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Topic: Worship (05/03/04)
TITLE: The Worshipers He Desires
By Doug Laird
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Choosing where, how and when to worship can be quite confusing to persons who have recently been born again.
Among such new believers, there is a tendency to pursue his spirituality along the same route as the person or persons who introduced him to the Christian world.
As a believer matures, he may discover that although he will be eternally grateful for their part in the salvation process, the person, church, or organization that presented him with the Gospel and the opportunity to respond may be inadequate to provide the spiritual edification for the same believer to advance in the post-salvation spiritual life.
Not everyone has/had the blessings of the influence of Godly parents. For some, such issues as attending church or only attending in order to go through the motions of a particular denomination were things that you had to do in order to meet parental, familial or social expectations, but were void of any true spirituality or genuine worship.
Some new believers never attended a church in their entire lifetime and frankly don’t have a clue as to where to begin to worship God and exploring the options seems only to further cloud the issue.
Taking into consideration all of the many backgrounds and divers circumstances in which individuals enter the family of God, it is easy to see where there is much confusion as to where, how, and when a believer is to worship God in the way that God approves.
There are many reasons that people attend Church that have nothing to do with true worship. Parental demands, family and or social obligations, the need to secure present or future services such as weddings or funerals, religious rituals, socialization, guilt, religious obligations, pursuing blessings, entertainment, and even political posturing are among the endless list of reasons that people attend Church other than to truly worship God.
Some may say that it is better to “go” to church for whatever reason than not to “go” at all. Perhaps that is why so many others attempt to excuse themselves & stay away since that can see no differences in the daily lives of those who “go” and those that don’t.
The negative actions or reactions of others, including those in a position of authority, are no excuse losing what should be your “…first love” (Rev. 2:4 NIV).
There can be a “curse”, according to (1 Cor. 16:22 NIV), “ on anyone who does not love the Lord”. The Bible teaches that love for God is demonstrated by obedience. (John 14:15). A person cannot obey God if he does not know what it is the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16) and apply it in the events of everyday life. The only way one can develop the “…mind of Christ” (1Cor.2:16 NIV) is by the daily intake and application of Bible Doctrine. This is what brings glory to God and is one of the highest forms of worship that a believer can express.
Truly, “going” to Church and “worshiping” in Church are two very different issues.
While some form of singing, praying, preaching, Bible reading, and Communion can be found in nearly every Christian church and the Lord Jesus Christ is present wherever two or three meet in His name (Matthew 18:20), how does one discern what kind of worship pleases God?
Well let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of the issue and see, from a Biblical perspective, what kind of worship & worshipers it is that God desires since in the final analysis this is all that matters.
“…the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23 NIV).
To worship God in the “spirit” means to be Spirit filled (controlled). Every Christian is indwelled by the God the Holy Spirit, but we are not always under His control. (Eph. 4:30/Rom. 7/Galations 5:17). Without the filling (control) of the Spirit, we cannot do anything in the spiritual realm, including worship. (John 15:5).
Whenever we engage in either personal or corporate worship, we must be spirit-filled (controlled). This is accomplished through the confession of any known sin (1 John 1:9). As long as we harbor known and unconfessed sin, we are under the control of our fallen natures & out of fellowship with God. Salvation is never lost, but fellowship with God is lost as we “…grieve the Holy Spirit…” (Eph.4:30 NIV) within us until the known sin is confessed.
Consequently, the period of time that we are out of fellowship can be as short as the time it takes to confess or as long as the rest of out natural lives if we refuse to confess. We cannot be out of fellowship with God and worship Him in the Spirit at the same time. This is why sin that becomes a lifestyle can be so devastating to the post-salvation spiritual life. As long as we remain out of fellowship with God, we are spiritually “disabled”. “…apart from Me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).
To worship God in the “truth” means to worship according to the principles as revealed in, and only in, the Word of God. (Communion, Luke 22:19/Prayer, Matthew 21:13/Music, Judges 5:3/Edification, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Tim. 3:16).)
Sounds simple? Genuine worship was never intended to be a complicated procedure, but yet it is a vital part of the post-salvation spiritual life & should be the highlight of the Christian’s daily life.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (R) Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All Rights reserved.