – No Substitute for Heart Transformation”
Evil can triumph over men who submit to the devil himself. The devil is full of deception and pretension, and Jesus addresses the leaders of his time. They were like Satan and his angels, the hypocrites who pretended they were angels of light but actually they were angels of darkness. In the Old and the New Testaments, Satan and his angels are present to entice a man to get away from God. They are former angels in Heaven, but they are so envious and angry with God that they embraced Lucifer’s rebellion against darkness. And so they were thrown out of God’s realm, and now they are focused on leading man away from God. We should avoid this evil deception, and focus on our relationship with God. The truth has been revealed to us through Jesus Christ, but we should not suppress and hinder the truth through our wickedness, or else we will be condemned on the Day of Judgment. In Romans 2:5-11, it says: “… because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the Day of God’s wrath when His righteous judgment will be revealed. God will give to each person according to what he has done.” (Quoted in Trammel, 2003)
“Acknowledging Truth – No Substitute for Embracing It”
It’s not simply enough to believe in God, because the devil also believes in God. Following His commandments, loving and serving Him, and loving our brothers and sisters, are one of ways of showing our belief in God. “Obedience to the Lord is the inevitable and sure evidence of a life in love with Him and committed to Him.” (44)
“Presumption No Substitute for Genuine Faith”
God just asks us to trust Him, and by trusting Him we have to obey all that He asks of us to do, and love Him with all our hearts and minds. By this, He will flood us with His own righteousness and love. We also have to communicate with Him through prayer and confession. If you are not obeying Him, you must confess this to Him and repent.
“Gather to lay hold of Him instead of to be seen by men”
We continue to search for God and his kingdom but we encounter too many hardships and difficulties. We attain dissatisfaction, not with the Lord but with the ways and things that we do and the everyday activities added to us. They become a burden. “Only the Lord Himself can satisfy the longing of our souls.” (48)
On the way and in the course of our search, we become transformed and we receive His abundant graces. There are hardships in meetings and fellowships. Our search for change in ourselves can only be met by God Himself when we encounter Him, and personally receive Him into our hearts and lives.
We also have to pass our way to the Cross, to our own Calvary. Through our own crosses, we come to know intimately Christ Jesus the Lord, and by knowing Him personally we allow Him to enter into our lives. Therefore, “we must repent.” (49)
The final passage in this part of the book is this: Therefore, with our eyes and heart set on Jesus and the eternal things above, let us always “Gather to lay hold of Him instead of to be seen by men.” (52)
“Earth-Borne (e) & Heaven-Born(e) Praise & Worship”
We are oftentimes burdened by the way and methods we do to worship God. Through tradition, we seem tired of doing, so we have to get out of this tradition. We only have to focus our worship on God. Our praise and worship should facilitate our interaction with the saints and the Lord. We have to follow the Holy Spirit in this interaction, but not to the point of communicating with the dead. There are worships that are earthly, borne out of man’s thinking, feelings, and opinions. But worships borne in Heaven are led by the Holy Spirit. It lifts our vision, our longing, and our whole being.
“Worship, the atmosphere of Heaven”
The atmosphere of Heaven is that there is continuous praising to God, or ceaselessly proclaiming, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was, who is, and is to come.” (Rev. 4:8b)
As we praise God, He also releases His Spirit into our midst. And if we don’t praise God, we turn our back on Him like what the children of Israel did in the wilderness. By continuously praising and worshiping Him, He will come and allow us to know Him better.
“Praise & Worship – Simply loving on God”
Praise and worship can be well attained in a solemn and quiet observance when the Spirit of the Lord can approach us and lead us to approach God. This quiet and tender approach can be likened to the way a married couple expresses their deepest affections and tenderness to each other. We have to approach the Lord without any fixed way of worshipping or any ritualistic mentality, but just “rest in the peace and love of His sweet, wonderful, awe-inspiring Presence as we magnify His name.” (62)
“Wilderness Tabernacle & Stages of Spiritual Growth”
The wilderness tabernacle and its surroundings are compared to the different stages we pass in our relationship with God. The three stages of spiritual maturity according to the apostle John is: “Children,” “Young Men,” and “Fathers”.
On the other hand, God gave his requirements to Moses on how the wilderness tabernacle and its surroundings were to be observed. The tabernacle was divided into two sections – “the Inner Court (known as the Holy Place), and ‘the Holiest of All’ (also known as ‘the Most Holy Place’ or ‘the Holy of Holies’).” (62) In this allegory, according to the Jews, the tabernacle is “the way,” the inner court “the truth,” and the Most Holy Place “the life.” This is in reference to John 14:6 when Jesus said that He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
The three areas of the tabernacle also correspond to “the body (the Outer Court; children), the soul (the Inner Court; young men), and the spirit (the Holy of Holies; fathers).” (62)
“The Holy of Holies” (a.k.a. The Holiest of All)
God revealed Himself to Moses and the High Priest. There is a reference here, in the exegetical interpretation of the Old Testament to the New Testament, and this is Jesus Christ. He is our High Priest, our only way to the Father.
