Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Created to Worship

It doesn't matter where you came from. It doesn't matter how you were raised. It doesn't matter what talents you have. Every single one of us is different from another...but...we all have one thing in common. We stand united because each one of us was created to worship.
Psalm 148:1-6 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts! Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord! For he commanded and they were created. And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
God designed you for worship...we were created for the sole purpose of worshipping him. Too often, we forget why we were created in the first place...and that's when things start to fall apart in our lives. We need to understand the significance of living a life of worship. Do you realize that when the body of Christ gathers to lift up his name, heaven collides with earth? In that moment, all the heavenly beings join with us in praise! When you worship - heaven takes notice. The really cool thing about worship isn't just getting to praise God or even singing along with angels...it's the fact that you can't stir heaven with your praises without stirring earth at the same time!!! If you live a life of worship...everyone around you will take notice.

I don't know about you...but Latin was never my favorite subject. I had to take it for 2 years when I was a kid and I pretty much remember....nothing. But if you look at the Latin word that praise comes from (I'm not going to butcher the poor word by trying to spell it) ... it means to value or give worth to. When you worship your Creator - you declare his worth and value. You don't add value to his name, you declare its value over your life. When you praise, you are declaring that God is greater than your needs.
Hebrews 8:5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”
I think too often we try to define worship with things like music or raising our hands or dancing. Those things are all great and ways that we express our worship at times...but worship isn't music...it's a progression. If you know anything about Moses' Tabernacle...you know about the three areas of that place: The Outer Courts, The Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies.

The Outer Courts were where sacrifices were made to atone for sin. The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death and you could not enter the Holy Place until blood had been shed. The Holy Place was a place for offerings to be made. The Holy of Holies was the place where the Arc of the Covenant was kept...the literal presence of God on earth.

This was the progression that had to be made. The High Priest had to go through that process or procedure every time. He could not enter into the Holy of Holies(fellowship with God) without first going through the Outer Courts and the Holy Place. The same is true for worship.

The Outer Courts of worship is basically divine initiation. This is where the Spirit of God drew you to himself. God found us, we didn't find him. He wants to draw you into the Outer Courts but if you draw back from him then you won't progress. Worship begins with a revelation of who God is. You can't worship a God you know nothing about. When he reveals himself to you to draw you to himself, you realize that you are a sinner, broken and messed up...but that he loves you and his mercies are new every morning. Once you see him for who he is, seek his word. The Bible will bring you to a new place of worship. The more you know and understand, you won't be able to stop worshipping!
James 4:7-10 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
The Holy Place is where you come to see him as your provider and Savior. It's the place where pride must be laid down and you must begin to walk in humility. It is the place where you must acknowledge that you can do nothing of your own power. You cannot be proud in this place...it is where you realize your complete dependency on God for everything...every movement, every breath. The Holy Place is where personal relationship begins. Have you ever been so caught up in your own life that you don't have time for God? Then, when you walk into Church you feel disconnected...well, it's because you don't have a personal relationship with God. You were made to Know him!

The Outer Courts is where you learn about him and the Holy place is where you learn to know him. Before worship was music...worship was about drawing close to him. In the Outer Courts, you learn he is your Father...in the Holy Place, you begin to relate to him as your Father. The Holy Place is where you begin to trust God, embrace and experience all he is. Worship is deeper than just a song...it's a lifestyle and a decision.

The Holy of Holies is the place for human response to all he has done for us. There are a few ways that the Bible expresses as appropriate reactions to all God has done. When we come into the Holy of Holies, we should be silent...the Bible tells us to be still and know that he is God. Our words don't impress him and it's in that moment when we are silent in his presence that he will speak into us. In the Holy of Holies we should also reflect on our testimonies...where you were and where you are now. Revelation 12 mentions that the word of your testimony is worship as well. The Holy of Holies is the place where we live a lifestyle of fellowship with God.
Matthew 15:8-9 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
This is a stern warning about the quality of our worship. You can't halfway commit to worship...you must go all in. Think about Cain and Abel...they both gave offerings but only one of them was accepted by God. You can't worship with only your words...you must worship with your life and heart. Don't say anything in worship to God if your life and heart can't back up what you say. You can't give him half-hearted worship...if you truly know him then you can't help but worship him. Open your heart and he will reveal himself to you. When you've truly seen who he is, you will want to live for him.

Worship isn't just about Sundays...it's about your life. Too often we only worship when we know the song...but worship isn't about you...it's not even for you...it's for God. Worship is about blessing his name. Start worshipping him with your life...people won't be able to help but notice.

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