• Worship (4)

    Leighton Mossop

    The Spirit-filled Christian sees the worship of God as the greatest goal in life. The kind of worship referred to here is not the kind that is relegated to music alone, neither is it restricted to be only within the four walls of a church building on Sundays. The act of worship is ascribing “worth” or “”value” to God. We are told it is from the ancient word “worthship”. Worship is expressing by life and word the worth of God our Maker. It is something more than a religious ceremony. It must be the deep response of my heart to God in thanksgiving, adoration, submission and obedience. Worship profoundly influences everything that makes you – you.

    Now, you are not going to worship something you consider has no value. You are not even going to worship something you consider has some value. Although sometimes I think our family pet cats worship me when they are hungry and need a feed. They meow, become affectionate, give me eye contact, and talk to me (I’m not crazy – I think!). But afterwards with a full stomach they will completely ignore me and go about their cat business whatever that might be. I wonder if that’s a picture of many a Christian in terms of their relationship with God! You will worship that which you consider has the greatest value. Our true worship of God will always be determined by the extent of the value or worth that we inwardly place upon Him. So, how much do you value God?

    Worship is all about God. It is not about us. We worship God because He is deserving of such praise and worship. We worship Him because of who He is! In Psalm 145, David begins with the simple reason that we worship Him because He is so great and then continues on this wonderful psalm listing many reasons why He is so great. We worship Him because of what He has done! The apostle John in his heavenly vision records the words of the song in which Jesus the Lamb of God is ascribed to be worthy because he was slain and with his blood purchased people for God and made them a kingdom of priests to serve God and reign on earth (Revelation 5:9-14).  We worship Him because of what He is doing! The apostle Paul notes that as part of the evidence of being filled with the Spirit we will always give thanks to God for everything! (Ephesians 5:18-20). So worship includes the idea of giving thanks to God in all circumstances, even when they seem unpleasant or disagreeable. Think of Paul and Silas in prison, at midnight praying and singing songs to God! (Acts 16:25).  They saw the hand of God in everything and worshipped Him as a result. We worship God because of what He promises to do! The apostle Peter bursts forth in worship and praise to God because of the wonderful truth that we have been born anew into a living hope, based on Christ’s resurrection, and as a result have an eternal inheritance waiting for us in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-5).

    If we consider worship to be a Sunday thing only, we are in danger of becoming what I call light-switch believers. We turn on when entering the church building Sunday morning and then switch off once vacating the premises! We can slip into praising God Sunday mornings and then be complaining and self centered the rest of the six and a half days! I like the worship band Leeland’s song “Pure Bride”. It finishes with the almost haunting words “What are you doing when no one is watching you?”

    Worship begins at home in the heart. Among other things, it is to be your place of meditation and prayer. These are two crucial elements in your life of worship. To meditate implies the idea of focusing your thoughts upon something or reflecting or pondering over something. Its importance is stated throughout the Bible (Psalm 1:1-3). To meditate is vital in order to obtain the real nutriments of God’s Word and align our thoughts and lives with Him.  As eating and digesting healthy food is such an essential part of our lives, so is meditating upon God’s Word. We are not merely nourished by the Sunday sermon, or Christian radio or television. We need to be hearing, reading and learning for ourselves. All such things require inward digesting and this is where meditation plays a vital role. Prayer is linked with meditation. Prayer is simply the opening up of my heart in response to God. It is the means of communication between ourselves and God. Prayer is essential for the spiritual life, it is the breathe of the soul. Prayer consists of two essential ingredients: A sense of helplessness – this creates the desire to pray, and a sense of faith that assures us that prayer is effective. Faith prompts us to express ourselves to God in prayer. Therefore guard your place of meditation and prayer. When we meditate upon God’s Word and reflect upon and respond to Him in prayer, our worship will be greatly enhanced. Here are some examples:

    Ponder God’s omniscience: God knows everything there is to know. He knows all things actual and all things possible (Psalm 139:1-6). Then take a promise like that from Jeremiah (Jeremiah 29:11). “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” Understanding that God is omniscient should give us a great sense of security in our worship. God intimately knows you. He understands you and can help you. Ponder God’s omnipresence: God is everywhere present (Psalm 139:7-16). Then take a promise like “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5). Understanding that God is omnipresent should bring a great simplicity to our worship. We don’t have to go anywhere or do anything to find him. He is here with you now. Worship! Ponder God’s omnipotence: God is all powerful (Isaiah 40:12-31). He can do anything that is consistent with His nature. Then reflect on words like, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4). Understanding God’s omnipotence should give us great confidence in our worship. If only Christians knew their true standing in Christ, the incredible divine power at work in their lives!

    Guard these private moments with God. It will require discipline and diligence on your behalf. Approach these times with great expectation, you will be meeting with the King of Kings! Give it time, don’t rush. “But I don’t have the time” you might say. Yes, we have all been there. Remember the meaning of worship? You will give time to that which you value the most. The result will be a growing intimate relationship with the Lord that will make the Sunday worship service the highlight of the week because it will be the climax of a week of worship!

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