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By Mark Beaird
Text: Isaiah 40:28-31
Are you tired of coming to church and leaving without feeling that things are different? Do you go through the week feeling drained every step of the way? Would you love to feel lifted up and blessed by God? If so, I have the answer. Worship! Worship is possibly one of the greatest, if not the greatest means of receiving spiritual blessings.
In our Bible reading Isaiah writes, "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength." This word wait does not imply a passive hope-so attitude. But rather it implies an intensive focus on the Lord -- an anticipation of His presence and His blessings. It is above all an excitement about Him!
Timothy J. Christenson said this about our worship, "If worship is just one thing we do, everything becomes mundane. If worship is the one thing we do, everything takes on eternal significance." (Rowell, 183)
Daniel Baumann had this to say on the subject, "Worship is a stairway on which there is movement in two directions: God comes to man, and man goes to God." (Rowell, 183)
We must come to grips with the fact that worship without intensity and interaction with God is dead and dry. And if it is this way, it is because we have made it so. On-the-other-hand worship from the heart is life-changing. In fact, it is the greatest means we have available to us, as Christians, for the renewal and strengthening of the soul.
I. WORSHIP STRENGTHENS THE HEART.
A. We are made strong by humbling ourselves before the Lord in worship.
I Peter 5: 6-7, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."
B. We are made strong by the Lord, the One who is our strength.
Psalm 28:7-8, "The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. The Lord is their strength, And He is the saving refuge of His anointed."
II. WORSHIP OPENS THE HEART.
A. Worship helps us to be more sensitive to the move of the Spirit.
Many times we miss the move of the Spirit because we are not tuned into what the Spirit is saying to us. We have our minds too much on the matters of this world.
Tim Hansel in When I Relax I Feel Guilty writes: An American Indian was in downtown New York, walking with his friend who lived in New York City. Suddenly he said, "I hear a cricket." "Oh, youíre crazy," his friend replied. "No, I hear a cricket. I do! Iím sure of it." "Itís the noon hour. There are people bustling around, cars honking, taxis squealing, noises from the city. Iím sure you canít hear it." "Iím sure I do." He listened attentively and then walked to the corner, across the street, and looked all around. Finally on the corner he found a shrub in a large cement planter. He dug beneath the leaves and found a cricket. His friend was astounded. But the Cherokee said, "No. My ears are no different from yours. It simply depends on what you are listening to. Here, let me show you." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of change -- a few quarters, some dimes,
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