“No matter what we do, no matter what we feel, the most fundamental question in our personal worship is whether God accepts it.” by John Schmit
“A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers.”
“God is Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him MUST WORSHIP HIM in spirit and in truth (reality).”
In accordance with the Word of God, it doesn’t matter what we do on Sunday mornings at the churches we attend; if God doesn’t accept it, then we are not worshipping. Over the years I have heard so many sermon messages in regards to Worship and Praise, I have lost count. I have learned the “do’s” and the “don’t s”; and the “how to’s” for over 39 years and until recently, I had been missing the “spirit and truth (reality)”, of my own “worth-ship” or worship. This is my confession and perhaps yours.
Where Does Worship Start?
In my searching for the truth in worship, I uncovered some revealing evidence of where worship really begins. Turn to Matthew 26 then afterwords, John 4:23.
Matthew 26:39, “And going a little farther, He (Jesus) threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let the cup pass away from Me; NEVERTHELESS…”
WORSHIP starts at the “nevertheless“.
“Nevertheless” means “however” or “but” in a phrase or sentence. In John 4:23, the word “however” in used instead of “nevertheless“.
“A time will come, however (or nevertheless), indeed it is already here…”
Someone once said, a “worship song” is a song that expresses God’s will through it”. If God’s will or better His Word is contained in the lyrics, then it can be called a “worship song”. His word is “spirit” and because it His Word, it’s truth. Man’s words can seemed spirit fill and often times are, “nevertheless“, they are not God’s will.
Worship Definitions to grasp a hold of:
Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary says, worship is: “the object of adoring reverence or regard; to feel an adoring reverence or regard.” Syn. are, “honor, homage, adoration, idolatry”; later, I will discuss “idolatry” in worship.
Since being prompted by the Spirit of God, in my searching out the “spirit and truth“; of what acceptable worship is, I came upon some invaluable truths. Now if you are already practicing these truths, terrific! If not, you might take notes.
1. Get seated at least 10 minutes or more before your worship service begins.
2. Focus on who you are to honor, pay homage to, adore. Block out outside distractions. No note passing, no conversation. There is plenty of time to fellowship after worshipping. The King of Kings is your focus.
If you were to have a private audience with a king or queen of a certain country in the world, how would present yourself? Would you set your expresso drink down before shaking their hand or start chatting with others in the same room? Where might your attention be? If your answer is, “Yeah, I might do that. I am who I am. I’m not going to pretend!” Look at people around you in church next Sunday and then look at yourself. Don’t look at the pretenders but look at yourself; are you the “pretender’? What is the object of your adoring reverence being shown to the King of Kings? Matthew 10:39 points to what I am trying to get across in your worship experience.
“Whoever finds his [lower] life will lose it [the higher life], and whoever loses his [lower] life on My account will find it [the higher life].”
Jesus says in Matthew, there is a higher life to find through worshipping after laying down your life; your interests, selfish desires. Leave those “things” on the outside before entering His sanctuary. Turn to the Book of Psalms.
Psalm 95:6 says, “Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His
What is your expectations in worship?
Hopefully you are now coming to the opinion, that our own worship on Sundays should be to bring glory and honor to God. THAT’S IT! It’s not complicated, really. The “Worship and Praise” portion of the program is not for our entertainment. “Worship is not a spectator event”; God is the spectator!
I have heard conversations after church pertaining to evaluations of the services like, “Wasn’t the choir inspirational Sunday morning. It was so worshipfull”; or in a negative response to worship, “the Praise Team was a little pitchy this morning dawg”. We are more inclined to be entertained by music in any form or style today in church services. We are forgetting what God is searching for; worshippers to worship in “spirit and truth” and the time is now.
With Worship comes SERVICE:
Scripture tells us we are to “present our bodies as a living sacrifice”. God never said it’s your body; He called it His temple.
Romans 12:1 says, “I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculities] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.”
Yielding First, then Worshipping and Service:
A Pastor at the beginning of a Sunday morning service may say, “Let’s raise our hands and give Praise to God and worship Him in spirit and truth”. Then you say to yourself, “That’s easy for him to say. I’ll try to worship but…” Now those might not be your exact words at the time but… after the service? “I just didn’t feel like worshipping this morning”. Why do we think those thoughts sometimes or almost everytime in some cases?
To “yield” means to “give-up” or “hand-over”. When an apple tree is ready for picking, the tree can be said to “yield it’s fruit” or submit it’s fruit; or a fruit-giving tree. Before you can worship the King, there must be a “yielding” of SELF. Perhaps you have heard the phrase, “to offer a sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15). I really never understood what that meant, to “offer a sacrifice of praise” to God until two or three years ago. A “sacrifice” is something given that comes with a cost. If there is not a cost that you are paying, it’s not a sacrifice.
Hebrews 13:15 explains, “Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up [“submit”,”hand-over”, “give-up”; YIELD] to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.”
Isaiah 57:19 in the Amplified Version of the bible says, “I create the fruit of his lips, and I will heal him [make his lips blossom anew with speech in thankful praise].”
Let me give you a painted picture. There’s a congregation standing in church at the beginning of Worship and Praise portion of the service, with hands in pockets and lips held tightly shut. You are standing there with a similar attitude; not wanting to worship or praise that morning. In fact, you wanted to sleep in but your wife told you, since you are the pastor of the church, it was your responsibilty to be there! So here you are.
Hebrews tells us we are to YIELD before God; “constantly and at all times”. If we are yielding ourselves in worship constantly, then worshipping at church on Sundays should be a piece of cake. We should already have the right attitude before entering the sanctuary. Verse 15 goes on in saying that our mouth is an important sacrifice; thankfully acknowledging and confessing by glorifying Jesus’ name. What if you think, “I can’t sing; you are a terrible singer and people might be offended around you when you open your mouth. Although singing in church might be intimidating to some, Hebrews 13:15 doesn’t say “sing”, it tell us to give thanks to Him, to offer your confession and give him glory. You can offer those things by your singing but it is not always inclusive in worshipping the King of Kings.
A fruit bearing tree always has blossoms first before it yields the fruit . A fruit tree has to be estabilished in the “root” to give-up fruit. And in Isaiah 57, God’s words tell us that if we are willing, He will not only create the blossoms of speech, but will create the fruit also. Now for those who are timid around others, who say they’re to shy to speak; God says if you are willing, He will “heal” your lips. If you are a true worshipper, you are estabished in Him; the “Root”.
This blog on Worshipping the King of Kings is to uncover some hidden truths. I will continue my detective work in the WORD next with a question for you to think about.
Are You Willing To Pay The Price Of Being A True Worshiper?