Firm Foundations For 2011 Part 2
by Minoli Haththotuwa
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FIRM FOUNDATIONS FOR 2011 - PART 2
“Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.”
Last week we looked at building a lifestyle of walking in praise and thanksgiving. Today we focus on worship, and what it means to us.
The psalmist says “Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord”. This is talking about a heart attitude of humility and reverence which worship is all about. “Worship” is a word that comes from “worthship”, which means worthiness and value. We worship our King and Lord because He alone is worthy of our praise and adoration. He alone is deserving of that highest place.
The New Testament Greek word which we usually translate as “worship” is “proskuneo”, which occurs 59 times in the New Testament. It means “to kiss, to fawn, to bow down, as a dog licking a master’s hand”. It speaks of the reverence with which a person would fall down and kiss the feet or garment of a king. There is also the Hebrew word “Shachah”, which means “prostrate, pay homage, obeisance, and reverence”. While this speaks about the lifestyle of humility, love and reverence God seeks, it is true that very few of us today would naturally fall to our knees, or prostrate ourselves when we come into the presence of God. It could be that we focus so much on God’s grace, and Jesus as our Friend, that we fail to give Him the honor and respect we may give even an earthly king.
Why is it so difficult to truly humble ourselves before the King of all creation? The psalmist writes “Let us kneel before the Lord our maker”. Most of us grow up depending on our own wisdom, and we work towards building a life and career for ourselves. We study and plan, and prepare ourselves for what we want to achieve, and finally walk through life regarding ourselves as our maker. There are many people who proudly confess that they are “self made”! This psalm shows us that we direct our worship towards the person we see as our ‘maker’. A person who trusts in his own planning, strength, and resources gives himself the glory for his own success; he is, in effect, directing his worship to himself and his own efforts. He becomes the most important person in his life, and the one he seeks to please. He begins to live according to the dictates of his own desires, bowing down to himself, rather than the true Creator.
Jesus said in John Chapter 4:23: “A time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.” The Father is looking for a certain kind of worshipper, in a world filled with different motives for worship, and varied expressions of them. He seeks sincere worshippers who acknowledge Him as Father and Lord. The Father seeks true Spirit led worship from hearts that are lovingly lifted to Him. The mention of ‘true’ worship, tells us of the existence of false worship. This includes all the forms of worship which do not reach or please the heart of the Almighty; worship which is offered as a ritual or tradition, and without a sincerity that comes from the heart.
Friend, this year, let us resolve to take our worship to another level. Decree this year as a year of true worship! The time has come for us to worship Him with all our hearts. The time is now! It is time to repent for our own lack of humility, to acknowledge Jesus as Lord, and the Father as our Maker, and to bow down at His feet, giving Him the honor and reverence which is His due. Worship is an expression of our heart for God. Worship is an acknowledgement that Jesus is the only way, and the only atonement for our sins. Worship is spiritual warfare, and the way to overcome every problem and difficulty. This past week, my family experienced the tragic loss of someone we love. Amidst days of extreme grief, pain, and unanswerable questions, worship became the only way out of a dark pit of distress. Worshipping Jesus brought His presence into a place of pain. Worshipping Him and proclaiming His Lordship began a supernatural healing which continues from day to day.
The psalmist also writes “…for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care”. We worship the Father not only because He is our Maker, but also because He is our Shepherd and guide. He takes care of all our needs. Psalm 23:2 says “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters.” Happy are the sheep who are assured of green pastures and fresh water! Happy are the sheep who trust their Shepherd to lead them into the future and on to the next place. There is not much more they need. They are safe and secure with the Shepherd, and do not have a care in the world!
I want to trust the Shepherd to lead me into all that He has for me in 2011. Perhaps your new year has not been very good so far, but believe that things are getting much better. In fact, the best is ahead of you – God’s best! He has plans to prosper you. He has plans to give you hope and an awesome future. He sees blessing and great fruitfulness in your year, as you look to Him and walk in His ways.
Acknowledge God as your Father and Maker. Acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Know that you can trust Him, your Shepherd, to lead you through this year through the power of the blessed Holy Spirit. You are laying a good foundation! Be blessed, and may you know His presence and feel His love as you bow down to the Lord your Maker. He is your God!
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