Worship Lesson # 3
Worship The Lord Your God
Knowing God through His Word is the only unshakable foundation of the Christian life.
Learning from Him. Receiving from Him. Desiring Him more eagerly than your necessary food.
Let nothing distract us from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Jesus that is based on knowing Him intimately (2 Cor 11:3).
Let the adoration of our hearts well up in verbal expression of praise to God for who He is.
Jesus is the Intercessor.
The Holy Spirit is our prayer teacher.
We must learn the power of submission to His authority and the peace of waiting on and moving with the Divine Presence, neither lagging behind nor running ahead of His plans.
We will now look at prayer and worship. Prayer is foremost a love relationship with an all-wise, all-loving, all-powerful, all-willing, all-holy Father God.
Let God begin His work in you.
Let this lesson(s) help you to hear what God wants to speak to you as you allow Him to accomplish His purposes through your prayer life.
Psalms 100:1-5: “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (NIV)
Psalm 100 uses three words associated with honoring and adoring God: 1) worship; 2) thanksgiving; and 3) praise.
What's the difference? Any lines between them may be somewhat arbitrary.
However, we can think of distinctions.
Thanksgiving extols God for how He has worked. It begins with gratitude and centers in the actions and blessings of God – what He does.
It is essentially being grateful for a benefit personally received or for how God has moved in history or nature.
For example, Psalm 136 is a review of the history of Israel in thanksgiving song.
Praise centers in the character of God, who He is.
Praise proclaims His attributes, like greatness, kindness, love, victory, strength, etc.
The Exodus 15 song of Moses focuses on the attributes of God, as the people celebrated the victory God won.
The distinction between praise and thanksgiving is not hard and fast.
In Isaiah 25:1, Isaiah said he would praise God for the wonderful things He had done.
Praise is right, good, and commanded, but it can be done at a distance by people who don't know God intimately from the heart.
Some Christians praise with their minds, because logically and theologically they know that God is due honor.
Other Christians are more expressive and exuberant in entering into praise and thanksgiving, but they do not go on to enter into deep connection with God in worship.
Thanksgiving and praise should be phases of a journey into deeper devotion of our hearts to God in worship.
Some of us have camped out in the gates of thanksgiving and the courts of praise. But there is a place waiting for us in the very throne room of God.
Praise and thanksgiving can be in the third person, but worship is always first person.
That's a-deeper place.
In worship, our language of love is personal, and our reverence for His awesomeness is all-consuming.
Worship is love feast in God Worship is the defining distinction between a head-relationship with God and a heart-relationship.
Something transcendent happens in our souls when we worship.
Let me illustrate the difference between praise and worship:
Imagine that my six-year-old granddaughter had a school assignment to write about her grandmother. She would take out a wide-ruled tablet and write at the top "My Grandmother." Then she might write something like this: "I love my grandmother. She buys me fun toys and plays games with me. She likes puzzles. She plays with me in her playhouse. I like to talk to her on the phone. She likes to see me play t-ball. She laughs at my jokes. I love my grandmother."
Objectively, that is every bit true. That is praise.
Now let me describe what happened the last time she came to our house:
I heard the car door slam in the driveway, and I raced to the front door. I was just in time to see her fabulous blue eyes under cupped hands, above an ear-to-ear grin, peering through a window pane of the French doors. I was opening the door from the inside as she was pushing it open from the outside. I reached down to her, and she leaped up toward me as I picked her up. She locked her legs around my waist and her arms around my neck. We hugged each other fervently. I kept saying, "I am so glad you came to see me, "while she smothered me with kisses. She did not want to let me go. She kept saying, "I want to stay here with you always." So we sat down on the stairs with her still entwined around me, and we continued our life-and-death embrace for minutes on end.
That is worship.
Do you feel the passionate heart connection that marks worship?
Why Worship God?
First, God is God, and we are not.
It's that simple (Neh 9:6).
Nehemiah 9:6 states: “You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.” (NIV)
Psalm 100:3 says, "Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his."
He is the holy Creator and King. He is due our worship (Ps. 95, 99:9, 29:2).
We are His, and He made us for His glory (Rom 11:36).
