Less of me. More of you.
John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Worship is bowing before and giving allegiance. It defines who or what we are really living our life for. We worship what we believe in and what we pursue the most to find our sense of well-being and happiness. What we worship determines our level of anger, frustration, and fear. We become like what we worship, for it defines who we are. If establishes what we defend or are defensive about. Our value and values are established by what our heart truly worships. Truly finding our highest objects of worship will define our identity, priority, and purpose.
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Worship disconnects our "worry" button and allows us to hear God. As it is with prayer, worship acknowledges God as superior to our value and ability in life. It's so easy for those with some sense of ability, knowledge and intelligence to engage themselves in solving life's problems without God. Oh, we may use our knowledge of the Bible. We may seek and search the scriptures, read books, listen to sermons, and attempt to overcome by our own capacity, and think that we are availing ourselves of God's promises. But as long as we are struggling, analyzing, rationalizing, and exerting our own mind and will, we are not releasing the full potential of God in us.
2 Chronicles 20:12-17 O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.
Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.
He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’ ”
Worship engages the truth that we have within us. Knowing the truth is not enough. Believing it and confessing it is not enough. As long as we hold revelation in a 'carnal cup' of human ability alone, the power of the Spirit can usually be stopped up. To set the mind on the Spirit, live and worship in the Spirit, we must let go of our carnal battle of striving, even with biblical tools of revelation knowledge.
Worship acknowledges God's supremacy and power and releases it. Mere attainment of Bible knowledge acknowledges only our ability to understand, believe, and live. Understanding is merely a human capacity. He will give us a peace that passes understanding. But to achieve it we must go beyond our demand to understand, beyond our idea that the attainment of understanding is the way to deliverance. Worship and prayer are our admission and surrender to the reality that we are unable, and always will be unable, to attain the will of God by our own strength. As long as we do not worship and do not pray, we are still believing that we can do it ourselves.
Joshua 5:14-15 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. Take that idol, put it on the floor, and bow to it.
Joshua 6:18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise, you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it.
Worship believes God to the point that we let go of the battle. It comes from a state of being where we believe that God really does want to speak into our lives with His power. It knows that we don't have to worry about whether or not God will act if we simply stop trying. We cannot 'will' God to work. Nor should we narrow His vast diversity of options and intentions by our limited 'faith expectations.' "If God is really here, and if I really believe Him, then He should give me a word of knowledge about this situation, or He should deliver this miracle of healing." Worship frees us from this human expectation and frees Him to be the God of variety and love that He is. We need not worry by limiting Him with our own expectations of how He will speak or work.
Daniel 3:17-18 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Daniel 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
American government has failed this week. June 26, 2015, sin came out of the closet, not by the rule of law, but by the rule of will, according to Justice Scalia. It is a hallmark moment that only a constitutional amendment can now change. Congress can't change it, nor can the president, because it would be illegal now. The gloves are officially off. My wife said, "This nation is dead." And who are we to rail too harshly against the government, the media, or the gays themselves? How can this change?
The stand that these 3 Hebrew men took is an example of how radically the government of a powerful nation can change. They had long ago determined that they would worship the Lord God above all else, above all men, above all governments, above all of the courtroom of public opinion, above all the dead religion which brought them to this place. They would yield their very bodies that they might not serve any other god. It is this determination and conviction to sacrifice all that they had, all that they were materially and physically, in order to worship God. And it was this worship that changed the heart of the King. And he made a decree. He changed the law!!!
Worship will release the Spirit of God to manifest Himself as we take our minds off of ourselves and off of our own human thoughts. The mind set on the Spirit in worship is the experience of Life. The music we sing can be used by God to take us away from our own thoughts and inspire us with heaven. Sometimes our prayers will put us into a depression as we focus on our problems. But worship is our forgetting about ourselves, drawing away from this world, and drawing near to God.
Who I am is not intended to be what I know but who I am in relationship with by the Holy Spirit. It is dependence upon who the Spirit is instead of upon what I know in the Bible.
Many people have great bible knowledge, much life experience, many testimonies of God's intervention, and have great faith in what God can do. But they experience little of His present power and presence because they have been drawn away from worship. Temptations have become hard to overcome. Frustrations, life problems, and personal sins have begun to creep back. Blame has become a way of life, and bitterness is not far behind. Falling short of the grace of God, as Hebrews outlines, begins to take over.
Ex. "Let My people go that they may worship Me."
Deuteronomy 8:19 If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.
Misplaced worship is the beginning of successful temptation. For worship is drawing near to God, and temptation is drawing away from Him. "I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be on my lips." Ps. 34:1. This is the beginning of breakthrough.
Worship and praise brings us to a strong life consciousness of God's presence verses the constantly struggling awareness of self. Some people are far too aware of self with all of its failures and faults, and far too unaware of the living Christ within us. Self-awareness is good, but only if it leads us away from ourselves and nearer to God. What good is our awareness of our short-comings, and what good is our awareness of God's Word if we do not come to experience the presence of God, His joy, His peace, and His power? Without worship Christianity degenerates into a mind over matter religion void of the power of salvation.
There are many weaknesses, infirmities of soul, mind and emotion that keep people defeated. There is the motions of the flesh, the carnal divisions, self-absorbed short-comings in the name of religion. It's almost impossible for a group of Christians to love each other unless this is in place: we need the heart that lives in a place of worship. When God truly is our daily treasure, then we have the well-being necessary to live in love. Without this, it is impossible to keep our eyes on God in the storms of life. When worship fails, so does the power of the Christian life.
Matthew 8:16-17 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Isaiah 53:4-5 Surely he hath borne our griefs, (sickness)
and carried our sorrows: (pain)
yet we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.
Just because He doesn't heal us as we want doesn't make it any less true. He also wants to lead us to take care of ourselves. But this is simple truth, that the world loves to make fun of. Healing is in the atonement. Healing is for today. Did He just take away the sins of the first generation? Clearly the healing is manifested as part of the consequence of taking sin away.
Healing gets in our face. It brings us face to face with an ancient and eternal faith that is intended to impact our "now" world. When it doesn't seem to happen, it messes with us. So some make fun of it in order to live in denial. But it's true none-the-less.
"Fulfill" means to cram or 'make to be full.' To complete so that nothing shall be wanting. To carry into effect, bring to realization; to ratify; to bring to fulness or perfection. It therefore doesn't mean that it was just fulfilled on that day, never to be accomplished again. For He continued to heal. The disciples continued to heal after He had ascended. The church is commissioned to bring healing to all who believe.
"Infirmities" includes by definition: of the soul for: want of strength and capacity requisite to understand a thing to do things great and glorious to restrain corrupt desires to bear trials and troubles.
As we grow older we hopefully narrow the gap between what we say and what we do. We become more aware of our limitations. Our well-intentioned words have more integrity as we grow in wisdom. "There's nothing that you can do that will get me to stop loving you." While a very warm sentiment, it may be totally ridiculous. "I'll never leave you." "I'll help you with whatever you need me for." Or one of my favorites - "If you ever see something in me that's not right, just tell me." Don't bite into that apple! To narrow the gap between what we say and what we do is important. But it is also something that we need to give people grace in. We all have our margins of error. All of us.