“But say, tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here [at Mount Gerizim], where our ancestors worshiped?”  Jesus replied, “The time is coming, ma’am, when we will no longer be concerned about whether to worship the Father here or in Jerusalem.  For it’s not where we worship that counts, but how we worship–is our worship spiritual and real?  Do we have the Holy Spirit’s help? For God is Spirit, and we must have his help to worship as we should. The Father wants this kind of worship from us” John 4:20-24 (Living)
A college student was in a philosophy class, where there was a class discussion about whether or not God exists, The professor had the following logic: “Has anyone in this class heard God?” Nobody spoke. “Has anyone in this class touched God?” Again, nobody spoke. “Has anyone in this class seen God?” When nobody spoke for the third time, he simply stated, “Then there is no God.” The student didn’t like the sound of this at all, and asked for permission to speak. The professor granted it, and the student stood up and asked the following questions of his classmates: “Has anyone in this class heard our professor’s brain? Silence. “Has anyone in this class touched our professor’s brain?” Absolute silence. “Has anyone in this class seen our professor’s brain?” When nobody in the class dared to speak, the student concluded, “Then, according to our professor’s logic, it must be true that our professor has no brain!”
The Sacred and the Secular
Last week here in Sunday school our lesson talked about believers Coming Back To The Heart of Worship. Marion’s message was a powerful one, entitled “It’s All About Him.” These two teaching taught us that our eyes must be fixed on Jesus and not on ourselves. We learned in Sunday school that most Christians have segmented their lives into the sacred and the non-sacred, or secular. When we go to church and lift our hands and sing, that is sacred. But when we are standing in the line at Wally World (Wal-Mart) patiently waiting our turn to be served as Christians we are honoring God, giving him glory. This approach to life has hindered us from becoming true worshippers of God. As Christians we must see all of life as sacred. We talked about how for many of us we needed to repent for our wrong approach to worship. Many have shifted the emphasis from the condition of the heart of the worshipper to the expertise of the musicians, singers and dancers. We sung the song by Matt Redman – I’m coming back to the heart of worship- I’m sorry for the things that I have made it.
“Well, I’ll tell you why. It is because you must do everything for the glory of God, even you’re eating and drinking” 1 Cor. 10:31 (Living)
God is not seeking just Worshippers God is not seeking worshippers because the world is full of worshippers. Even though the first commandment says, “YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME” (Deut 5:6) Many Christians are still placing things before Him, worshipping houses, land and cars. They are not putting God first in every area of life. God is looking for people whose minds and hearts are bent toward Him. It’s critical for His true worshippers to understand that. One reason I think some people have trouble worshipping is because they’re afraid of what somebody else is going to think about them. We have to keep in mind that real worship means we’re focused on Jesus. We’ve come into complete God consciousness and are praising Him- not worrying what somebody else is thinking. True worship cannot be told to worship. You cannot be told to worship- it’s best when it is spontaneous, when comes out of a lifestyle of worship 24/7.
Worship is Not Tied To A Place
The Samaritan woman on John 4:19 was saying that the ability to worship was tied to a place. She wanted to know what the best place was to go in order to truly worship God. Was it Jerusalem or was it Samaria? Now before you snicker at her primitive ideas of worship and think that she is a bit naïve in thinking that worship is tied to geography, we need to understand what Jesus says. He says to her, “You are right it is a place but it is a not a geographical one. It is a spiritual place that those who are going to worship me must get to so that they can worship Me.”
Worship is misplaced when people revere the sanctuary. How can you tell when this is happening? You can tell when people fight over pews, get upset over the P.A. system or argue over material things at the church. Worship is also misplaced if people adore a person, such as a pastor, music leader or any other type of minister instead of God. When people find out their pastor or music leader is not perfect and the leave the church, then where was their focus? We need the people her at Abundant Life to understand that they are not to place their focus on a person, pastor, elders, minister of music or church leaders. We’re not worthy of worship.
Worship is misplaced if people clamor for power on committees, or care more about church programs than to give reverence to God. The devil is working overtime in getting people to misplace their worship.
Worshipping In Spirit And In Truth
When people worship in spirit, they are worshipping in sincerity and from the heart. A lot of people miss it by about 18 inches-their worship is all in their minds and, not their hearts. There are four requirements to worshipping in spirit. They are:(1) To be born again, (2) to give adoration and praise to God, (3) to maintain a repentant and contrite heart toward God and, (4) to focus on God
In the many churches in our country, the minds of our people are focused on a thousand different after church things like where are they going to eat after church service. Who’s going to win the ballgame today? People focus on the problems in their marriage, the praise team etc. We are to focus on the Lord Jesus Christ. To worship in truth means people are willing to confront, confess and abandon their sins. Worshipping God in truth is worshipping Him with a with a honest heart
True Worshippers Will Worship In The Good Times And The Bad
Think back with me thousands of years ago to a story we find in 2 Chronicles 20. A King by the name of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, hears that there are three countries that have gathered their armies and are coming to annihilate him. He knows that there is no possible way that he can stand against them, so he sent messengers out and gathered the people together in Jerusalem, and prayed.
We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” 2 Chron. 20:12 (NLT)
God responded by speaking to a priest, who said this:
But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out there tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!” 2 Chron. 20:17 (NLT)
How did they react?
Then King Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. 2 Chron. 20:18 (NLT)
Before they even saw the results, they fell on their faces and worshipped God. Do you have anything to be grateful for these days? A new baby, a friendship that’s brought you a lot of joy, your job, a raise, a promotion, an answer to prayer? There’s only one proper response to that: to worship God. Sometimes before we’ve even experienced a blessing of God, we catch a glimpse of his majesty and power. Has that ever happened to you? You then fall on your face before God and say, “Wow! You are a mighty God. I’m so glad I know you and can worship you”-have you ever experienced that? We have many reasons to worship God this morning but lets look at the flip side of that you know The Story of Job
True Worship Cannot Be Stopped
One day, Job received word that his oxen and donkeys were all stolen, and all of his farmhands were killed except for one. No sooner had he received this message than another messenger arrived, announcing that all of his sheep and shepherds had been killed, except for one. Then another messenger came telling him that his camels and servants had all been killed, except for one. If this wasn’t bad enough, a final messenger came with the news that his children were killed in an accident, and they were all dead.
How would you react? Here’s what Job did:
Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground before God.  He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be stripped of everything when I die. The Lord gave me everything I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” Job 1:20-21 (NLT)
Question: Did Job feel like worshipping God at that moment? Probably not I think that Job had so conditioned himself spiritually that he knew the only way to order his life at its lowest point was to worship God. His was not a heart that felt worship, but was a heart that needed it. A TRUE WORRSHIPPER CANNOT BE STOPPED REGUARDLESS OF THE DISASTER- THEY KEEP THEIR FOCUS ON GOD
What about David in the Psalms? How many times do you begin to read a Psalm and hear David cry out to God? His life is a mess; his enemies are all around him; he can’t sleep; his life is wasting away and a remarkable thing happens as he begins to worship God.- all of a sudden his entire attitude has changed. Although outward circumstances have not changed, all of a sudden something inside of him has changed.
Psalm 95:6 (NLT) Come, let us worship and bow down.Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, Psalm 96:9 (NLT)
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.Let all the earth tremble before him. Psalm 138:2 (NLT)
I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed
by all the honor of your name.
Jesus isn’t just looking for worshippers, the world is full of them. He is looking for true worshipper who will worship Him in Spirit and Truth. Are you a true worshipper? What do you idolize? Do you have any other God’s before Him. Make the commitment and become a true worshipper today