Summary: God has called us to be constantly fanning the spiritual flames inside us, and it is up to us to train ourselves to make the Spiritual Disciplines part of our routine, or lifestyle.
Living as a Worshiper
As we progress in the Spiritual Disciplines, it is important to note that no act of spiritual growth happens unless we truly “Draw Near to God”. I think this is important to note because in the midst of the all the struggles and strife we face today, God is clearly saying to all, “DRAW NEAR TO ME.”
So as we examine the Spiritual Disciplines, do not see them as review of something you already know, but rather as a reminder of what God is calling us to do. Today’s Discipline is motivated from a heart that wants only to draw near: Worship.
John 4:23-24 (NLT)
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
God is seeking “True Worshipers”; those who would dedicate their lives to worshiping Him.
1. Worship Defined
A. An encounter
Exodus 3:1-6 (NLT)
One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he went deep into the wilderness near Sinai, the mountain of God. 2Suddenly, the angel of the LORD appeared to him as a blazing fire in a bush. Moses was amazed because the bush was engulfed in flames, but it didn’t burn up. 3“Amazing!” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go over to see this.”
4When the LORD saw that he had caught Moses’ attention, God called to him from the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am!” Moses replied.
5“Do not come any closer,” God told him. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.” 6Then he said, “I am the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he hid his face in his hands because he was afraid to look at God.
Worship is first and foremost an encounter with the living and holy God.
The best definition of worship I have ever heard is, “Recognizing who God is and responding to it.”
When I hear this I think of it in two parts:
The daily response:
Seeing God in all things, and praising him for it
- In the beauty of His creation (Driving the Roads)
- In the blessings of life
- In the trials of life (When God is in control)
The Intimate response:
- In my time of prayer, devotion and praise or doing these corporately with others
True worship is the only response we can give when we recognize that the He is the creator, our savior, perfect and just and deserving of our 100% devotion in praise!
At God’s command, Moses removed his sandals and covered his face. Taking off his shoes was an act of reverence, conveying his own unworthiness before God. God is our friend, but he is also our sovereign Lord. To approach him frivolously shows a lack of respect and sincerity.
When you come to God in worship, do you approach him casually, or do you come as though you were an invited guest before a king?
Recognize who God is, and respond accordingly! This goes beyond praise and worship, but in our lifestyle. More on that later…
2. Priority in Worship
WORSHIP IS NOT FOR ME! (Repeat)
Have you ever said, “Man I got so much out of worship today!” If that’s what worship is to you, then you are not worshiping God. You are now worshiping yourself!
Matthew 4:10 (NIV)
For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.
Worship is for God’s pleasure, not ours! When we make it out to comfort ability, we are trying to serve ourselves.
Isaiah 29:13 (NIV)
The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.
In this scripture God was talking about those who were giving stale prayers, insincere praise, empty words and man made rituals without any meaning.
We have to realize that God’s heart is not touched by tradition, but by passion and commitment!
So many times we get caught in the trap of needing to be “served in worship”, but the truth is, if you have not taken into account the very purpose of worship, you have made it about something else.
True worship in:
- Foreign Languages to your own
- Without instruments (CD)
- Different Styles of Music
- In my car
Moses was in the middle of the desert!
True worship is not bound by style, geography or circumstance! It flows directly from the condition of our hearts. If we feel we can’t encounter God, we need to examine what it is in our own hearts that is an obstacle!