“Pitfalls to Avoid in Praise & Worship” (A “How-To” Chapter)
The author guides the ‘saints’ (or the faithful) into what he calls spiritual maturity. This is required to be able to lead a mature spirituality, and we have to avoid the so-called 3P:
- Pride – Should we exalt people before they have become mature enough to lead a ministry? They may become too proud of their position and recognition, and so they easily fall away from the Lord, and they become like Lucifer who parted from God because of pride.
- Prey – since he has too much pride, he is an easy prey of the devil.
- Partial – God wants us to be fully developed in our spiritual life, and not only partial.
“Enter In” (Another “How-To Chapter) (85)
We must continue to grow and mature spiritually so that we are more able to recognize the Holy Spirit when he comes into our lives. The solemn observance in worship should continue to be observed, like playing the piano softly and “very freestyle” (the author’s experience). We have to be confident before the Lord and focus on Him and follow His leading. Our whole being is focused on Him because He is the only way
“A New Song – The Song of the Lord – Letting Go Of Our Ways and Methods So That We Can Experience JESUS”
We can sing our way to the Lord. We can always do it even if we don’t have the talent to do so. A prayer to God becomes a song and a very effective prayer if we allow ourselves to put our feeling to what we want to express to the Lord. If we do not know how to sing, the Holy Spirit will even guide us, and put some melody into our prayer. “Give to Him. Sing to Him. Bless Him. Love on Him. Dance with Him. Laugh with Him. Weep with Him if He so leads. Worship Him. Follow the leadings of His Spirit. Flow with Him and in Him and let Him have His way, now and forevermore.” (94) This is a passage full of information from the Holy Spirit.
“Preparations & Precautions for Prophetic Praise & Worship”
There are the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we can attain as we continue to praise and worship God. These gifts often occur during Spirit-led praise and worship. Worshipful music helps us get focused on God. We are more open and feel what we are praying through singing. Music is God’s way of making us aware and “get in touch” with His Spirit.
“Prophetic Praise and Worship”
When we continue praising and worshipping God, following His commandments, we come to be blessed by the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are really gifts, precious and rewards for our faithfulness, and for having a pure heart. These gifts are given to help us in our daily lives, and for overcoming the difficulties in the world. The gifts are also for God’s church to overcome this life and to make the Holy Spirit flow in her midst.
“Music & Praise – Weapons of Spiritual Warfare”
In the midst of praise and worship, the Lord will enter our hearts more than all other efforts and skills man could achieve. This can be done by asking – “wooing, welcoming, and ushering in the presence of God.” (135)
“If we keep our focus on God and on pleasing Him, He will lead us.” (135) There are times when the Lord would want to lead us to worship instead of preach, and this we have just to let flow God’s longing for us. Singing then becomes praising in the Lord’s very presence.
“A Primary Purpose of Prophecy”
Prophecy is God’s way of leading and teaching us to know the spiritual realms or that which can’t be reached by our physical senses. It is the eternal world that we haven’t known; prophecy helps us to discover, or at least, feel it. Lucifer and his army are always prepared to tempt man and bring him to eternal damnation. But God would not permit this. He won’t leave the man alone; He is always ready to respond with vengeance against Satan and his unholy army. God will then “arm” His people to fight the devil, not with “fleshy” things but with gifts of the Holy Spirit. Yes, we can fight the unholy army with ourselves after God has empowered us with the Holy Spirit. “He [God] will then use them [us, the saints] in the spiritual realm to enforce the victory of Jesus Christ over evil spirits and their kingdom of darkness.” (145)
Overview and Prayer
This is a summary of the book’s inspirational passages. The Lord is after a real relationship. We have to pour our hearts to the Lord in praise and worship. We have to focus our whole lives on him. Our ways are not His ways. We should rely on the Holy Spirit, rest on Him, and allow Him to enter our hearts. Rituals and traditional ways of worship don’t work. It’s how we do the praising and worshipping that God is after for.
- The conclusion: “It is a privilege and an honor beyond comprehension that we have been called and equipped to partake of “the Divine romance” with Jesus Christ.” (152)
- And a prayer: “Thank You, Lord Jesus, for offering Yourself to me as the Gift of Life.”
“O Holy Father, change me, I pray, as I give my all to You and Your Son. I say ‘give’ to You, but, in reality, I have been purchased for You by the blood of Your Son. I belong to You. Since I have truly received Your Son, I have given up the right to rule myself. Besides, Lord God, I have nothing to give You but what I have first received from Your hands. I owe my very existence to You. (155)
Trammel, Larry. Romancing The Throne, A Lifestyle of Praise & Worship Born in Heaven, Volume 6 of “The Highest Calling of All” Series. Ablaze Productions!, Inc., New Edition 2003.