Summary: This message focuses on attitudes that hinder our worship.
Worship Is A Verb – Part 2
In my introductory message on last week, I shared with you that we are moving towards fully understanding what it means to worship God. Worship is a verb, not a noun. To worship God means that we must take some type of action – we must do something. Whether that action comes in the form of us giving God thanks, praising Him with our hands lifted up or just standing still reflecting on His goodness while silently thanking Him, worship requires an action on our parts. Last week I shared with you that true worship starts with a humble heart that recognizes what God has done for you. When we recognize that God is the acting on our behalf and it is not by chance that something happens we can begin to truthfully worship Him. Let me share something with your from our Bible Study class this past Wednesday.
This week in our Bible Study lesson, we had a brief discussion around understanding when God is doing something in our life and giving Him His recognition for those actions. We talked about how some believe what “will happen, will happen” and whatever happens must be the will of God. As we discussed this, I asked the group “Why do we pray?” if we believe that what “will be will be and what will happen will happen.” Often when we pray, we petition God for something. Why do we pray and ask God for anything? We do this because we believe that when we pray things change. So the fact that we pray and things change should tell us immediately that “what will be will not necessarily be” and just because something happens does not necessarily mean that it was God’s will for it to happen. There have been many things that have happened in my life that was my own doing, not God’s. But also remember that we have an enemy in this world that can also make things happen. So my point is, when we take a step back and look at things, we can find a reason to give praise and thanks to God which is the beginning of true worship.
The last point I want to remind you of from last week is that worship is individualized. When I come to Church and begin to worship God, it is just a continuation of the worship that I do when I am not at Church. The same applies to you when you come to Church. Our worship of God does not start at Church, but at home, on our jobs and wherever else we may be. For this reason I shared with you last week that if you are not worshipping God in your own private time, it will be very difficult for you to come into this Church and begin to do so. Worship here is just a continuation of the worship that should be taking place outside of these doors. As we move into my message this morning, I want to share with you some things that will hinder our worship. I came across these in book I referenced last week – “The Dynamics of Corporate Worship” by Vernon Whalley. As I read what he said, I was thinking of some of the worship services I’d been in and had to smile.
I. Hindrances To Truth Worship
The first thing we must understand is that our enemy, Satan, does not want us worshipping God and will do whatever he can to hinder that true, heartfelt worship. We know from Scripture that Satan is very crafty and sneaky and his ways of doing things are so quiet that if we are not careful, we will totally miss it when he is doing his thing. This is how it is with the hindrances to our worship. The things that hinder our worship are some of the very things we believe we need in order to worship God. That is how sneaky and crafty our enemy is, he makes us believe we need those things that are actually hindering us. As we begin to look at the hindrances to our worship, I want you to remember what God said to Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7. He said “…..the Lord does not look at things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (NIV) When we are in worship service, we look at what is happening around us and think it is true worship, but God looks at the heart of those who are worshipping him and He knows what is happening. As we talk about these hindrances, I am referring to the attitude of the person in most cases versus the person themselves. For example, the first one we will look at deals with intellectualism. There are people out there who are very smart and considers themselves an intellectual, but that does not mean that they approach worship as an intellectual. There are also people out there whose intelligence equals that of a box of cheerios and their approach to worship can be described as one of intellectualism. So keep that in mind as we work our way through these.