Summary: How Solomon includes worship into his life This Sermon was also used in another series
The Preparation of Worship-5 1-7
We are in a series on worship.
Last week we looked at the Presence of Worship
We talked about what worship is in that it is really the “worthship” of God. In Worship we need to have both a hunger for God and also that we are looking for an encounter with God.
People on an airplane and people on a pew have a lot in common. All are on a journey. Most are well-behaved and presentable. Some doze, others enter in a mindless trace, and a few gaze out the window.
Most, if not all, are satisfied with a predictable experience. For many, the mark of a good flight and the mark of a good worship service are the same.
"Nice," we like to say. "It was a nice flight/It was a nice worship service."
We exit the same way we enter - unmoved, unchanged, unaltered - and, we're happy to return next time.
Enter a church sanctuary and look at the faces. A few are giggly, a couple are cranky, but by and large we are content.
Content to be there.
Content to sit and look straight ahead and leave when the service is over.
Content to endure.
Content with the mundane.
Content with a "nice" service.
A few, however, seek more.
And those few leave wide-eyed with wonder of having experienced worship rather than merely endured worship.
The destination of worship is to meet God.
As with any journey we need to make the proper preparations so that we experience God rather than endure worship.
We want a memorable not mundane trip.
What does our flight check require? Travel demands preparation.
Solomon, the wisest and richest man in the world, writing thousands of years ago, gives us some preflight instructions in order to encounter the God of the universe when we come into his house.
1) Get Ready To Meet God-Vs. 1
a) Solomon wrote, "Guard your steps when you go to the house of God" (Eccl. 5:1).
b) One rendering of this verse is: "Watch your feet when you go to the house of God."
c) The phrase guard your steps means to proceed with reverence, tip toeing into the presence of God.
d) We come with care and caution.
e) We come with dignity and respect.
f) We approach God with the same care as Moses when he encountered God in a burning bush and took off his shoes.
g) He was on holy ground, and he knew it.
h) Remember hearing as a kid the words, "No running in church?"
i) The sanctuary is a place of reverence.
j) Physically we may not be running when we meet God, but spiritually, emotionally, and mentally we are.
k) We "do church" as many "do lunch," casually and unprepared.
l) Our hearts and minds don't show profound awe and respect.
m) We don't anticipate God's presence or voice.
n) Consequently, we're unable to experience the presence of God that will stir our souls, change our lives, and satisfy our hunger for meaning.
o) Let me encourage you to come to worship prepared to worship.
p) Pray before you come so you will be ready to pray when you arrive.
q) Sleep before you come so you will stay alert when you arrive.
r) Read the Word before you come so your heart will be soft when you worship.
s) Come hungry.
t) Come willing.
u) Come expecting God to speak.
v) Come anticipating a memorable experience with the Creator of the universe.
2) Listen To God-Vs. 1-2
a) One man said he and his wife had words but he never got a chance to use his.
b) I think God often feels the same way.
c) When flying, I feel for the flight attendants as they share instructions before the plane takes flights.
d) The attendants are explaining about how to use the seat belt, where the exits are, how to use the seat cushion as a flotation device, how to put on the oxygen mask if needed.
e) Yet most of the people on the plane are talking, reading, looking out the window, getting stuff out of their carry-on luggage.
f) They are doing everything but listening.
g) Those flight attendants know how God must feel, when his people come to church.
h) We show up to our houses of worship after a mad dash from home.
i) World War III has just occurred with spouse and children in the car.
j) A few choice words is said under our breath to the guy who cut us off in traffic.
k) We stroll into the sanctuary and find our seat.
l) "Whew, no one took my seat this morning."
m) We start looking around to see who is present.