Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Worship (05/03/04)
TITLE: Worship Him! Worship Him! Worship Him!
By Phyllis Inniss
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
Worship Him! Worship Him! Worship Him! So sings the refrain of one of the beautiful religious songs sung sometimes. Yes, we must worship Him in spirit and in truth. As John 4:23 and 24 says “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth” We are told, too, to worship the Lord in holy array at different times in the bible. In holy array – we are expected to come into His presence with holiness, in an attitude of prayer, befitting His divine status and suitably dressed. Some young ladies had to be asked to leave a particular church, because the priest considered their dress a little too vulgar for a house of prayer.
God is no earthly king from whom we are seeking some favour to put us in some position of authority above our fellowman. He is our heavenly King to whom we pray and ask the favour of His blessing, and for mercy and grace. Our worship must be tempered with humility, not the arrogance of expecting that because we want something we must have it. We must recognize that it is His will, not ours, that must fit in with His divine plan.
After Jesus’ resurrection, He promised that the Holy Spirit would come to the disciples and act as their comforter. This was a legacy to be passed on to those who believed in Him and acknowledged Him as Christ the Lord. We, too, who believe in Jesus Christ are fortunate to have this comforter. For that reason alone we should worship Him. This is a divine gift that all who have experienced miracles – small and large – or divine interventions at crucial times in their lives, can attest to the power of God.
The OED gives the definition of worship as reverent homage or service paid to God, as a noun, and, as a verb, to adore as divine. We know in our materialistic world, people pay homage to those they look up to in order to get from them enhancement in their career, a posting that will bring them honour and prestige. They become subservient to another whom they regard as important and holding power. Little do they remember that all power comes from God and the one they are subservient to may himself be in that position for only a short time. It would be better for such persons to put their trust in the Holy One and live in the fear of and trust in the Lord. “True fear of God means that you recognize Him as the ultimate Power in the universe. Such fear overcomes any other fear.” Taken from the SDA Adult Teachers Bible Study Guide.
The Oxford Concise English Dictionary also gives the definition for ‘to worship’ as ‘to idolize’. This means that we put our Saviour on a plane well beyond the realm of ordinary man. We must kneel to worship Him in reverence and awe. If we worship Him in spirit and in truth, we must put aside all petty distractions. Our minds and hearts must be solely connected to Him. We must get rid of past misdemeanours, hankering after earthly possessions, and seeking conflicts. Instead we should move towards a path of peace, love and kindness, forgiving others whom we feel have wronged us.
Last Sunday a call was made to the congregation by one of the leaders of the Church for members to remember that they were in a church. They were asked to behave in a manner consistent with being in a house of worship, that reverence should be displayed. Instead of chatting with each other, they should prepare themselves in readiness for the start of the service. Standards have fallen everywhere, but the one place where we expect respect to be shown is certainly in our place of worship.
In the Old Testament we read of the kings of Israel and Judah, with some exceptions e.g. David, worshipping idols, gods fashioned out of stone and metal. As the O.T. says they have eyes but do not see, ears but they cannot hear, gods made out of human hands. Because these kings disobeyed God’s commandments to love no other God but Him, they suffered terrible consequences. They ignored the warnings of the various prophets and brought disaster on themselves and their nations “While kings claimed strong connection with the gods, they were subservient to them. This was dramatically demonstrated every year on the fifth day of the Babylonian New Year Festival, in which the king was required to remove his royal insignia before approaching the statue of Marduk so his kingship could be reaffirmed. The idea of displacing even a lesser god would be crazy and suicidal.” (SDA Adult Teachers Sabbath School Study Guide)
Today we have a similar problem: the worship of money. To some money is their God. Tim.6:l0 says “For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs.” People have committed serious crimes for money, even murder. Some parents have sold their children into virtual slavery for it.
When we worship God, we yearn to be more like him and our hearts and minds will be filled with the peace that He alone can give; no lesser god can take His place in our life.