The universe does not revolve around us.
This may be the reason that we see worship as a sacrifice, because it dethrones our main idol of self.
Worship requires that we get off center stage and put God where He belongs.
Only humility will worship God.
Second, we worship not because He needs our praise and adoration, but because we need it.
In light of that, God commands it (Ps. 95:6,100:2; Matt. 4:10, Rev. 14:7).
Psalm 95:6 reads, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.” (NIV)
As we worship, we bow in dependence on Him.
We draw close to God, intimately acknowledging that we belong to Him and want Him to draw near to reveal His deepest nature to us (James 4:8).
Worship brings our fragmented lives into God-centered wholeness.
Experiencing God's presence in worship nourishes our souls.
The blessing of worship is reserved for self-surrendered seekers of Jesus only, not Jesus plus something else.
Praise and worship place a deposit in our hearts that grows and bears fruit in an unquenchable desire to worship Him still more.
What Is Worship?
Worship expresses "worthship."
Worship recognizes the preciousness of God.
Glories surround His presence and His character, because He is glorious.
Worship says with our actions what our hearts can't contain, "Lord, You are worthy to adore, esteem, magnify, exalt, and revere. Receive all glory, and honor, and blessing."
Our saying it does not make it so; we say it because it is so.
Worship honors Him with the honor He deserves.
Worship means to throw kisses toward.
Jesus told us, that people who "throw kisses to God" are the kind of worshipers God seeks.
The Greek word "worship" in John 4:23-24 is proskuneo, to throw a kiss toward someone in token of respect or homage, to adore, to show respect, or to kneel or fall prostrate before in reverence.
The ancient manner of greeting between persons of vastly different ranks was that the one who was inferior fell to his knees and touched his forehead to the ground, throwing kisses toward his superior.
Worship is personal loving relationship. .
Worship begins with "God is love."
Jesus is the lover of our souls.
Worship freely and intimately expresses a loving relationship with Him.
David said, "I love you, O LORD, my strength" (Ps. 18:1).
Worship is the essence and simplicity of true love and mutual adoration.
Worship assumes close touch.
It is the deep intimate connection that our hearts are longing for with a loving Person.
It involves commitment of ourselves to our Beloved and His commitment to us.
To cherish our Beloved is our highest privilege, calling, and obedience.
That kind of love cannot help being expressed.
God reveals His marriage relationship with us in Hosea 2:19-20: "I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD."
In worship, we speak or sing to Him as our Beloved, and let Him speak His love to us.
By that kind of worship, we will be changed by beholding Him.
Worship is in spirit and in truth.
Worship is with the heart, as well as with reality and understanding.
Jesus said in John 4:23-24: "True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Worship is the response of deep calling unto deep.
Worship is the place where Spirit calls out to spirit, where deep calls unto deep in our hearts.
The psalmist said that he panted for God as a matter of life and death, as a running deer pants for water.
"My soul thirsts for God, for the living God... By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me-a prayer to the God of my life" (Ps. 42:1-2,8).
Music speaks the language of the spirit, but worship need not be musical.
Listening deeply is also a part of worship.
One person’s prayer pattern is: worship, listen, worship, repent, worship, listen, worship, ask, worship, listen, worship, etc.
Worship reflects what we believe.
Worship begins with what we believe about God.
Trust follows the One whom we believe.
When we have needs, the Person to whom we bring them is important-His jurisdiction, ability, and desire to bring relief to our petitions.
Worship believes that God is able and trusts Him as our exceedingly great Reward.
The crux of worship is to trust God by faith before we have evidence, simply because He is trustworthy.
If we believe God and trust Him, we will worship Him.
Job revealed that he was a worshiper when everything he had was taken away and yet he said, "The LORD gave and the Loin has taken away; may the name of the Loin be praised" (Job 1:20-21).
Job did not lose his heart-bent toward God, even later in great physical affliction and betrayal by his friends.
He said, "Though he slay me, yet I will trust him" (Job 13:15).
That is one of the most profound worship statements in the Bible.
That kind of trust produces worship.
If we do not trust Him, we do not understand Him, and therefore we will not worship.
