Summary: Last in the series on worship in the church

PP1 The God of Awe and Wonder Worship part 4

JCC 21.02.10 am

PP 2 1 Chron 16:29 Give to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! NKJV

We have been studying what worship is and we saw how last week the first mention of worship came in Gen 22:5 where Abraham offered up Isaac to the Lord as an act of worship

Worship is more than singing in church and deeper than an outward show of raising our hands before the Lord

It is not always possible to worship with the same degree of intensity

Much will depend on how we feel and the sort of week we’ve had

Last week we saw how preparation was a big part of our worship

We prepare for everything but worship

Leave the troubles of the world at home and focus on the Lord for a moment

We are not people without feelings

Some say, ‘don’t follow your feelings’

If we get up tomorrow and we have no feelings, then we should be worried

Real worship requires some feeling

Real worship brings us to a place of humility

It’s where we disappear into obscurity and Christ becomes prominent

A wonder takes over us as we sense he presence of a holy God

We get to the place where we realise we don’t fully know Him becuse he shows us something else of Glory

Illustration: Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a great philosopher, mathematician and thinker. His testimony that he wrote down when he met God was, ‘O God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and the wise. Good of Jesus Christ, Thy God shall be my God, forget the foolishness of the world, and God who can befriend only in the way taught in the gospel. O righteous Father, the world has not known Thee but, I have known Thee, joy, joy, joy, tears of joy. Amen

He kept this on paper folded up in his pocket as a reminded

Let’s examine five factors of worship:

PP 3 & a 1. A boundless confidence in the character of God

The reason many cannot worship correctly is that they have a low opinion of Him

People reduce God into the image of man, rather than see Him as the God of all the earth

He to these people has limited ability and power

They cannot see the power of Him might and the display of His splendour as we look at creation

They modify Him until He has no resemblance of who He really is

We live in a world where changes happen continually, where we edit and modify things

We do this with Christianity and especially with the Lord Himself

We then no longer see the God that Isaiah saw who was high and lifted up and His robe filled the temple (Is 6)

If we have confidence we have respect

Today, many have neither confidence nor respect in God

Without respect there is no worship

Worship must begin with Him and end with Him

We need to ask the Lord for a renewal of worship

It’s not God that needs recuing, but our concept and how we think about Him

If we see God as the one who is out to hurt us and the one who lets us down, then we will have no confidence in Him for the future

If we think He is out to deceive us and manipulate us, then again we will have no confidence in Him

We must restore and raise our affections towards Him

We need to remember He cannot break a vow

When He made a covenant with us, He meant it

He cannot go back on His word

The God of the whole earth cannot change

The Bible tells us how He is willing to heal, provide and restore

He is willing that none should perish, but that all come to faith in Christ

We either believe Him, or we don’t and we believe another

Read the Bible and see what God is really like

PP 3b 2. Admiration

It is possible to respect God, yet not admire Him

There are people with academic theological degrees who know who He is, yet don’t respect or worship Him

And may not admire Him

How many prayers do you hear where God is the focus of admiration?

We pray and praise as though God is a giant Santa Clause who is to give us gifts every time we ask

We worship the gifts instead of the giver

Read the Psalms, the prayers of Jesus and the Apostles, these are good examples of prayers where God is admired and adored

Do you long to rush into His presence?

Do you stay there and admire the God who loves you?

Sometimes when I’m disturbed when I’m worshiping the Lord, I get very annoyed

I hate anyone breaking my connection with the Lord

That is why we don’t like it when we are worshiping the Lord in Church and someone breaks the presence with something totally inappropriate

We feel grieved and the Spirit of God is also grieved

PP 3c 3. Fascination

Have you ever seen someone who has a fascination and a passion for something?

They keep probing, looking, inspecting and studying

There is an excitement when the thing they are fascinated with is around

How many people do you know are excited about God?

They can’t wait to get to church because they know God’s presence is there

They watch and wait with anticipation to feel and experience Him

PP 3d 4. Adoration

What is adoration?

It is when we sense a deep love and want to stay in the company of the one we adore

Do you remember how you wanted someone’s company because you adored them so much?

