Summary: Our worship on earth is often a man-made construct of songs, actions and words. It ought to more closely resemble the worship that is occurring in heaven!
Encountering God – Part 5 – “Heavenly Worship”
I have been preaching about worship for the past few weeks. Last week, If you weren’t here, you missed an opportunity to connect with God in a powerful way.
There are many reasons people come to church, (see friends, hear music, hear a sermon, make business contacts, etc).
Worship, however, needs to be the primary reason we gather…to meet, to encounter God.
This is what worship is all about. Meeting God. Connecting with Him. Encountering Him. He is the supreme Object of our worship.
It is my hope and desire that every one of us connect with God in a deep, personal and passionate manner.
The key word I like in that statement is “passionate.”
Passionate worship is where you are looking forward to meeting and encountering and worshipping God on Sunday, where you long to express your love and adoration for Him.
I had someone last week say that there was some anxiety that I might be encouraging emotionalism.
Folks, emotionalism is about your emotions controlling you.
That is not worship.
Worship is the meeting of God’s heart with your heart, resulting in the control of the Holy Spirit.
Worship is often emotional, as some of us who dried tears from our eyes last Sunday could attest to.
But worship is not driven by emotions.
It is driven by the Spirit of God who wants your mind, your body, your heart, your will, your strength, and your emotions to worship and love Him!
If someone is uncomfortable with the worship we have here, I would be shocked.
We are tame when it comes to worship!
If I have to pry an “amen” out of you when I preach, I would say that we are hardly wild and out of control!
We can all do with a bit more emotion and passion in our worship of God, Amen?
Let me balance this with a caution for those of you who are looking forward to an encounter with God each week.
if you don’t feel the presence of God some Sunday, don’t go away sad.
You aren’t here to worship a feeling of God’s presence.
You are here to meet with Him, to expose your heart to His heart and to incline your attention heavenward.
We gather for a divine encounter with the Supernatural, Transcendent God of the Universe, who has declared His love for us and sent His Son for us.
The outward manifestations of that encounter are not to be sought or treasured more than the One we encounter, otherwise they become idols.
I know folks that go from worship center to worship center, trying to catch the “feeling,” or to experience some sort of manifestation of the presence of God. .
Their sights are set upon the manifestation of the encounter instead of the encounter itself.
Don’t settle for a cheap imitation.
Only an encounter with God will satisfy you!
True worship is an act of God.
It cannot be coerced, controlled, manipulated or forced.
I cannot cause you to worship God. It is a response to the move of God’s heart toward us that worship arises in.
And since worship is an act of God, it is limitless in its potential as God Himself is.
That means that you cannot exhaust the incredible experience of worship, not in this lifetime and certainly not in eternity!
God is often doing far more in the worship service than any of us can see or sense or know.
When Debbie or I say something like, “Let’s take a little more time to soak in the presence of God” or “I don’t know what God is doing right now, but I sense God is at work in some folks’ hearts” please understand we want to give God the room to work and to avoid trying to over control our services or our worship.
I confess, I have been guilty of control.
I have been guilty of trying to schedule worship, to make worship “happen” according to my timetable.
I confess that as your pastor. And I don’t want to do that any more.
I really want to have a fresh encounter with God each week, and I want you to have that as well.
Today, we are going to take a glimpse into heaven and see what worship looks like in heaven.
It is in so doing that we should get a vision for what worship on earth should look like.
This is because The acts of worship of God on earth should be a mirror of acts worship of God in heaven.
(I encourage you to read Hebrews 9:11-28 which I cannot cover at this time – we could spend weeks just looking in detail at what worship looks like in heaven)