Summary: What makes our worship work in keeping with God's will? The Hebrew word for worship can also mean work. Is God satisfied with our worship? How can we make our worship work?
WORSHIP THAT WORKS
Is God satisfied with our worship? What makes our worship work in keeping with God's
will? We should note that the Hebrew word for worship can also mean work. What
makes our worship work in God's sight?
I WORSHIP WORKS WHEN WE HAVE A HUMBLE SPIRIT:
In Isaiah 58:1-9, God is telling the Israealites through Isaiah that he is not satisfied with
their worship.The people had recently returned from captivity in Babylon, but things
were not going well for them. The temple lies in disarray, and life generally is in disorder.
They faithfully perform sacrifices and keep the fasts. Yet God does not appear to be
working on their behalf. They blamed God for seemingly ignoring their feasts and
sacrifices.God is not responding to their acts of worship. They express their frustration
by saying, "We fast, but we do not see. We offer sacrifices, but receive no answer."
The definition of worship I like says," to honor God with extreme love and extreme
submission." The Israelities' worship was not working because instead of praying for
God's will to be done, they were praying for God to do their will. Their worship was not
working because they were making demands of God and failing to submit to his will.
Perhaps our worship is not working because we are telling God what to do instead of
waiting for his will to be done. We need to ensure we are making prayer requests
instead of prayer demands. Prosperity pastors tell us if we tithe, God will fill our pockets
full of money. Tithing is biblical and the right thing to do, but many are doing the right
thing for the wrong reason. It is like a creature telling the creator, "I will do this, if you will
do that." Worship works when we come to God with a humble spirit, recognizing who we
are and who he is. E. Stanley Jones has written: "Prayer is surrender to God and
cooperation with that will. Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but aligning my will to the
will of God." Other verses on worship:
a. Worship, bow down, and kneel before God. Psalm 95:6
b. Worship in spirit and truth. John 4:24
c. Ascribe to the Lord glory due his name. Psalm 29:2
II WORSHIP WORKS WHEN WE WORK TO HELP OTHERS:
The Hebrew word for worship, avoda, can also mean work, not only work involving a
daily vocation, but as a service in giving aid to others. God explains to them in Isaiah 58:
6-8, that worship also means breaking the chains of injustice and freeing the oppressed.
Worship that works means getting rid of exploitation in the work place and sharing your
food with the hungry and providing shelter for the homeless. Worship that works means
"letting justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream."
(Amos 5:24) According to God, doing good for others was also worship.According to
God, worship meant to do justice, love kindness, and also walking humbly with God.
(Micah 6:8) In today's church there has been a conflict between personal salvation and
the so-called social gospel. The more conservative churches criticize the social gospel
churches because they thought those churches did not empathize the need for
acceptance of Christ as Savior. The social gospel churches criticized the evangelical
churches for neglecting a social concern for the "least of these" in the words of Christ. I
believe they are debating two sides of the same coin. The body must be ministered to
as well as the soul. Sometimes we must minister to the body before we can introduce
the spiritual need. That is what James meant when he said that faith without works is
dead. (James 2:17) Worship that works includes ministering to the spiritual and
physical needs of people as well as working for justice and equality in the larger society.
Worship that works calls for a holistic worship, involving the body and soul.
It means a humble and submissive approach to God and a bold and aggressive, but
loving appeal, to the world. Indeed, whatever our task or work is, we do it as unto the
Lord. (Colossians 3:23) Other verses on fairness and justice:
a.Do not pervert justice. Exodus 23:6
b.Maintain love and justice. Hosea 12:6
c.Righteousness means more than sacrifice. Proverbs 21;3
d.Learn to do right and seek justice. Isaiah 1:17
e.The righteous care about justice for the poor. Proverbs 29:2
III WORSHIP WORKS WHEN WE RECEIVE BOUNTIFUL BLESSINGS FROM GOD:
In Isaiah 58: 8, 9, God tells of the blessings he will bestow on the people when they
worship according to his will. Worship works when God shines his light in the dark
places of our lives. Worship works when he turns our lives around. Worship works when