Monday, October 6, 2008

...across the room to worship AGAIN!...

I thought I would re-post this since some of you had trouble reading it. Let's hope it works.
Something to chew on....

"Worship is the rationale of existence. It is the ground from which love emerges unique and strong, with convictions and reverence. Worship provides the posture of the heart and harnesses the inclination of the will. We stand together as a community before God, but we also stand in communion first with the triune God who himself is a Being in relationship. Only when holiness and worship meet can evil be conquered. For that, only the Christian message has the answer."
Ravi Zacharias

Worship is "the response of who we are to who God is" says L.T. Jeyachandran.

We were created for worship....for communion with God. It is all about God!
The Bible says that God is WORTHY to receive honour, glory and praise. Worthy to be worshipped simply because of who He is. It also says that we should offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. To me that means that I should worship God with my life. Every day. That includes everything I do and say. If that is so, then it would seem that when we all get to our respective Sunday Worship Service we bring our worship, our lives, with us. All of it...the good, the bad and the ugly! Joys and sorrows, pain any other junk! All of it together, Sunday Morning Worship!

I think worship has everything to do with our concept of who God is. Is my God up in the heavens somewhere or is He an intimate personal God. Through a study I did some years ago on worship I came across a statement by Dr. E. Stanley Jones who said "The Church is filled with Christian idolaters, for idolatry consists not only in kneeling before visible objects and giving them obeisance but also of carrying in our hearts a picture of God which is unworthy of Him." I need to get a clear SCRIPTURAL understanding of who God is before I can worship Him in spirit and in truth. Many have recently read "The Shack" which portrays God like I've never seen it done before. We can't expect any book other than the Bible to reveal the truth about who God really is and what He is like.

It seems to me the first time worship is mentioned in the Bible is when Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac. God had promised Abraham many descendants so before he went up the mountain with Isaac he said "WE will worship and then WE will come back to you." He didn't seem to have any problem obeying God because he trusted God. It reminds me of Job who also trusted God as he falls on the ground and worships even after losing almost everything he has. We can't very well worship God in spirit and in truth if we don't trust Him. If we trust Him we won't feel the need to pretend. We will come to Him as we are, with all our pain, frustrations and disappointments in life to worship Him. I think this should not only be accepted but encouraged in corporate worship. Many of the Psalms in the Bible are laments that were sung by the Israelites and we too can admit to God how we really feel Sunday morning in church. We need a place of worship where we can be real. We should be able to worship Him IN the difficulties of life.

One aspect of worship that I think is missing a lot of the time is that our ultimate goal as Christians is to spend eternity in heaven. When I was growing up a very large percentage of songs we sang and messages we heard were about heaven. I must have heard the pastor say a million times how wonderful heaven will be. I hardly ever hear anyone talk about how wonderful it will be to get to heaven. We seem to be so focused on muddling through this life we have no time to consider the next life. Sad since heaven is our ultimate destination and life on earth is very short. I think our worship has to include the anticipation of eternity with Jesus. It helps us to focus on what is important in life here on earth.

OK...that's all I can manage for tonight. Hope it makes sense. This is turning out to be a great exercise for me right now and I'm glad and a little timid about sharing it.

May God bless you as you worship Him with your life this week!

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