Worship 14

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.'”

Amos 5:21 “I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. 23 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;

The nature of worship is that it must be in accordance with the nature of God. Since true worship must flow from God Himself, it will always be in accordance with the true nature of God. The nature of true worship is that it must come from the inner man or the immaterial man because that is the part of man that is closest to being like God. Spiritual worship is not necessarily obtained when the feelings of man are raised to a high level, as that can happen at a variety of secular events as well. By virtue of being a human being we have feelings (affections and passions) and those can be elevated or suppressed by various things and as such are not a sign of true worship.

True worship, if we are to follow the Psalmist, can only come from a broken heart. It is not enough to say the right things and do the right things, but true worship can only come from a broken heart since a broken heart is where God dwells and manifests Himself. It is not the proud heart that God reveals Himself to and it is not the scholar that God reveals Himself to, but it is the broken heart and the humbled heart. True worship cannot possibly come from a proud heart as God opposes the proud and will not grant them the true joy of His presence and the true joy of sharing in His joy.

When groups that congregate on Sunday mornings focus on types of music that attack the feelings of the congregants and try to raise them, that is not the approach of true worship. The biblical pattern of true worship is for people to seek humility before God, to seek reverence and awe before God, and then adore Him with a spiritual sight of His glory. True worship is to be filled with Him and to be in His very presence. These things are only possible with broken and humbled hearts. The broken and humbled heart is where He dwells and when hearts are broken and humbled He is present. While some focus on the sacraments as a way to obtain the presence of God, the biblical teaching is that He dwells with broken and contrite hearts.

The concept of worship and the concept of seeking the face of God are twin ideas. We cannot worship if we are not seeking His face (presence) and we cannot seek His face apart from worship. However, we cannot seek His face (presence) apart from humbled and broken hearts. We can see this by an analogy, though it is quite imperfect. If we desire to eat food, then we must purchase or pick and then cook or prepare the food. The point is that if we desire to eat there are things that must be done in order to eat. This is also true of worship. The heart must be prepared for worship or true worship will not occur.

The heart can only be prepared to worship by the free-grace of God. We should seek God to give us grace that will prepare our hearts for worship. We should humble ourselves in the sense of knowing that true humility can only come from Christ as He shares His humility with us, so we are to seek Him for that. True humility cannot come on the basis of our works since God gives grace to the humble, so if humility came by our efforts that would mean grace would come on the basis of our works. As long as all spiritual blessings come in Christ and humility is a great spiritual blessing, we can know that humility comes from Christ.

I would argue that when Christians come together and say that they are going to worship, they should spend time earnestly seeking God for a broken heart and for reverence and awe. Those things are not distinct from each other, but can only really happen together or at the same time in the same heart. This also shows us that the silliness of how so-called services start is simply the opposite of true worship. While announcements may be necessary at times, they should be vital to the church and they should have a tone that does not prohibit the seeking of a broken and humbled heart that is vital to true worship.

Putting this in somewhat of a logical or direct form, if there must be broken and humbled hearts for worship and there must be reverence and awe for true worship, then if a congregation comes together for worship they must seek broken and humbled hearts. Apart from reverence and awe and apart from broken and humbled hearts, there is no true worship regardless of what is done or said. If we want to eat, we must obtain food and prepare it. If we are going to worship, we must obtain proper hearts from the Lord and they must be prepared by Him. Worship cannot come from our flesh, so it must come from Christ.

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