Summary: 3 principles found in God’s word for how to unlock deeper experiences of worship in your life.
The Heart of Worship
2. 3 Keys to Unlocking True Worship
July 31/Aug 1, 2004
Have you ever been underwhelmed? You know what I mean, you hear a huge buildup for some big event or some great place only to find out it’s not what everyone said it should be.
How many of you have ever been to Safeco Field? IF you haven’t been there let me tell you – it’s a great place to watch a ballgame (regardless of who wins!) I’ve heard it said it’s one of the best baseball stadiums in America.
So just imagine having heard all of this hype about what a great place it was, that you buy your tickets for a Mariners’ game, you drive down to Seattle, you park your car. But when you get there you find that what looked like a real stadium on TV was really just a façade. It’s really just a picture of a stadium painted on cardboard. Instead of neatly manicured grass, there is weeds and dirt. Instead of a huge sound system, there is a guy announcing the game with a megaphone. Instead of seeing the Mariners play you’re treated to a little league game.
You would be, to say the least, underwhelmed.
Let me ask you another question. Have you ever been underwhelmed by worship?
Worship is declaring in word, thought, or action the greatness of God and your submission to Him.
Worship that is pleasing to him includes
1. Offering your life as a living sacrifice. (Rom 12:1)
2. Coming before him in spirit and truth (with your inner being in authenticity). (John 4:19-24)
But in doing this we hope to feel something. We hope to experience something. We want to be changed and to be inspired. If we’re not – let’s be honest – worship can be quite underwhelming.
Let me ask you a question: Are you satisfied with the level of worship happening in your life? Or are you perhaps hungry for a deeper level of experiences with God?
If so, I want to share with you 3 principles found in God’s word for how to unlock deeper experiences of worship in your life. 3 principles which you can apply TODAY whether you’re a spiritual seeker or a maturing Christian.
They are taken from 3 episodes in the life of a woman named Mary. In each of these episodes, you’ll see that Mary had a close friendship with Jesus, and a deep understanding that he was the Son of God. And in each of these 3 episodes, Mary demonstrates what it means to have the heart of a worshiper and experience deep times of worship.
1. Come to God just as you are. (John 11:20-36)
Paraphrase John 11:1-19
• Lazarus was sick
• Sisters sent word to Jesus that he was sick.
• By the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been in the tomb 4 days.
20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."
23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
27 "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
28 And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. "The Teacher is here," she said, "and is asking for you."
Jesus met Martha as her needs required – rationally.
She comes and says “If you had been here my brother would not have died.” But the feeling we get is that she is subdued. She is holding onto faith that Jesus could even now do something about the death of her brother.
And Jesus talks to her. He answers her questions. He speaks to her in the manner she needs to truly communicate with her.
But now what about Mary?
29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.