Worship flows from truth about God in His Word.
Theology should inspire doxology (or praise).
In Romans 11:33-36, Paul ended his three-chapter theological argument with doxology.
It is set apart as a hymn in many translations.
The Bible is saturated with hymns, like Ephesians 1, with a three-fold chorus of "to the praise of His glory, to the praise of His glory, to the praise of His glory."
Worship is awe-filled, because God is awesome.
Worship feels the mystery of Christ in us, the hope of glory.
It is awe and wonder before the Lord of our lives.
We enjoy His presence with us closer than our next breath.
It may be expressed out loud or unexpressed in the deepest chords of the heart and soul.
Worship can be breathtaking, and at times we, like Moses, may want to hide our faces because our human frame cannot stand His glory so near.
When the fear of the Lord is in our hearts, we will worship.
Awe-filled love begs deep-felt expression.
"Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation" (Ps 95:1).
Worship sees into the unseen and touches the hem of His garment.
We can know only the edges of His ways.
Job said, "These are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?" (Job 26:14).
Isaiah said that just the train of God's robe filled the whole temple (Isa 6:1).
We were created for worship.
All things were created by Him for His glory.
The vocabulary of the Westminster Confession provides the classic answer to the question: "What is the chief end of man?" "To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."
God is looking for us to fulfill the purpose of our creation.
He made us to be worshipers.
How long has it been since we took pleasure in Him, found in Him our soul-satisfaction, and delighted in Him?
When have we enjoyed God like that for an evening, an hour, even a few moments?
David, one of the greatest worshipers of all time, said simply, "I love you, O Lord, my strength" (Ps18:1).
We are saved to worship.
The apostle John wrote that we were freed from our sins by the blood of Jesus to worship the living God - "[He] has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father-to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen" (Rev 1:5b-6).
People abiding in God's sanctuary live continually worshiping (Ps 84:4).
The Holy Spirit is building us "into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Pet 2:5).
We are living temples of the Holy Spirit, meant to contain the glory of God in worshiping lives.
Our lives as a service of worship will reflect the glory of God (Ps. 29:9).
We are worshipers of Him first and workers for Him second.
Our worship depends on God taking the initiative by His Spirit to make Himself known to us.
In the Bible, God revealed His ways, His works, and His names.
Jesus added some new revelations to our understanding, like "Bread of Life."
When His name is precious to us, His glory will be precious, and the response of worship will be inevitable, because the Spirit dwelling in us reaches out to worship Jesus.
Paul said in Philippians 3:3, "We ... worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus.”
Only humility will worship God.
Worship says, "God, You are big-we are very small. In fact, You are everything. You must increase; we must decrease."
No one can boast before Him; no flesh can glory in His presence (1 Cor. 1:29).
One excludes the other.
When we are humbled in the presence of God, we will worship, and when we worship, we will be humbled in His presence.
Our life with Him deepens as we bow in worship, acknowledging His great holy love and sovereign care.
A most profound worship experience for our lives may be sparked by a four-word sentence in 1 Chronicles 21 spoken by an obscure Old Testament character, Oman the Jebusite.
At the threshing floor, where David built an altar that prefigured the temple, Oman said, "I give it all."
When God takes us to the threshing floor, it is always a time of humility and surrender that blesses His heart.
In worship, we give our all.
Worship involves self-surrender.
It dethrones self.
We submit, He draws near.
We see Him, we lose sight of ourselves. Worship is self-forgetful and self-giving.
It springs from renouncing self as our idol.
In Exodus 34:14 God says, "Do not worship any other god, for the Loin, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."
Worship is the orientation of our lives God-ward toward One who is jealous for our affection.
Worship bows down before God in dedication, submission, and sacrifice.
We enter into the sacrificial heart of Jesus with our brokenness.
Worship springs from gratitude.
Worship is our grateful response to the grace of God.
It is gratitude for the totally undeserved work that the Lord Jesus, Father God, and Holy Spirit have done for us (Col 3:16b).
Selfishness and self-seeking will never worship.
Philippians 4:6 says that prayer and petition should be bathed in thanksgiving.