You didn’t want to leave them

You longed to hear their voice and meet up with them

That’s what we should feel about the Lord

A yearning for the awesome presence of God

Illustrations: Jonathan Edwards would kneel in the snow, so lost in worship and prayer that when he got up, the snow had melted around him.

John Fletcher, a Methodist, knelt in his room for hours. After he died, they found a concave in the floorboards where his knees had been

Many of the old hymns that most churches have thrown out are full of words that express admiration and a fascination of God

‘Praise my soul the King of Heaven’ by Henry F Lyte 1834

Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;

To His feet thy tribute bring.

Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,

Evermore His praises sing:

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Praise the everlasting King.

‘Glorious is Thy Name O Lord’ by Henry Twells 1889

V3 Yet with all Thy wondrous might

Far beyond our mortal sight,

Perfect wisdom, boundless powers,

Thou, O glorious God! art ours.

So, though filled with awe, we dare

Name Thy Name in praise and prayer

‘Behold the throne of Grace’ by John Newton 1779

Behold the throne of grace,

The promise calls us near,

There Jesus shows a smiling face

And waits to answer prayer.

That rich atoning blood,

Which sprinkled round we see,

Provides for those who come to God

An all prevailing plea.

My soul ask what thou wilt,

Thou canst not be too bold;

Since His own blood for thee He spilt,

What else can He withhold.

Beyond thy utmost wants

His love and pow’r can bless;

To praying souls He always grants,

More than they can express.

Did you know that many of the hymns of Wesley and Watts were edited?

‘I’ ‘me’ and ‘mine’ were replaced with ‘we’ ‘ours’ ‘us’

‘I’ is so much more personal adoration than ‘we’

We should get personal with God

The Lord is ‘my’ shepherd

Can you imagine saying, ‘the Lord is our shepherd, we shall not want’?

It becomes less personal

Built within us is a yearning for Him

He put that yearning there, like the God-shaped hole

PP 3e 5. Mystery

Worship is like a mysterious journey

We cannot manufacture it

What happened here last Sunday was a’ God moment’

I couldn’t make that happen, you couldn’t make that happen

Worship humbles us and shows us a glimpse of the majesty of God

The same One the prophets wrote about; ‘O God, He is forever and ever’

We either love mystery or we hate it

Have you ever been on a mystery tour?

You book up for a mystery, but then you try and work out where you’re going

You are in anticipation and wonder with a sense of excitement

Part of the mystery we have as Christians is that God is now reconciled to man

God was in Jesus reconciling the world to Himself

We bow before Jesus and worship him, knowing we are worshiping God

PP 4 Moses knelt before a burning bush and worshiped, why?

Moses understood that God was in the bush

It was just a bush, until God’s presence burst upon it

PP 4a Was Moses committing idolatry?

No, because it was the fire within the bush he saw, and it was from this fire he heard the voice of God

The fire and the bush were united and fused together

They became one

Two natures; the bush and the Lord

The earthly and the heavenly

Once the fire left the bush, Moses turned away and no one worshiped it again

It was a temporary experience, but the presence of God in Jesus is an eternal one

The presence of God in the believer is an eternal one too

We are like this bush, we are ordinary until the Lord comes and makes His presence known

Wherever Jesus is, we can worship

He is in you if you have asked him into your heart and life

Worship can now be a daily thing

Why do we think we only should worship in church?

We end up thinking worship is a church thing because of the books and teaching that have bought confusion

Don’t confine God to this building

He is in your home, your school, at work

We can worship anywhere

When we worship we experience wholeness because this treasure is within us

So what stops you worshiping God?

Your view of Him is distorted and you blame him for things that have happened in your life?

You have no confidence in Him

You have no respect for Him because you don’t see Him do anything in your life

You no longer admire Him You don’t have a fascination for the things of God

You don’t adore Him and have lost your first love; you are neither hot or cold

You have no sense of mystery; perhaps you think you know all there is to know, or you may be starting out on a journey to find Him.

You won’t be disappointed

You are either one or more of these things, perhaps all of them, please make sure you restore these things or begin these things in your life.