Summary: God wants all of you, presented to him in worship that goes beyond Church time, to include all the time.
Worship that Pleases God
Purpose Driven Life #13
November 8, 2003
God wants all of you. He wants you to present yourself- your whole self- as a living sacrifice to Him and in your doing of this, you will be offering the worship to God that He made you to offer Him. He has brought each one of us to Himself and is working with each of us to deepen our personal relationship with Him. He has added us to His family, and He has created us in specific and special ways with no two of us being the same. This has to bring us to what the author of Hebrews declared:
Hebrews 12.28- let us serve him with thankful hearts. Let our full hearts bring us to Him to worship him in each of our days, all day long, in everything we are doing. This has been the focus of several messages and I’m hoping that you are feeling your relationship with God rising to a new level as you allow transformation of yourself to occur.
Jesus once met a woman at a well. They had a discussion in which she wondered about where and how worship should occur- there were violent differences between how the Jews and the Samaritans did this. Jesus made an important observation and declaration, which comes to us today:
John 4.21-24- it doesn’t have to do with a time or place. It doesn’t have to do with particulars. It has to do with whether you, and I, are allowing ourselves to be channels for the movement of the Holy Spirit from us toward God. Where you worship is not as important as why you worship and how much of yourself you offer to God when you worship. Worship must be based on the truth of the scriptures, for sure, and it must be authentic, too- ‘in spirit’. This doesn’t refer to the Holy Spirit but to ‘your’ spirit. You are made in God’s image, and you are a spirit that resides in a body, and God designed your spirit to communicate with him. Worship is your spirit responding to God’s Spirit. The question is, “How should you do that?” The reality is that each of us will do it a little different and it’s important that no one of us feel that there is one way that is the ‘only, one and only true way’. God wired each of us different, and it is important for us to understand this and, understanding this, to appreciate what is important to us- to me- and be true to that.
Gary Thomas wrote a book entitled “Sacred Pathways”. This is a new book- published in 2002. He wrote of how different people come close to God in different ways. Sacred pathways are like doors that open into a room where we can feel particularly close to God. The way you get closer to God is not the way your spouse does, or the way I might, or the way someone beside you might. For your worship to please God, you need to understand how you get closer to God. I want to outline just a few of these and hope this will help you to offer to God more ‘worship that pleases God’.
Matt.22.37f- to do this, you need to think about how you best and most can come to God.
1. Some people are very relational and simply don’t so very well alone. For these people, to go off for ‘solitude’ is like being in solitary confinement and can seem to depress them and make them edgy and uncomfortable. These people like to do bible study with others and like to be surrounded by others in worship events, rather than to go somewhere alone, where they don’t know anyone. These people- maybe you- can feel a kind of spiritual dullness when you try to walk with God alone. But, where there are relationships involved, watch these people come alive and thrive spiritually. When they pray with a group of people, they can almost feel the presence of God physically. When they study the Bible with a group of Christ followers, they come away enriched and impassioned. When they work together in a team, serving is one of their greatest joys in life. When they praise God publicly with other believers, their worship becomes twice as meaningful.
These people are very relational and this is their primary pathway to God. I wonder if James and John, disciples of Jesus, might have been this way, maybe even in concert with Jesus- because we see the three of them named together often. Particularly, we see James and John named together. Jesus did have some of this in himself; notice what he said to the disciples on his last night: