Summary: We need to figure out what the Bible declares is true worship, and start presenting THAT to God!
If we were honest, we would agree that the modern church world is in a bit of dissaray when it comes to the definition of true worship. The fact is, what many Christians, and many churches are presenting to God as worship is really not worship at all. Many times it’s nothing more than routine, dried up religion. Many times it’s care-free, live as you want to, just sit in a pew on Sunday morning types of lifestyles. But, these things are mere mockery in the sight of God. He’s is looking/desiring true worship. Jesus said it here in the text, if you are going to worship Him, you MUST do it in spirit and in truth.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I can tell you that I know when I have been in a true worship service. Not because of the types of music that have been sung, or the style of preaching that was presented, but because my life was changed, my soul was stirred, my heart was moved, and my spirit was liberated. It didn’t matter if we shouted or bowed down before Him weeping, the fact is there is a distinguishable difference when we are really worshipping God. And tonight, I can tell you that people are not going to be changed into the express image of the Son of God if we don’t figure out what worship is all about and get involved in it.
Millions of dollars are spent each year in the genre of Christian worship music, as people buy CD’s/cassettes by the groves, trying to get something that will move them to worship God. Even non-Pentecostals are moving toward a more free-spirited worship style, because they are finding out if you can go to church and not feel so uptight/boxed in, you can be rejuvenated/changed during that service. So, the question is: when are we, as Pentecostals (those that have the Holy Ghost) going to catch on and realize we need to loosen up a little bit. And whether we are singing a hymnal, a chorus, or not even singing at all, we need to begin to worship God! Because God will move in and do great things if we’ll just set aside our agendas/ideas of how we think church should be, and begin to bless the Lord!
There are some key elements you will find in every true worship atmosphere:
-When Noah built an altar of worship after landing out of Ark
-Elkanah (dad of Samuel) went to Shiloh yearly to worship and give sacrifice
-When Solomon dedicated temple to worship
**Every time these & others went to worship, there was always a sacrifice involved. What is meaning of a sacrifice? You are giving the best you have over to God. Because God doesn’t settle for spotted, wrinkled, 2nd best leftovers. The OT sacrifices made atonement, and also provided entrance into the blessing realm of God.
KNOWING THIS... You see the reason why Bible declares we are to give a spiritual sacrifice, a sacrifice of praise to the Lord. God is commissioning us to give our very best to him. He won’t settle for what you feel like giving, or for left over time out of your lives. If you’re going to worship, you’ll sacrifice/give your very best to Him.
-Ps. 69:30-31 "I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs"
-Ps. 107:21-22 "O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declard his works with rejoicing".
-Ps. 116:17 "I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord"
DO YOU KNOW WHAT PRAISE IS? Praise is recognizing God for who He has been/what he’s done in your life. It’s telling God thank you for all that you’ve ever done/ever been to me. And I don’t know about anyone else, but he’s been good to me! Fed/hungry, cheered/sad, brought me up/down, healed/sick, saved/lost, filled/empty. And I’m gonna praise him for it all!
In other words, recognizing him for who he is. Remember the words of Jesus- "If I be lifted up.." When you reverence the Lord, all the attention is centered on him. No one else is getting any glory/recognition, just him. And in every true worship service, people will recognize him above all else. They’ll forget about whose behind pulpit, on platform, behind piano, in pew next to them, etc. All they are thinking about is the God who is moving in their midst.
-Ps. 57:7 "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise". David in this chptr. is talking about his enemies surrounding/attacking him from every side, but he says his heart is fixed, (locked in/steadfast) into the spirit of God. And because of that, his focus is not on his enemies or his allies, but it’s all on God! *PAUL & SILAS*