AUGUST 30, 2020
SUNDAY SERMON: STEPS TO BIBLICAL WORSHIP
It seems that very few Christians know much about true worship. Charles Stanley once said that he believed that most Christians in most churches have never worshiped God. We go to church, but we do not worship. We sing songs, but we do not worship. We listen to sermons, but we do not worship. All these things are elements of worship, but they are not worship in and of themselves, which means that you can do all the elements of worship and yet have failed to truly worship God. We Christians often mistake the means of worship for worship itself.
A man told a story about the time his son's sixth birthday was approaching. He had mentioned he wouldn't mind a party, and as his son usually was very specific about the kind of presents he liked so the dad asked him, "what he could give him." Bill expected a well-planned reply, such as "I'd would like a baseball glove; you can find it at Toys-R-Us, aisle 6, below the batting helmets, or a Parcheesi board; the games are in alphabetical order in aisle 1; its between the Pac Man and Pay day." But his son's request was a bit different. He said, "Dad, I'd like a ball to play with for my birthday." Bill said, Great, what kind of ball?" "Oh, I don't know, either a football or a soccer ball." "Well, which would you want more?" He said, "Well, and thought about it. Then he said, "If you have some time to play ball with me this year, I'd really like a football so we could throw it back and forth in the back yard. But if you're gonna be real busy this year, maybe you just better get me a soccer ball, because I can play soccer with the rest of the kids in the neighborhood." The dad thought about this and said, “Let me surprise you. How does that sound?" And the little boy smiled and said, "Oh that would be great Dad. I really love you." Then Bill went in and shared this little encounter with his wife and together they agreed, their son was not so much interested in the gift. He was interested in the giver.
True worship is not interested in the created but the Creator. Questions like -- Did I like the sermon/service/music? -- are the wrong kind of questions. The right question -- Did God like it? Christians also make the mistake of limiting their worship to one hour each week. And when they come to that service they often come to observe and be entertained. I have been at services that were opened with the following statement: "We want you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the program we have prepared for you." If the people feel that they were entertained they say they had a good worship service. We have gotten the whole concept of worship backwards. We think that the pastor and worship leaders are the entertainers and we are the audience. But in true worship you are the performers, the pastor and worship leaders are the directors, and God is the audience.
We must come to the realization that worship is not for us, but for God. Because God desires our 'worship', we must learn how to worship Him. Let us examine some "Steps for Biblical Worship."
* Abraham's worship in these verses was based on a clear word from the
Lord. Verse 1 says, "God...said unto him." Verse 2 says, "And He said..."
Abraham found himself engaged in the worship of Almighty God because
God told him exactly what He wanted. God told Abraham what to do,
"Take now thy son...and offer him for a burnt offering." God told him
where to go, "Get thee into the land of Moriah. Upon one of the mountains
which I will tell thee of." Abraham's worship was based on a clear word
* True worship is always guided by the Word of God. True worship is always
a response to revelation. Thus, true worship is always a matter of faith,
Rom. 10:17. God has revealed Himself to us in His Word. We respond to
that revelation by humbling ourselves to Him and bowing down before Him
reverence and adoration.
* Many will go to their churches and engage in responsive readings, dead
order of services and empty formalism, and call it worship. Others will
dance around, lift their arms and shout. Some speak in tongues and faint
dead away and call it worship. Still others will go to church, sit quietly in
their pew, sing the songs, bow for prayer, listen to the preacher, and call it
worship. Does any of these methods of assembly and doing church really
result in worship?
Genuine worship takes place when my spirit responds to God's revelation of
Himself in His Word, and I bow myself before Him in reverence, love and
adoration. So, like Jesus said, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him
must worship him in spirit and in truth," John 4:24.
As soon as Abraham hears the command of God, there is no hesitation. He
responds in faith and prepared to obey immediately.
> He "...rose up early in the morning."
> He "saddled “his donkey.
> He "took two of his young men with him..."
> He took "Isaac his son."
> He "clave the wood for the burnt offering"
> He "rose up".
> He "went his way unto the place of which God had told him."
* Just like Abraham we need to make the appropriate preparations in order
to worship God. If we have not prepared our hearts to worship God, we
will not be able to worship even if the worship service is biblical. When
football players prepare for a game they do what they call 'getting their
game face on'. That means they prepare themselves mentally for the
challenges of the game they are about to play. Spiritually speaking we
need to 'get our game faces on' before we go to church.
Shouldn't we prepare for worship. When you think about it, we spend
time to preparing for almost everything in life. We spend time preparing
for work, for vacations, for school, for exams, for meals, and we even take
time to prepare for bed. But very few of us take time to prepare for
worship. We may prepare to go to church. But that is not the same as
preparing for worship. We prepare for church by getting dressed in our
Sunday best, fixing our hair and makeup, and grabbing our Bibles as we
head out the door. The typical Christian is very well prepared for church,
but at all prepared for worship.
Abraham prepared to worship God by being obedient to the revelation of