Bold WorshipSeries: UNSEEN. James Dewhurst August 25, 2019
Today, we are excited to be continuing in the fourth week of a 5-week series we are doing called – Unseen! Over these 5 weeks, we are discussing the Unseen spiritual disciplines that lead us to live a bold life of faith. If you and I want to make a greater impact on what is seen, then we have to have a deeper connection to the unseen!
On week one we talked about Praying Bold Prayers (Our prayers never die!). Week two talked about Speaking Bold Words (Our words must support our prayers!). Last week we talked about taking Bold Steps of Obedience! (Faith always leads to fruit!)
Today, I want to talk to us about becoming people who practice – Bold Worship!
The great A.W. Tozer said – “Any man or woman who is bored or turned off during worship, is not ready for heaven.”
Jack Hayford – “Worship changes the worshipper into the image of the one being worshipped.”
Loui Giglio – “Worship is simply giving God his breath back.”
Chris Tomlin – “Worship is the place where God isn’t moved by the quality of our voice, but by the condition of our hearts.” It’s an inward feeling that results in an outward action
Listen to Saints – Worship is not a part of the Christian life, it is the Christian life!
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (ESV)
Worship is not an event we go to attend and watch, it’s a lifestyle we fully embrace!
The greatest threat facing the health of the church today is not the world. It’s Christians who have lost their heart to worship. There is no longer a reverence for the presence of God. People are walking into churches all over America every Sunday believing that the worship service is all about them. Worship has been reduced to a service churches render to their people, instead of an offering that people give to an almighty God!
Def: Worship – To adore; to idolize.
When worship reflects the culture around us more than the God within us, it’s no longer worship!
> Man judges worship by how good the church performs it!
> God judges worship by how passionate his people express it!
Too many Christians approach worship like they are the object being worshipped!
26 “Bless God in the great congregation, the LORD, O you who are of Israel’s fountain!” (ESV)
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! (ESV)
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! (ESV)
It’s time the church starts focusing on what their bringing, instead of what their getting!
15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (ESV)
True worship turns ordinary church meetings into life-changing spiritual encounters!
23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (ESV)
Today I want to share with us two critical things that biblical worship requires:
1. Worship requires Reverence!
God wants us to become comfortable in his presence, but not careless with it!
In the O.T.the Ark of the Covenant was the place where the very presence of God dwelt. The Ark was placed inside the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle, which was Israel’s place of worship. During the reign of King Saul, not only we’re the 12 tribes of Israel divided because of endless battles with the Philistines, but the ark was taken by them for an entire generation, and the presence of God was missing in the tabernacle. Because of this, the worship of Yahweh was virtually nonexistent in Israel. At one point worship became so diminished under Saul’s leadership, that King Saul began seeking guidance from the witch of Endor, instead of from God. When David became king, his first priority was to renew worship among God’s people of Israel, so he established a new capital in Jerusalem, and not only went and found the Ark, but gathered together 30,000 of his best soldiers, all of the Levite priests, and danced before the presence of God as it returned to Jerusalem. But something shocking happened in: 2 Samuel 6:1-16 “David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. 2 He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. 3 They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart 4 with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. 5 David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums, and cymbals. 6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. 7 The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God…12So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. 13 When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. 16 As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.”
+This is a puzzling story until you understand the back story. Why would God strike a man dead for trying to stabilize the ark as it was being brought back to Jerusalem?
+The Bible tells us in Exodus 25, that the ark was supposed to be carried on the shoulders of the priests with poles, but Uzzah and Ahio put it on a cart instead.
+Instead of handling God’s presence the way they were instructed, they decided to handle God’s presence their way! (They had grown careless and disrespectful!)
+Too many Christians today have lost their reverence and respect for God’s presence!
We handle God however we feel like handling God, regardless of what his Word instructs! (We worship when we want to, how we want to, and how often we want to!)
What should our worship look like? (Let’s take a look at some biblical examples!)
2. Worship requires Action!
(There’s not one biblical example of motionless worship!)
We see a powerful example of worship after the Red Sea was parted for the nation of Israel in: Exodus 15:20-21 (NIV) “Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.”
(When God does miracles, you can’t help but dance!)
1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! (ESV)
In every one of these biblical examples of worship, we see an action! Some bow, some kneel, some dance, some sing, some shout, but everybody does something!
A church doesn’t have great worship until the people in the church become great worshippers. Worship is a heart condition! I believe God is calling us as a church to take our worship to the next level, but I need your help! We need to step up!
I’m asking all of us to step up in three areas today:
1. Come early – I know we have families to gather and schedules to juggle, but it’s hard to create a culture of worship if people don’t come until the majority of it is over.
2. Come often – People create momentum! We need you here in the building to help create culture. If God is a priority in our lives, he needs to also be in our calendar!
3. Come ready – When Christians pull into the church parking lot after worshipping all week long, and then on the way to church, they walk in ready to lift their hands, raise their voices and give God their best. How we practice shows up on the field!