Preparation for True Worship - pt. 1
1. This is part 1 of a 3 part series to help us think about living into our worship.
John 2:13 ¶ The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
John 2:14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there.
John 2:15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.
John 2:16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”
John 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
John 2:18 ¶ So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?”
John 2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
John 2:20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?”
John 2:21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body.
John 2:22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken
If we can look back at the conversation Jesus had with the Samaritan woman at the well, where he shared the hearts desire of the Father of what being a true worshipper was all about.
"God is a Spirit and those who worship him must worship him in Spirit and in Truth." John 4:24 (NIV)
We must be careful not to allow ourselves to fall into the trap of thinking that the church is supposed to orbit our world and that it’s all about us. My praise! My song! My worship! My prayer life! And my traditions! Because salvation was not, and is not, initiated by or dependent upon anything that we do.
Entering into the kingdom was always a direct result of His love, His desire, and His sacrifice! As a result of His Grace alone, we obtain the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)
Therefore, it is all because of Him. It has always been God’s desire, since he made humanity, to be in relationship with his creation.
Even when we are at our worst and away from God, his love is always there!
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol (hell or the grave), you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” Psalm 139 7-11 (ESV)
We didn’t choose Him, find Him or accept Him. Who do we think we are? Isn’t it really God choosing us when we are broken and empty? Over time, we have been indoctrinated to think that somehow, we get to accept the sinless Son of God to become our Savior and Lord (as if He was lost and looking for us). No! We were lost and completely helpless to save ourselves and by the grace of God, Jesus shed his blood for our sin, offering us new life, if we repent and forsake our sin! I know it’s the terminology we’ve been used to hearing but isn’t it time let go of our control and surrender completely to God (terminology included)?
By God’s grace and mercy, he spared humanity by approaching Noah directly instructing him to build an arc to save creation.
It was God who blessed Abraham to become the father of many nations through the Messiah Y’eshua (Jesus Christ).
In Joseph’s dreams
To Moses in the burning bush
Then after he met Moses on Mt. Sinai his presence met with the Israelite people in the tabernacle while they were wandering in the desert. Years later, when they became established as a nation, God allowed King David’s son, Solomon, to build a temple as a meeting place for his people. Worship was a priority
The Holy Spirit is a gentleman! God will not just pop in uninvited on your busy life and start blessing you out of the blue if you haven’t taken the time to pray, worship, praise. And offer thanksgiving to Him. You must invite him into your space for his glory to show up! We create the atmosphere and environment for God to be glorified when we begin worshipping and praising him!
Look at what the prophet Isaiah experienced when he yielded all to God.
When king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord!
Isaiah's Vision of the Lord
1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” Isaiah 6:1-7 (NIV)
The angels testified by crying to one another "Holy! Holy! Holy!" and then glory fell between them! Praise and Worship is a precursor to the manifestation of the glory of God!
Although your Worship, praise and prayers are vital, keep in mind that it takes more than just a vertical relationship with God for the glory to appear. This example shows us that it is also necessary for a strong horizontal relationship between members of the body of Christ, not only through testifying of God's holiness and goodness, but also in how God's people treat one another. We can't glorify God until we repent of our stuff and love our neighbor as we love ourself! Love is action not simply words.
Everything begins to fall into place when our purpose in life is to glorify God and no longer ourselves! But that wasn’t the final version of the house God had in mind.