Summary: The heart of worship is coming clean before God.
"Spiritual worship comes from our very core and is fueled by an awesome reverence and desire for God. Spiritual worship is focusing all we are on all He is, both personally and universally. It is the incomparable expression of both awe and affection for God. And it is one of the highest privileges we can experience on this earth." - Beth Moore
Since worship is all about approaching God, it stands to reason that the heart of worship involves our coming clean before God.
At the heart of Real Worship is . . .
1. An awareness of our sin - v. 5
As a result of his being focused on the holiness and majesty of God through worship, Isaiah was made keenly aware of sin.
A. He was made aware of his own sin - v. 5a
Since worship is all about approaching God, when we do so, we will be convicted of our own shortcomings. We cannot seek to hide or cover up our sins and really worship God.
Last week, I referred to a passage of Scripture in Jeremiah 12:13. Now, the only problem is, I gave the wrong reference to the passage I was referring to. The passage, "While you have been sinning, I have been trying to talk to you, but you refuse to listen," is actually found in Jeremiah 7:13. Now, I share this with you, not only to make sure you have the correct reference, but to illustrate a point. The point is that a willingness to come clean and own up to one's mistakes is important in maintaining a good relationship with others. It is true in my relationship with you as your pastor; and it is most certainly true in our relationship with God.
But, unlike our relationship with one another, it is far more difficult to try to hide our sin from God. In fact, it's an impossibility. And if we truly are going to approach Him and focus on Him in worship, we will naturally, as we draw near the holy One of the universe, become convicted of our lack of holiness, even as Isaiah was.
Because we approach a holy God in worship, Real Worship will cause us to be made aware of our own sin, like Isaiah was. But also . . .
B. He was made aware of his neighbor's sin - v. 5b
We live in a day when men refuse to admit to sin.
"Our culture does not believe in wickedness - that is, in culpability. The 'conviction of sin' is hardly possible to us. We believe not in sin and forgiveness but in illness and recovery. It is the endless message of our culture that everyone is basically good and that most of our problems will be solved when we realize this - in other words, when we build up our self-esteem." - Brian Abel Ragen
This mindset is captured rather accurately in a poem by Anna Russell:
I went to my Psychiatrist to be psychoanalyzed,
To find out why I killed the cat and blacked my husband's eyes.
He laid me on a downy couch to see what he could find,
And here's what he dredged up from my subconscious mind
When I was one, my mommy hid my dolly in the trunk
And so it follows naturally that I am always drunk.
When I was two, I saw my father kiss the maid lady,
And that is why I suffer now from kleptomania.
At three I had the feeling of ambivalence for my brothers,
And so it follows naturally I poison all my lovers.
But I am happy: Now I've learned the lesson this has taught,
That everything I do that's wrong, is someone else's fault.
Sadly, if we are not sinners, then we have no need for a Savior, which is what the world thinks; and by the lack of a burden for the salvation of others, it appears to be more and more what God's people are coming to think. That's why we need to understand that when we gather for worship, it is not about how the pastor approaches the subject for that day or how the worship leader approaches to music for that day. It is all about how each of us approaches God on this day.
And when we truly focus on Him and make it all about Him, not only will we be convicted of our own sin, but also of that of our neighbor and or how we must be willing to to say, as Isaiah did to the call of God, "Here am I, send me!"
Which brings us to another thing that is at the heart of Real Worship:
2. An affirmation of Christ's sacrifice - v. 6
When God gave Moses the instructions on constructing the tabernacle on earth, his pattern was taken from the sanctuary in heaven.