Summary: The issue is not: Will you worship? We are wired for worship. The issue is: Who will we worship and how will we worship?
You are wired. Wired for worship. Lots of people are walking around our city day-after-day and don’t know it. Wired for worship.
Some of you are thinking, “Come on. A series on worship? Man, why do I need that? I’m a business person. I’m a teacher or homemaker or student or carpenter. Tell you what, I’ll bow out for this series and come back when you are talking about something more relevant for my life.”
This series can be the most important series you’ll experience this year. Worship can open up a whole new world for you. Your joy and peace and sense of satisfaction can go to a whole new level. This is the most important issue since you are planned for God’s pleasure. Worship pleases Him. Who you worship and how you worship are huge. Worship affects us in this life and the life to come.
When we bow the knee to the true God, priorities start to get in order. And life change takes place.
Let’s start with a working definition of worship. We’ll build on this in weeks to come.
Worship can be defined as…
– an intense passion for a person, place, or thing. (Who or what are you intensely passionate about?)
– our response to what we value most. (Who or what do you value most? Let me see your calendar and checkbook and I’ll tell you what you value most.)
When you think about worship this way, you understand that worship is not just something religious zealots do. All of us are worshippers. All of us are wired for worship. We might worship a career, a car, a new home. We might worship the idea of making a certain amount of money… or our kids’ success or our own comfort or our good health. We are going to worship.
The issue is not: Will you worship? We are wired for worship. The issue is: Who will we worship and how will we worship?
Our family just recently returned from a tournament in Cooperstown, NY. Our youngest son, Evan played baseball there this past week. 80 teams of 12 year olds plus their parents and some grandparents and brothers and sisters. Over three thousand people gathering every day. 18 fields. 72 games a day.
One day, I just sat up on a hill overlooking the field where our team was playing. I could see people standing and clapping. I could hear them chanting and cheering. When something good happened for their kid, they jumped to their feet. Sitting in the hot sun or the rain? Doesn’t matter. Forking over dollars to get to NY, to stay in NY, to buy memorabilia. Glad to do it. Think about it. Three thousand people worshipping with intense passion. Great worship. Wrong object. Great passion! Wrong person, wrong place, wrong priority.
You can watch people worship every Sunday in the fall… at Browns Stadium. You can watch people worship at the Gund when a major artist like U2 comes to town.
Is there a way to enjoy your kid playing ball without it becoming an intense passion because you value your kid’s success most? Sure. But there’s also a way to let that enjoyment become a cheap substitute for God.
There is a search engine in our spirit looking for something or someone beyond ourselves. And we are wired to get this desire quenched. When we bow the knee before anyone or anything other than God, we are wasting our worship.
Too many of us are wasting our worship. We have to learn what worship is and how to do it. Why?
Read Louis Giglio – The Air I Breathe, pp. 33-35.
“Hey, I worship God. And I worship Him here at Cuyahoga Valley. I’m cool.” Listen, talk is cheap.
Four possibilities: I can worship…
… the wrong God, the wrong way
… the wrong God, the right way.
… the right God, the wrong way.
… the right God, the right way.
God is looking for Q4 worship.
Look again at the possibilities. Which quadrant are you in? This series is designed to help you get to Q4. My guess is that most of us tend to live in Q3 – worshipping the right God the wrong way. That’s not OK. It’s a dangerous place to be. We’ve got to get to Q4.
So, that’s going to be our focus today. In the Bible is a story about what can happen when God’s people worship the right God the wrong way. Open your Bibles to…
Since we are wired, there is power running through the wire. Whenever there is power, there must be caution. Today, we’ll meet a man who was wired wrongly. He worshipped the right God the wrong way. And it cost him. There are challenges here for us. Let’s read…