WORSHIP THE LORD IN THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS
by Lenora McWhorter
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“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name, worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness” writes the Psalmist. (Psalm 96:8 ) People approaches God at different levels in worship and they respond to God’s presence in different ways. Consider the richness of an ordinary life lived with an awareness of God’s presence, seeing God in even the mundane things. A Christ-centered soul sees God in everything and do all things for His glory. When we are conscious of God’s presence we see Him in our joys and our sorrows. In our weakness we are aware of His strength. When we are weary we feel His comfort, because in God’s presence is fullness of joy.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so panteth my soul after Thee, O’ Lord. My soul thirst for you O’ God, for the living God. Where can I go and meet with God? (Psalms 42:1-2). The deep longing of our hearts can only be satisfied when we meet God in worship. It is then that we give ourselves completely to Him and He quenches the thirst of our hearts and fills us with more of Himself. Our worship of God is our response to His goodness and His faithfulness to us. This sacred act of worship is the appropriate response to God’s awesomeness and his majesty. It is what we do to delight the heart of God, expressing our love and thanksgiving to Him. The indwelling Holy Spirit makes God real to us as He prompts us, draws us close and escorts us into the presence of God..
Worship is primarily expressing our love and adoration to God in the beauty of His holiness. God seeks sincere worshippers who worship Him in Spirit and truth. When we worship God there is a sweet intimacy between God and His redeemed ones. The essence of our worship is communion. Whether personal or corporate there are many ways we can communicate with God. Scripture is filled with insights about how men and women expressed their devotion to God through the ages. From the first sacrifice of Cain and Abel to the last amen in Revelation, the Bible resounds with man worshipping God. The reality is that when God reached out to man and made Himself known to him, man responded by worshipping Him. Likewise, when God reveals Himself to us the natural response is to humble ourselves before Him and worship. However, when we ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name it goes beyond worship services. Worshipping God in the beauty of holiness means to live holy lives and bring every aspect of our lives under His Lordship. The channels that ushers us into the presence of the Lord is praise and worship. God dwells in the atmosphere of His praise and it is through praise and worship we express our adoration to our wonderful Lord.
OLD TESTAMENT WORSHIP:
Ancient Israel had sacred places, sacred objects, sacred ceremonies and certain times set apart for God. They had sacrifices, Priests and sacred feast days which opened the way for them to come to God in worship. Those places and objects represented God’s holiness. There in the temple prayers were offered, praise was sent up and man worshipped God. But the central act of worship was the sacrifices by the ordained priest, morning and evening, day after day over the centuries. The priest followed God’s law that had been given to Israel including animal sacrifice. These sacrifices were designed among other things to express repentance for sins and offer thanksgiving to God for His blessings. God designed worship that we might participate in His glory and to give us a chance to offer something up to Him. We offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God.
NEW TESTAMENT WORSHIP:
Among the early Christians, the new faith transformed the ancients traditions into new patterns of worship. New Testament Christians focused on Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. However, the same principle was carried over from Israel to Christianity. That is, the God of heaven, in His own unique way made Himself known to sinful man and they responded by worshipping Him. Worship says that God is superior to all else. When we focus our thoughts on Him and quiet our hearts before Him we find that worship happens spontaneously. As we worship God in spirit and truth He reveals Himself to us, and the more of Himself He reveals the more we worship Him.
Paul writes to the (Romans, 12:1), “Therefore , I urge you brethern, in view of God’s mercy, offer your body as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship.” Contrasting animal sacrifice to living sacrifice, He says, “Now that you have the life of God in you, worship Him with your heart, mind and spirit. Give your total self, all of you to God.” Surrender all that you are so you can become all He wants you to be. How beautiful worship can become when we forget ourselves, our techniques and our hang-ups and bask in the presence of God. It is a taste of heaven that makes one feel alive and free
WHAT IS WORSHIP?:
So then what is genuine worship? It is almost beyond our explanation but a picture has been painted that says, “When the human spirit connects with God through the Holy Spirit worship takes place.” Our acts of worship is to reverence God, to honor Him, to give Him the highest respect, esteem Him highly and live as though He is the best thing that ever happen to us. We worship God as we serve Him, yield to Him, praise Him, adore Him, love Him and enjoy Him. Worship is a powerful experience that takes us out of the natural into the spiritual realm. When we engage in worship we recognize what we were created for. We can perform no higher activity on earth that worshipping God. For that reason God made man to bring glory and honor to Him. When we worship God we are fulfilling our purpose for being. (Isaiah 43:7) says. “We are created for God’s glory” If we can let go of the things that hinder us from total involvement in worship, take self out of the way and focus on God’s glory, we would be transformed.In the context of worship, we are refreshed and strengthened simply by being in the presence of God.
WORSHIP A LIFESTYLE:
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God“ (1 Corinthians 10:31). All of creation shouts of God’s greatness. “The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaims the work of His hand. (Psalms 19:1) Nature does its work continuously. Likewise, it is a natural normal experience for the creature to worship it’s creator. However, it is not to be restricted to Sunday morning worship service but it is to be a way of life for God’s people. Worship goes beyond the music we play, the songs we sing, the raising of the hands to the Lord or the dance before the Lord. It encompasses all that and more. Worship fits into a bigger picture than we can comprehend. It blows our mind to try to understand how God with His holiness, His power, His magnificence and all that He is desires to fellowship with sinful, undone creatures like ourselves. “For the Lord takes delight in His people,” (Psalms 149:4a).God is not impersonal, we are the object of His affection and He desires to have a relationship with us. For that reason He created us with the ability to respond to His love.
Our Lord, gets pleasure from all of His creation but He is only intimate with man. Creation ascribes to God glory and strength, but only mankind can worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. He created human beings as the object of His affection. Therefore should we not live with a consciousness of being in the presence of God at all times so that worship will becomes our life? Israel was to make worship a lifestyle. God gave them purity laws and other laws for everyday living. they had instructions and guidelines to help them live holy lives. In small things and big things as we allow our lives to become saturated with God’s Spirit and become consumed with His love, the only proper response to God is to worship Him.
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