Summary: From the Old Testament right down to today, Worship of God is an important and powerful part of our lives as believers and as Church families.
CALLED TO WORSHIP
Pastor Eric J. Hanson
June 30, 2013
From the very beginning days of Hosanna Church, God has called us to embrace the Worship of God. Many years ago, we got past the so-called “Worship Wars” stage of such a transition. In 1970, pastor Sabine, of one of our predecessor churches, Welchville Community Church, introduced his guitar into Sunday morning worship, and began teaching some of the brand new short choruses of that time. This modest step caused great controversy at the time.
Through several other small steps, God prepared the two little churches to become part of the new “Worship Movement” which was growing around the World. After the two little churches became one, they were ready to receive some teaching, training, and demonstration of the power and majesty of corporate worship which goes beyond preferences for this style of that style of music. Hosanna Ministries came to Hosanna Church many times in 1974 and ’75 demonstrating true worship as part of music ministry, filled with faith that God would flood the gathering with His presence, and that great things would happen in such an atmosphere. At this same time, many of us were buying records and tapes of Maranatha music’s new praise albums. Pastor Frank Jernigan was teaching these songs to the church choir. We were teaching them to the whole church family.
Controversies over musical preferences, which were then rocking other churches, just melted away here, as many instruments were added to the Sunday Morning music, along with a mixing of styles of music.
In those days, we experienced much of God breaking in on meetings where people had been really seeking Him in worship. Amazing things took place as people repented, came to saving faith in Jesus, received healings of many kinds, and had their faith level greatly amped up by God’s power and presence. We began to learn worship concepts, such as singing directly to God, the whole Congregation being a choir of praise and love.
Gradually, over time, God taught us other things relating to leading God’s people into Worship. Many of these things were laid out in the ministries of David, Asaph, and the Sons of Korah in the Bible. Some insights learned included these:
• Those who lead regularly in musical worship should be skilled at it, with God-given aptitude and care toward developing that gifting.
• Those who have musical talent, but who are ego driven, hyper-sensitive relationally, inconsiderate of others, etc. should not be leading others into worship.
• To have any positive effect for the long haul, those who lead others into worship must first be servants of God and of others, motivated by love.
Today we are seeking to walk faithfully in worshipping God when we come together as a Church family. There is nothing else like God’s presence and ministering to Him. Now; a brief teaching on Worship…
Worship: Hebrew is Shachah which means to prostrate in homage to God, to bow, to humbly beseech, do reverence, stoop down.
Greek is Sumphemi which means to say jointly, to assent to. A second Greek word for worship is Latreuo which means to minister to God.
To love God is one of the five great purposes of the Church as found in the great Commandment and the Great Commission. This love will express itself in many ways. such as changed lives, wherein people become given over to obeying the will of God.
Worship involves much more than living right, however. Several of the Old Testament books have large sections given over to instructions for the temple instrumentalists and singers. There are several lengthy passages which tell what happened when the people worshiped God there in Jerusalem. There are also Bible accounts of the worship of God at other places, such as when the army of Judah worshipped God while marching to battle and God caused supernatural victory. (II Chronicles 20) Before his own kingship, David played songs of worship to God in the King’s palace, and tormenting demons actually left king Saul for a while (I Samuel 16:23).
One of the ways that love for God is seen throughout the whole Bible, is through the unmistakable visible worship of God. This holds true from the days of Moses, all the way through to the multitudes in Heaven seen in the book of Revelation. When believers gather together for God’s purposes, a major way that the presence of God becomes strong and clear among us is as we reach out to him together in worship, saying the same thing together and calling out to God together. As we minister to God, together as a church family, God enters among us in tangible ways.
In the Hebrew definitions of worship seen above, bodily motions such as bowing down are included. Worship includes other bodily gestures catalogued in the Bible, such as lifting our hands, and sometimes even dancing before God. Worship is not just a mind thing. It involves our spirit, soul, and body.