Worship gazes on God and His ability to answer, instead of focusing on problems.
When we get it the other way around (focusing on problems), our problems are magnified out of all proportion to the resources of our great God.
Worship requires presenting clean hands and a pure heart before holy God.
When we know Him as holy, we will know how much He values clean hands and a pure heart to approach Him (Ps. 24:3-4,6).
Repentance before our all-holy God is a foundational motivation for worship.
We are exhorted to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (Ps. 29:2, 96:9), worship at His holy hill (Ps. 99:9), and worship toward His holy temple (Ps. 138:2).
We fall on our faces before the infinite holiness of God.
Some of our most profound experiences of worship may begin with sorrow for grieving God's heart by my sin.
Then we see His incomparable mercy, forgiveness, faithfulness, and restoration.
The Bible says in Hebrews 10:22: "Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience…”
Worship is prizing God our Father, Jesus our Savior, and our precious Holy Spirit.
We most truly worship God when we prize Him as the sole object of our heart's desire.
Right after Philippians 3:3, where Paul said worship is by the Spirit of God, he expresses the pinnacle of his relationship with Jesus – he so treasures Christ that all else is loss, compared with the gain of having Him.
Theologian John Piper's life theme is "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."
David says to God in Psalms 63:3: "Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”
When worship is nonnegotiable; we will beam dozens, maybe hundreds, of loving thoughts to God each day.
How important do we think we are, when everything comes from Him (2 Cor. 4:7, 2 Cor. 3.5, 1 Chron. 29:5,10-13,16,20)?
Worship is whole-hearted obedience.
Worship is simple obedience to the first commandment.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30).
It does not read: "Work for the Lord your God … "
More than anything, God wants us to love Him.
Worship is freely loving God to the point that His wish is our command, as a willing love-slave.
We give Him our submitted hearts and wills in every area.
Every hard obedience I ever did came out of a time of worship.
Worship assumes His Lordship.
Worship says not only "He is Lord,” but "You are my Lord."
Romans 12:1 urges us "in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship."
Not being conformed to this world, but being transformed to the character of Jesus – this is good, pleasing, and perfect worship, acceptable to God.
Worship assumes a kingdom of which He is King of kings.
The King of the ages is due homage and reverence.
Through all eternity, we will be saying, "Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name?" (Rev. 15:3-4).
Worship is the full-time occupation of heaven.
Worship is the: only recorded activity of the saints and angels there, and our time on earth is but choir practice for heaven.
The worship vocabulary of heaven includes blessing, honor, worthy, glory, praise, honor, the Lamb, the throne of God, bowing down, trumpets, loud voices, Hallelujah! and Amen!
Worship is spontaneous.
Worship can't help overflowing from a passionate heart.
Real worship is grounded in truth but involves deeply felt emotion and will be expressed.
Some church traditions reject expressions of emotions toward God, but intense longing for the nearness of God will express itself irrepressibly in worship.
Where feelings are dead, so is worship.
Worship is for God Himself, not the means to something else.
True worship culminates in God Himself.
The "song service" is for God, not the warm-up for the preaching. A. W Tozer called worship the missing jewel of the church.
Worship is a matter of covenant-keeping.
All who hold fast His covenant will worship (Isa 56:6-7), and worshiping other gods is covenant-breaking, for which God brings judgment (2 Kings 17:38, 2 Chron 7:22, 24:18; Jer 1:16).
Through their history, God repeatedly warned His people against the idolatry of worshiping other gods (Exo 20:5. Josh 24:14, Judg 2:12, 1 Kings 9:9, Isa 66:3, Jer 13:10, Acts 17:23).
Jesus received worship on many occasions (Mt 28:9,16-1; Lk 24:52, Jn 9:38).
He said, "Worship the Lord your God and serve him only" (Mt 4:10, Lk 4:8).
Worship is a priestly function.
The Levitical priests came before God to minister in His presence (Deut. 10:8, Lev 44:15).
We are a kingdom of priests, who draw near God to worship Him (Exo 19:6, Rev. 1:6).
Worship is a process, not an event.
