Summary: A look at the idea of worshiping in spirit (followed the next week by a sermon on worshiping in truth).
WORSHIPING IN SPIRIT
Whenever a discussion takes place about worship, it seems that it will inevitably find its way back to music. Hymns and Praise Choruses. Traditional, contemporary or modern. But one thing we know for sure, regardless of what preference you align with. . .both sides have an upper hand on Country Music. Modern worship songs, or 18th century hymns do better than this stuff. Just listen to some of these actual country Music song titles. . .
If You Can¡¦t Live Without Me, Why Aren¡¦t You Dead?
I Went Back to My Fourth Wife for the Third Time and Gave Her a Second Chance to Make a First Class Fool Out of Me
I¡¦m Ashamed to Be Here, but Not Ashamed Enough to Leave
If My Nose Was Running Money, Honey, I¡¦d Blow It All On You
You Were Only A Splinter As I Slid Down The Banister Of Life
I Would Kiss You Through the Screen door but It¡¦d Strain Our Love
I Wouldn¡¦t Take Her to a Dogfight, Even if I thought She Could Win
Isn¡¦t it good to know that no matter what your preference in worship music, we¡¦ve got an upper hand on Country?
Two weeks ago we looked at Five ¡§W¡¨s of Worship. This is an incredibly frightening experience for a pastor, but let¡¦s see how many of them we remember.
Who ¡V God
What ¡V Surrender
Where ¡V Everywhere
When ¡V Always
Why ¡V Because He is Worthy
Great, and one of the passages we looked at came from the book of John, and Jesus encounter with a Samaritan woman. I want us to use that passage as a backdrop for our next two weeks taking a look at worship. Biblical, authentic worship.
You may remember that in that passage, Jesus tells the woman that ¡§the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.¡¨
This verse really highlights two extremes that were being modeled in worship back in that day. On one side, you had the Samaritan religion which was characterized by enthusiastic, lively, and highly emotional worship. It was a very stimulating kind of worship that often left the worshippers feeling good, but they were missing something.
Their worship did not have information about God and the Messiah that had come. They lacked the basic truths of God that should motivate us to worship Him in the first place.
The Jewish people had the opposite problem. They believed the truth as revealed to them by God and literally built their entire culture around this truth. Unfortunately, this kind of belief became as routine as lacing their sandals or washing their hands. They lacked a spiritual, emotional experience that should accompany knowledge of such great truth.
The same kind of thing is happening today in worship. Some people worship totally in the spirit. Sincere worship that begins within the depths of a person¡¦s heart and overflows into every area of life, bringing blessing and joy to those around them. But with all this emotional charge, it¡¦s easy to set our emotions above God, and actually enter a place with the danger of making an idol out of worship itself.
On the other hand, and where I want us to focus today, are people who worship primarily in truth. They know God as revealed in His Word and cannot be swayed in their beliefs.
They live with purpose and confidence. Their faith is a rock for them in times of trouble and they provide strength for those around them. Their thinking is clear and untainted by emotion. But they can easily be hindered in their worship when they become so afraid of feelings that they emotionally disengage.
That is what I want us to take a look at today. Worship that is grounded in truth, but is so disconnected from heart and emotions that it becomes sterile. . .safe. . .even insincere.
Turn with me to the book of II Samuel chapter 6. We are going to take a look at a bit longer passage today, because I want you to have plenty of background of what is taking place when we hit the focus of our time together today. II Samuel 6 (read verse 1 through 11).
So you have this picture of the ark of the Lord being moved, coming off kilter, Uzzah reaches out to balance it, and is immediately struck dead. David can not believe this, and literally becomes afraid of the fact that they are moving the ark of God. So he stops the move, places the ark in the home of Obed-Edom, and leaves. And for the three months that the ark is in his home, Obed-Edom is richly blessed.