Summary: As I was looking through the purpose driven life, I came to chapter 13, “Worship Can be a Witness”. Here Rick Warren discusses 12 convictions about worship. What struck me as pretty interesting was point number 5 “Worship is a powerful witness" ...
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In this message we continue our look into making our weekly fellowship experience at CAYA, “not just another Sunday morning”.
As I was looking through the purpose driven life, I came to chapter 13, “Worship Can be a Witness”. Here Rick Warren discusses 12 convictions about worship. What struck me as pretty interesting was point number 5 “Worship is a powerful witness to unbelievers if God’s presence is felt and if the message is understandable”. No it’s not the statement which was interesting, it was when he referenced Isaiah’s “call to ministry” as a “powerful worship experience”. I had never imagined this piece of scripture as being a worship experience at all, yet as I began to read this God began revealing to me this very understanding.
So, today we look into Isaiah 6:1-8 through the lens of praise and worship.
The Realization - worship happens whenever!
1a In the year that King Uzziah died
He was a godly and good king, who burned incense in the candle when he wasn’t supposed to and was inflicted with leprosy, a condition which he lived with until his death. At 16 he was named king at a difficult time, after his father was assassinated but was able too rise through this difficulty and as a result led Israel for 52 years. As king, Uzziah (from 2 Chronicles 26):
modernized, reorganized and restructured the military in a manner that allowed him numerous victories.
rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in a way that made them much more easy to defend (Assyrian historical reliefs)
rebuilt the famous port town of Elath, a major seaport King Solomon had created where major imports were brought in from African countries and India (2 Chronicles 8:17-18).
He rebuilt towns and cities across the kingdom
He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. 5 He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear [b] of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success.
He’s not perfect, but even when he tried to light the incense in the temple when he was not supposed to while arguing with the priests and leprosy began to form on his face, the priests grabbed him a puled him from the temple to save him - to be so loved that even when you mess up people will save you is a great thing!
And when he dies, the nation is in mourning for a long time. Yet it is during this time of mourning that worship still happens.
We should realize that worship happens when times are wonderful and joyful, but also when times are troubled and heavy. As we worship together, there will be tears with the cheers, joy with the pain, sunshine with the rain - all at the same time. And it’s OK.
I think Kirk Franklin said it best in “Why we sing”
Someone asked the question
Why do we sing?
When we lift our hands to Jesus
What do we really mean?
Someone may be wondering
When we sing our song
At times we maybe crying
And nothing’s even wrong
I sing because I’m happy
I sing because I’m free
His eye is on the sparrow
That’s the reason why I sing
The Lord must be present!
1b, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
Isaiah begins by saying that in this worship experience he saw the Lord, and he gives us a description of what is was that he saw. We can see through these word what it was that made this experience so different. We can see the presence of God in his experience.
If we are praising and worshipping God, then it is an absolute requirement that God’s presence must be felt in our worship. If the Lord is not present then what are we doing? And why isn’t He there?
The Message must be present
3 And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
I went back and forth from this, but I finally came to this:
“Worship is expressing our love to God for who he is, what he’s said, and what he’s doing” (Warren)
These pieces are conveyed to God and others through songs, through prayers, through testimonies, through sermons, through writings, through dance, through music, through pictures - in all these things however there is a message from the person who is praising.