The psalmist in Psalms 27:4, 8; 65:4 understood the lifelong commitment to seek God:
"One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, LORD, I will seek. Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts!"
Worship is not limited to a certain day or place.
God's presence is not confined to our times, and Jesus in John 4 struck down the idea that worship depends on our constraints of place.
But something corporate happens, bigger than the individual parts, whey God's people gather to harmonize their worship from the overflow of their individual worshiping lives.
Worship decentralizes things, even answers to prayer.
In worship, we get God's perspective.
Our lives should be God-centered, not man-centered, problem-centered, need-centered, or comfort-centered.
Things of this world will grow dim in the light of treasuring our Lord.
David cried out in Psalms 63:1-2:, "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory."
Worship must not be institutionalized or ritualized.
Colossians 2:16-17 takes the emphasis off times, places, and forms.
Worship is inner spiritual reality.
It cannot be processed, standardized, prepackaged, sanitized, or printed in a "worship folder."
Some people can stand in the gates of thanksgiving, and even enter into the courts of praise, and still stand afar off from heart connection with God in worship.
When you engage in the outward forms of worship with your heart far from God, the Bible calls this vain (Isa 1:11-15, Col. 2:23).
It is lip-service without full devotion, empty confession without a committed heart (Mt 15:9, Isa 29:13, Amos 5:21-24).
God specifically told His people not to worship Him in the vanity of the heathen (Deut 12:4,31, 2 Kings 17:32-33,41).
Worship places a deposit.
Worship is for God's sake, but it places a deposit in our hearts that grows into an insatiable desire for more of Him.
We have filled our lives and our thoughts with so many lesser things, when nothing will satisfy our longing souls but Jesus.
Worship will not be quenched or appeased with anything less than God.
Listen to this worshiper from Psalms 16:8-9, 11; 17:15: "I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. And I – in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.”
Worship is an action verb.
Some experiences of the heart in worship may not be expressed outwardly, but the Hebrew words for worship are active.
We easily extend our hands to another person to express thanks with a handshake.
Can we then be unwilling to extend our hands to heaven to express thanks to God for more than any human being has ever given us?
The Biblical body language of worship includes standing, bowing, falling down before God, lifting hands, shouting, clapping hands; singing, processions, festive throngs, new songs, kneeling, dancing, trumpets, tambourines, and other musical instruments.
Other worship words are glorify, exalt, exult, magnify, and bless.
The Biblical worship vocabulary indicates that we cannot worship passively and unintentionally.
At one casual church, the attendees were encouraged to "relax in the presence of God."
Ask Isaiah and the apostle John if they relaxed in His presence when they met Him face to face.
They fell down before Him in worship.
Worship prepares the way of the Lord.
Worship in the tabernacle and the temple pictured the coming of the Savior.
The psalmist said in Psalms 50:23, "He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."
Even today, worship prepares hearts to receive His salvation.
Our worship looks forward, too-to His summing up all things to Himself in all eternity.
Through worship, God gives us His perspective.
The psalmist said that in worshiping, he found God's perspective on his questions and doubts.
"When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood ..." (Ps. 73:16-17).
Worship is an instrument of victory in spiritual warfare.
Worship has spiritual power to win victories.
In Joshua 5:14-15 and 6:2, Joshua bowed to worship the Captain of the Lord's hosts, and God supernaturally brought down Jericho after Joshua's worship.
In Judges 7:15, Gideon bowed in worship, returned to his camp, and commanded, "Arise, for the Lord has given the enemy into our hands."
The forces of the enemies were vastly superior to his 300 men, but God routed them after Gideon's worship.
The Israelites again used worship as God's appointed weapon for winning a three-fold victory in 2 Chronicles 20:22, when they sent the praise singers out in front of the army.
They had not even reached the battlefront when God acted to completely destroy three enemy armies.
Worship is the hungering of our hearts for home.
God inhabits the praises of His people (Ps 22:3 KJV).
With our worship, we invite God to inhabit our hearts and spirits.
People who worship abide continually in God s presence.
Worship is the continuous occupation of our eternal home, and He has set eternity in our hearts.
Worship is pure pleasure for both God and us.
