Summary: A sermon examining the importance of worship in the life of a child of God.
How To Worship… God’s Way
Scripture views the glorifying of God as a sixfold activity: praising God for all that he is and all his achievements; thanking him for his gifts and his goodness to us; asking him to meet our own and others' needs; offering him our gifts, our service, and ourselves; learning of him from his word, read and preached, and obeying his voice; telling others of his worth, both by public confession and testimony to what he has done for us. Thus we might say that the basic formulas of worship are these: "Lord, you are wonderful"; "Thank you, Lord"; "Please Lord"; "Take this, Lord"; "Yes, Lord"; "Listen everybody!"
This then is worship in its largest sense: petition as well as praise, preaching as well as prayer, hearing as well as speaking, actions as well as words, obeying as well as offering, loving people as well as loving God. However, the primary acts of worship are those which focus on God directly -- and we must not imagine that work for God in the world is a substitute for direct fellowship with him in praise and prayer and devotion. (James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, July 1986, P. 15.)
Worship is essential in the life of a Christian. In the previous verses of this chapter the psalmist has encouraged God’s people, to bless the Lord. Beginning in verse 13 he begins to share his mindset as he goes to worship. These verses reveal to us what is necessary to participate in genuine worship.
A.W Tozer said - Worship is to feel in your heart and express in some appropriate manner a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder and overpowering love in the presence of that most ancient Mystery, that Majesty which philosophers call the First Cause, but which we call Our Father Who is in Heaven.
Often we are guilty of allowing others to influence our worship. Some hold back because of others. Out of fear of being judged by others some may be hesitant to bow their head or lift their hands. Some may be led to give a testimony of praise but for fear they remain silent. On the other hand... Some add to their worship. There are some people who are not truly worshiping the Lord. They are putting on a show. They want to seem super spiritual. They want the attention to be placed upon themselves rather than the Lord.
Deeply immersed in meditation during a church service, Italian poet Dante Alighieri failed to kneel at the appropriate moment. His enemies hurried to the bishop and demanded that Dante be punished for his sacrilege.Dante defended himself by saying, "If those who accuse me had had their eyes and minds on God, as I had, they too would have failed to notice events around them, and they most certainly would not have noticed what I was doing." - (Today in the Word, March 10, 1993.)
When you hear the gripes of the malcontents in the church they are almost always complaining about other people in the assembly. The heart of their problem is that they have lost sight of why we gather together. Instead of focusing on worshiping the Lord, they are focused on the actions of others.
Worship is an individual action. We can’t worship together unless we individually possess a heart of worship. One of the reasons that worship is an individual action is the fact that we have all had individual experiences with God throughout the week. We all have different reasons to praise the Lord. Worship cannot be generic. Not everyone is the same... Some shout, some cry, some close their eyes, some lift their hands, some bow their heads. There is no universal format to worship.The issue at hand is not the method of worship but rather the motive.
The majority of the people under the sound of my voice know how to "do church". We put on our nicest clothes. most walk in the door with a smile on their face, we shake each others hands, hug each others necks, sing our songs, give a tithe, pray our prayers, listen to the sermon, stand through the invitation and go home. Friends we can do all of these things and still miss out on true worship.
I want to take some time and walk through this Psalm and see "How To Worship... God's Way". The first truth that I would like to consider is:
I. Worshipping God’s Way Requires Attendance - v13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings:
The Psalmist proclaims…. “I will go into thy house”. There are many who are quick to proclaim that they can "worship the Lord anywhere". This is true... and it is a fact that we should not wait until Sunday morning at 11 o'clock to worship our God. But there are many who make this proclamation is an effort to justify their lack (or complete neglect) of corporate worship. Throughout the book of acts we see where the early church regularly met together for the purpose of worshipping the Lord.