Vigilant Worship

Worship  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  58:33
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Have you been to or seen different worship services and wandered which one is right or why some do it one way or another?
Moses is laying down the terms that God has determined for His people to watchfully/ Vigilantly / carry out in their religious practice of Worship
Notice they are not doing this in order to enter into God’s promise
The assumption here is that God’s people will do this in His rest (In the land that YHWH has given them to possess)
In other words Once you possess the promise salvation of YHWH, vigilantly conform your actions and practices of worship in the direction laid out in this passage.
The whole Chapter is sandwiched between this command v.1 & v.32
In this passage Moses lays out 5 responsibilities for vigilant worship that will help you stay the course in worshipping God In Spirit & Truth
Purge Idolatry
Utterly destroy is God’s command not partially/not mostly/ complete extermination of every form of worship that is not commanded by God
Every sort of material/ mystical/ Ideological worship that is not according to God’s desire has to be destroyed completely
1st commandment relays this truth Ex 20:3 and Deut 5:7 (repeated)
This is not negotiable to God
His people (Israel) would put Him to the test just a generation later because the generation prior did not heed to this instruction
Judges 2:10–13 “10 And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know Yahweh or even the work which He had done for Israel. 11 Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh and served the Baals, 12 and they forsook Yahweh, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked Yahweh to anger. 13 So they forsook Yahweh and served Baal and the Ashtaroth.”
This is reflected in the Put off/ Put on language in the NT
Romans 12:1–2 LSB
Therefore I exhort you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice—living, holy, and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may approve what the will of God is, that which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Ephesians 4:17–24 “17 Therefore this I say, and testify in the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their mind, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart. 19 And they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way— 21 if indeed you heard Him and were taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus— 22 to lay aside, in reference to your former conduct, the old man, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and to put on the new man, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
SO YOU & I MUST UTTERLY DESTROY ALL KINDS OF IDOLATRY/ FORMS OF WORSHIP IN OUR LIVES AND IN OUR CONGREGATIONAL WORSHIP THAT IS NOT DIVINELY PRESCRIBED
WE DO SO BY THE SPIRIT Rom 8:12-13
Romans 8:12–13 LSB
So then, brothers, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die, but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the practices of the body, you will live.
Just utter destruction of idol worship is not enough according to our text
God’s people are also responsible to
2. Seek & Worship God on His terms
They are to seek Him at the place that He would choose
Here we see again the sovereignty of God in worship
Not only is He sovereign in an abstract way He superintends every detail of worship including the place
In Ex 25-31 God gives detailed instructions on how His people are to worship/ Where they would worship/ who leads the worship in the tabernacle and later in the temple 1Kings 5-8 )
Those who would seek to worship God in a place where He didn’t specify like Saul in 1 Samuel 15 and 28 or even the Israelites in Ex 32 (Golden Calf) are met with opposition and judgment
We also have the testimony of our Lord in John 4 as hes asked about this very topic who responded in giving the same answer that God desires to be worshipped on His terms according to His spirit and His truth
YOU & I MUST CONFORM TO THIS IF WE ARE TO WORSHIP HIM
And be responsible to:
3. Avoid Man Centered Worship
Worship that seems right in your own eyes(v8)
Israel has been doing this in the wilderness
Mosses tells them once they get in the promise land , they can’t do this
At the heart of doing whatever is right in his own eyes is a sense of self centerdness
You tend to become the one deciding what’s right and wrong
This happens more when you’re experiencing safety
Moses puts this in perspective (you haven’t gotten your inheritance yet/ when you do and there is some sense of rest don’t think that you can do whatever you want to) v9 &10
Micah’s story in Judges 17 (he decides what he would do with the money he stole from his mother/ Makes an idol/ hires a priest/ then worships like he wants to)
So Let us by God’s grace be vigilant and responsible not to Make WOrship about how we feel
HB Charles’ story about he member that criticize worship and the pastor’s response
Instead focus on our responsibility to:
4. Enjoy your worship
Worship is to be a joyful experience
God intended His worship to be enjoyed
v6& 7 , 11 &12,
The attitude of your worship matters to God
When you worship you’re in His Presence (before YHWH)
His presence in your worship should draw out gladness
When you worship according to the blessings of YHWH v15. there is so much freedom
When you worship in His presence you are granted certain liberties to enjoy your daily lives
v17 &18 puts the guardrails of vigilant worship that His people should enjoy freely
Not Autonomously but according to His blessings extend to/ account for exceptional circumstances (v21) If it’s too far
You can enjoy worship in the presence of God knowing that His ways have accounted for every need and situation
Don’t make it something that is compulsory forced on you against your best interest
When you are careful to worship God on His terms/ engage in vigilant worship His presence will bring Joy and you will rejoice in worship and:
5. Avoid Double Minded Worship
Israel here is commanded in v 29-31 to be vigilant against being entrapped by idol worship
Moses tells them don’t even inquire how other forms of worship work
Going after and researching (experimenting/exploring) alternative worship is to be avoided
You should avoid trying to harmonize some other way of worship
The temptation is that we may not see any harm in it
We may even notice that it seems to be working in another setting
We may even say it’s not explicitly forbidden in the scriptures
so no harm no foul in researching about and adapting this other way of worship from our culture
this is according to this text double minded worship
In one mind YHWH worship in another culture
You and I must be careful not to be ensnared in this kind of worship
the reason_ the culture other false religions have done abominable acts against God and He has sovereignly declared all of their methods of worship unacceptable v31b
Joshua’s words in Joshua 24:14–15 “14 “So now, fear Yahweh and serve Him in integrity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve Yahweh. 15 “If it is evil in your sight to serve Yahweh, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh.””
The Lord also reminds us in Matthew 6:24 “24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
Here’s the catch every instruction God gave His people they could not obey
No matter how vigilant and careful we are, in and of ourselves we are incapable of worship in perfection
1. We cant utterly destroy other worship - BUT CHRIST HAS
2. We constantly fail to seek God and worship Him on His terms - BUT CHRIST HAS
3. We always find a way to make worship about ourselves - BUT CHRIST HAS ACCOMPLISHED THE WILL OF THE FATHER PERFECTLY
4. We don’t always worship God with joy- BUT CHRIST GLADLY AND JOYFULLY FULFILLED THE REQUIREMENT OF THE LAW
5. We struggle in our loyalty of Worship- BUT CHRIST SINGLE MINDEDLY FULFILLED ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS
So we look to Christ who enables us by the Power of His Spirit to be vigilant worshipers of the Father who worship Him in Spirit and truth
If you’re her and your trying to accomplish these instructions by your own power it’s a fools errand. Repent and believe in the Lord Jesus today
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