The psalmists, particularly David, reveled in the presence of God.
"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you” (Ps 73:25).
“One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple" (Ps. 27:4).
"You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Ps 16:11).
This worshiper is sayings "There's nothing I enjoy more than worshiping God. It gives me great pleasure to sit close to God and sense His preciousness, to adore Him, and to be overcome with His majesty."
For a child, the company of his father is pure fun.
Worship has implications for evangelism.
I had always assumed that the woman at the well brought up worship as a distraction when the heat got too hot about the condition of her soul (John 4).
But let's examine what happened next.
Jesus told her that the reason he was talking to her about her life on earth and her eternal soul was that His Father was seeking true worshipers.
Then Jesus said, "Look at the fields. They are ripe for the harvest of more worshipers."
The point of evangelism is not getting people saved or keeping them out of hell; it is getting worshipers.
Jesus might say the same thing to our churches.
Look! They are filled with ripe fields of those who do not know what it means to worship the living God.
If staying out of hell is our main motivation for salvation, we will operate only in our own enlightened self-interest.
Why did we give our lives to Jesus?
What is the primary motivation for our present relationship with Him?
If it is anything other than to worship, we have no more than a business bargain.
God intends for us to come alive to Him, because worship is a heart matter.
|IN HIS PRESENCE Have you encountered God up close and personal in worship to love Him more? At the heading of many of the psalms is instruction for instrumentation or the tune to which the psalm is to be sung. God wants to hear songs of worship from your life and voice. Will you be an instrument of praise and worship? Will you tune your heart to sing His praise?Sing a duet with Him, because worship is a reciprocal relationship. "The Lord your God is with you... he will rejoice over you with singing" (Zeph.3:17J. Listen for him to sing over you. His heartbeats for you.|
What Do Worshipers Look Like?
Oh the glory of Your presence. We your temple give You reverence. So arise to Your rest and be blessed by our praise, As we glory in Your embrace as Your presence now fills this place. - Steven L. Fry
David is the preeminent worshiper in the Bible, as we can see in his worship diary in the Psalms.
We are continually blessed with his psalms that contain the most celebrative worship in all the Scriptures.
But the worship experiences of three other people also illustrate personal and corporate worship.
They are found in Isaiah 6, Luke 10:39-42, and John 12:1-7, and the throne room worship scenes in Revelation.
Isaiah's experience, as far as we know, was personal.
He saw the Lord high and lifted up, saw the smoke, and felt the temple shake under him.
He could hardly bear His glimpse of the presence of God (Isa 6).
Worship cleanses, and the closer we. get to His holiness, the more aware we are of our sinfulness.
Isaiah cried out to be cleansed from his sins.
Being in God's very throne room excites our hearts, but it also sometimes leaves us speechless because of the weight of His holiness and incomparable glory.
Real worship transforms us inside out according to God's image.
When we become people of everyday worship, our corporate worship is magnified.
The best worship services are from the hearts of people who are well exercised personally in everyday worship.
Fast forward to Mary of Bethany, who personifies biblical worship.
In Luke she sat at the feet of Jesus, listening and being close to Him. In John 12 she anointed His feet with costly spikenard in an act of total selflessness and sacrifice.
This was a profound act of worship, overflowing from a full heart of devotion.
Mary began her worship in the home of her own heart and was not ashamed to worship before others.
She seemed oblivious to others in the room.
The fellowship of Jesus was all that mattered, while others watched and criticized.
She was not a spectator, but a willing and active participant.
She asked nothing of Jesus except to be able to pour out her love on His feet, in token of her humility and servanthood.
She defied convention in approaching Jesus, in the lavish expense of her gift, and in wiping His feet with her hair.
Giving to Jesus meant everything to her, evidenced by the costly spikenard.
The great value of her gift (one year's wages) testified to His "worth-ship" to her.
She did not count the cost; only Judas did.
She did not come to get anything for herself, although when the gift was poured out, she could not help being drenched in the sweet fragrance that filled the room.
Her worship was worthy of the day of His burial, when He paid it all for us.
Is our worship worthy of His having paid it all?
In Revelation John describes the scene of the eternal now in heaven.
