Summary: Praise is making much of what God has done, and isn’t always done with the heart. But worship is about who God is, and cannot be done without the heart.
Encountering God – Part IV: “The Power of Praise”
What is worship?
It is the meeting of God’s heart and ours.
Worship is the response of all we are to who God is and what He has done.
Last week I spoke about the “glory” of God, which is intrusion of God’s presence into our physical realm.
The very presence of God, the literal glory of God, manifested in some physical, tangible way – is the cause for worship; it leads us to respond to the incredible supreme Being that God is and to marvel at His love. .
Worship is not about the songs we sing, the sermon we hear or the music we play. Worship is ABOUT GOD.
Worship is the reason we were created.
It is the most important thing we can do –
God is seeking worshippers (who will worship Him in spirit and truth)
Spirit = Not just with their lips but with their whole hearts.
Truth = not with religion or a ritual but with a relationship.
It is in worship that our hearts express their longing for the Presence of God.
I hope that you long for God and to meet and encounter Him.
I need to share again about the different levels of the Presence & Glory of God for those who were not here last week. (Get the CDs)
The Presence of God is promised to every believer.
Jesus said, “Wherever two or more of you are gathered, there I am among you.”
Jesus said, “Lo, and I will be with you until the end of the age.”
In fact, the Presence of God is available to even non-believers to a certain extent, because if God were not present it would be hell, for that is the only place that God is not present.
Even though the Presence of God is promised, it is not always “felt” by every believer. We believe it by faith. We may not feel Him, but that doesn’t change the reality that He is present and with and in us.
The presence of God is a subjective experience.
Every person will experience it differently.
One will experience the “feeling” of God’s presence with goose bumps, others with weak knees, others with excitement, others with awe and wonder.
Two people can stand in the same service next to each other and one can feel the presence of God and the other feel nothing. It is subjective because it comes through the spirit of man which then must filter through the mind, will and emotions to be understood.
One person may feel nothing during the singing but may feel the Presence of God in the preaching of the Word.
Another person may feel the Presence of God during the singing and worship portion of the service.
Be careful that you don’t expect folks to react the same.
The experience of the Presence of God is very subjective and our reaction to it is as varied as we are.
The Glory of God is much different and intensely powerful.
God said that no man may see His face (glory) and live. (Exodus 33)
In fact, in heaven, the angels shield their faces with their wings when they are before the glory of God. (Revelation ….)
But you and I, were made to behold His glory in entirety for eternity.
The Glory of God, as I mentioned earlier, is the material intrusion into the physical realm of time and space by our God who is Spirit.
This always leads to something incredible occurring.
It may manifest in a miracle (which involves breaking one of the laws of nature), or in a specific, observable sign. It might involve a scent, a sight or a sound. .
The experience of the Glory of God is objective in nature.
This means that everyone present will see or experience the same thing with one of their 5 senses.
Consider Pentecost. All the disciples, 120 of them, heard and saw the same thing. A mighty rushing wind, flames resting like a dove on the heads of each other, a manifestation of languages in all who were present. That was the glory folks! The God of glory had intruded into their time and space and made something about Himself visible in a tangible way.
LETS LOOK AT THE CONTINIUM
Why do we do testimonies? Testimonies are for praise. We’ve been neglecting testimonies lately.
Testimonies aren’t about us. They are about what God has done!
Two definitions I gave you last week I give you again today.
Let me make some distinctions between praise and worship.
Praise is about what God has done.
Praise can be distant, cold or superficial, but worship is usually intimate. The heart of a person does not need to be near to God for him to praise Him.