Worship 1

John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.

Matthew 15:8 ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME 9 ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'”

Isaiah 1:13 “Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies– I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. 14 “I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, They have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.

In wrestling through the issue of what it means to worship and how that applies to modern church services, one can (will) arrive at some very uncomfortable conclusions. Just because a person goes to church does not mean that a person truly worships the true God. Just because a person sings songs and the words are true does not mean that a person truly worships the true God. Just because a person reads the Bible or listens to it being read does not mean that a person truly worships the true God. Just because a person prays or agrees with the prayer (or words that pretend to be a prayer) does not mean that a person truly worships the true God. Just because a sermon is read/spoken/preached does not mean that the preacher or the congregation has truly worshipped the true God.

This is an important and perhaps vital issue. The external things do not mean that there is worship. True worship does not automatically happen when external Christian things and things that we should do or are commanded to do are done. Doing those things don’t mean worship occurs any more than the fact that the Israelites did some outward things make those things worship. We must come to grips with this in the modern day. There are battles and arguments occurring on the type of worship music and so on. Frankly, the real issue is whether our hearts worship or not. True worship is not what happens when the music fires my jets (feelings) and so I feel great and think that I have worshipped, but instead true worship is when the heart is taken up with the true God and bows in reverence and awe.

Malachi 1:10 “Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD of hosts, “nor will I accept an offering from you.

When we come face to face with the verses just above or the ones at the top of the page, we should take these things into serious consideration. In fact, it may be that we have never truly worshipped in our lives or perhaps we have never truly worshipped the true God in a local church. True worship involves the whole soul and not just some rote actions. True worship involves the mind, the affections, the desires, and the longings of the heart. But true worship demands that those things be focused on God and His glory. We should come to “church” and pant after God as the psalmist did in Psalm 42 and David in Psalm 63.

Psalm 42:1 For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God.

Psalm 63:1 A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. 3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. 4 So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. 5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.

While some might think of this as a perfect standard for worship, we must know that we should seek the Lord for hearts to do these things because true worship comes by the free-grace of God. True worship is not just doing the right things, it is having a right heart and can only come when the soul is given a right heart by free-grace. When the heart is broken and adores the living God, true worship occurs and yet the focus is on the living God and His glory. True worship can also occur when the heart is cold and hard and yet longs for true worship. The point is that God is sovereign and hearts that are bowed before Him seeking His pleasure is a heart that is in worship. If the sovereign God grants us adoring hearts full of joy in His presence, then that is the height of worship. But again, He may grant us cold hearts that we may learn that true worship is not because of our works but because of His free-grace in Christ. The point is that we are to seek His face (presence) and bow in humility for what He grants. He is sovereign and we are not.

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