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/.”
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/.”
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.
4:10, Rev. 14:7).
Psalm 95:6 reads, “/Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker/.”
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.