It appears that we all will experience what only Isaiah and John were privileged to experience.
There is no past or future there, just the eternal present. In the throne room worship passages, John tried to describe the "ordinary" eternal worship of heaven, but words failed him.
John said that the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power.
We get a glimpse of the importance of worship, as John repeated the words of worship that he heard.
Listen to the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb:
Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.
Who will not fear you, O Lord, And bring glory to your name?
“For you alone are holy.
All nations will come and worship before you.
For your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Rev 15:3-8)
Postures Of Worship in His Presence
The body language of worship in His presence is active and extensive.
· On your face before God – Job 1:20; Revelation 4:10, 5:8, 7:11
· Bowing – 1 Chronicles 29:20; Nehemiah 8:6; Psalm 95:6-7,138:2
· On your knees – Ezra 9:5; Isaiah 45:23; Philippians 2:10
· Standing – Nehemiah 9:3, Revelation 7:9
· Lifting hands – Nehemiah 8:6; Psalm 63:4,134:2; Lamentations 3:41
· Shouting – Psalm 47:1, 95:1; Revelation 19:1, 3, 6
· Clapping hands – Psalm 47:1
· Singing – Psalm 95:1-2
· Singing a new song – Revelation 14:3
· Dancing – Exodus 15:20-21; Psalm 149:3,150:4
· With tambourines – 2 Samuel 6:5; Psalm 68:25
Characteristics Of A Worshiper
Worship is a lifestyle, a choice, a discipline, a holy habit.
- On holy ground – Exodus 3:5-6
- Reverently – Psalm 5:7
- With clean hands and a pure heart – Psalm 24:3-6
- In innocence – Psalm 26:6-8
- Single-mindedly – Psalm 27:4,8
- With a longing heart – Psalm 84:1-4
- With joy – Psalm 100:2
- In spirit and in truth – John 4:23-24
- By the Spirit of God – Philippians 3:3
- Acceptably with reverence and awe – Hebrews 12:28-29
- In the presence of the Lord – Ezekiel 46:3,9
Worship is personal.
There is no single right way or easy 1-2-3 formula.
We all must ask God, listen to what He says, and respond to Him.
Worship begins with God's Spirit calling us and giving us the to honor Him in our hearts as He deserves.
We may accept or refuse the call and the grace.
Worship may begin before we get out of bed each morning, maybe with the opening sentences of the Lord's Prayer, thinking about the opening phrases, "My Father", "Holy is Your name, "Your Kingdom come, " Your will be done on earth as in heaven."
We may end each day the same way. "From the rising of the sun to its going down, the Lord's name is to be praised" (Ps. 113:3 NKJV).
|In His Presence Read the fabulous worship scenes in Revelation, and sing the great worship choruses there (Rev. 4,5,15,19). Use the names of God in Prayer Portions or make your own list from your Bible. The Psalms contain 61 names of God, Isaiah 64 names, and Revelation 39 names. Glorify God for His perfections using His many names. Try some of the biblical worship postures to enhance your expression of worship for God.|
Prayer Postures - Into His Presence
Before His Throne
Prayer Postures Into His Presence
Before His Throne
Rev 4:10,7: 11
Ascending As A Lifestyle
Ps 24:3, Col 4:2a, 1 Thes 5:17
Heb12:1-2,1 Cor 9:24-26, Phil 2:16,3:13 -14
Ps 95:1-2, Rev 14:3
Ps 100:1, Rev 19:1
Neh 8:6, Ps 63:4,134:2; Lam 3:41
Walking In Obedience Micah 6:8, Col 2:6,1 John 1:6
Neh 9:3, Eph 6:13,14,18, Rev 7:9
1 Sam 3:10b, 2 Sam 7:18, Ps. 46:10, Luke 10:39
Ezra 9:5, Eph 3:14, Phil 2:10, James 4:7, Isa 45:23
Neh 8:6, Ps. 95:6, Phil 2:10, James 4:10, 1 Chron 29:20, Ps. 138:2
Prostrate, On Your Face Before God
Job 1:20, Ps 51:17, Rev 1:17,7:11,4:10,5:8