part 2 living in healing
ANOTHER HEALTH RESTORATION FEATURE
OF OUR LIVES
MUST BE WORSHIP.
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are, and were created.
It will be there in heaven, that some will finally realize we have been created to give pleasure and praise to God. We could realize that now, and finally recognize our full purpose. The witnessing is bringing pleasure to God, and worship will also give Him pleasure. There in heaven we will finally truly realize that we were created to give our God pleasure.
Down here, too many "saints" think that God was created to give us pleasure. We were created to serve Him, and to worship Him.
"...the whole multitude of disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord; peace in heaven and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Master, rebuke Thy disciples. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you thatif these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."
Jesus accepted the worship of the disciples, and they could barely contain their joy in seeing Jesus fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah. The Pharisees, and some others, criticized the excitement and the joyous worship of the disciples. Many today criticize the joy of the worshippers in Christianity. They would rather we piously sit in pews, and reverently bow our heads while a minister recites a saintly sounding, monotone prayer. Yet, the early church praised in the prison cells, worshipped while tied to poles about to be set afire. They were unrestrained, unhindered by commands of authorities to cease mentioning the name of Jesus.
The early church had more than correct doctrines, it had more than great emphasis on the Word of God and prayer, it had more than spiritual leadership, and it had more than spiritual gifts. The revival church had WORSHIP and PRAISE. The correct doctrines, when written upon the heart, should create a worshipping congregation.
Some congregations pride themselves on correct doctrines, and some feel they are so right, that everyone else is wrong. Proper doctrine is important. Never underestimate correct doctrine, but it should lead to worship. If doctrines and beliefs of a congregation do not lead to, and result in, worship and praise, the doctrines are not proper, not understood correctly, or simply misconceptions.
Sound doctrine does not have to be "sound asleep." There is too much of the "deep frozen" religion. There are many who know the Word, know the doctrines, know the prophecies, but do not worship the Lord. The scribes and Pharisees of the time of the Lord's first coming, knew the Word, but failed to worship the Messiah when He stood in their presence. Today, we find many such people also.
The true vocation of the congregations includes WORSHIP.
I Peter 2:5,9
"...to offer up spiritual sacrifices... that ye should shew forth the praises of Him."
"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name."
"Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders."
"Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation."
What if everyone of the congregation, entered into the local church, with words of praise to God? What if we actually were silly enough to try what God says He wants?! What if we obeyed that command to ‘enter His gates with thanksgiving, praise, blessings, thankful? What kind of service do you think we would have?
Some enter with complaints, discouragement, anger, frustration, weariness, and it takes a great song service, a rousing sermon, to get them smile at the end to say ‘amen’. Shameful. Our God deserves more than that.
The congregation that fails to worship, has failed at its real vocation. God meant for us to learn to worship, then learn to work. Martha was distracted by much serving. Mary chose the "better", and sat at the feet of Jesus. Had Martha also sat at the feet of Jesus, I am sure the meal still would have been prepared, as both could have periodically gone to the kitchen for a time, and then returned and still had time to learn and enjoy the presence of Jesus. The church needs to learn to get its work done, but put worship ahead of the "nitty-gritty" duties of the church.
Samuel was busy in the temple service, and yet in I Samuel 3:7 it says: "Samuel did not yet know the Lord." It is possible to be busy in church work, and not truly know, or enjoy the Lord Jesus.
The Greek word commonly used for "worship" is "proskuneo," which means "to kiss the hand toward." This suggests an outward action which shows an inward realization of the greatness of another. The idea of "worth-ship" is recognized in real worship. In true worship is the recognition of Who the Lord truly is.
On the isle of Patmos, John was shown the future rapture day. In his vision, he saw the saints singing:
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power."
Worship delights in the sheer glory of God. Worship revels in His Person, His Nature, and His being. Worship recognizes what He has done.
Our actions and behavior should make others rejoice and worship in the Lord. When unbelievers see:
our good works,
our attitudes in crisis,
our love in the midst of hatred,
our patience in the midst of trial,
and our honesty in the midst of dishonesty...
they will glorify God Who has given us the grace to so behave.
I Peter 2:12
"Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."
In this way, our behavior is an act of worship. We can glorify God, not only with our mouths, but with our lives, our attitudes, and with our actions. We should therefore be glorifying God most every moment.
I Corinthians 10:31
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
Sometimes our actions profane our worship and praise. If we skip gathering together with the believers regularly, and would rather picnic, shop, or watch television most service times, the Lord is not impressed with the one time that month you decided to come to service. Perhaps the television shows were all reruns, so you come to worship and praise God. Do you think He is really fooled when you praise Him?
"What a weariness it is..." (Malachi 1:13).
The people in that day were heard by God to express their ‘weariness’ at coming to God’s place of worship. Many feel to gather together to worship the Lord is a weariness, hard, bothersome, and too much trouble. To feel that worship is a trial, an ordeal, a burden, and torture, is a terrible insult to the Lord we claim to praise when we do come.
Is it a weariness to attend? to pray? to be on time? to teach? to read your Bible??? Some complain when they must do these things. God hates insincerity, so if it is such a bother, get to the altar, and tell the Lord the truth until you get restored into a relationship with Him wherein it will not be a bother anymore.
Some in Bible times would offer the Lord a blemished, dying, or sick lamb... They were to offer an unblemished lamb that was healthy and strong. Do you offer the Lord your best? Do you say He is your "all in all" and then give your spare time, your left overs, your "what I don't need for McDonald's money"? God hates insincerity, and you had better be wise and tell Him the truth. Tell God that you have valued other things more than He, repent and get your priorities right before you leave.
The Greek word for "your reasonable service" is the Greek word "latreia". This word could also be translated - "your spiritual worship." The original word is capable of both renderings. The RSV translates it this alternate way. The idea is that giving our lives to be a living sacrifice, and living a holy life for the Lord Jesus, is a form of worship.
True worship is spiritual. Though it is expressed in outward expression, or with the actions of our lives, it must come from our inner being. It springs from the depth of our spirit.
"God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and truth."
Worship can be expressed in physical ways, words, and actions. It will be centered in the Holy Spirit, and will be from the depth or our being. Any worship that comes simply from the mind, or is hollow, outward show with no inward life, is not true worship. Often in congregations, there are hymns sung, wherein the words are sung - but not felt. These songs are only echoes of a shallow or dead faith. The Lord is not fooled by the harmonious beauty of the song. The heart is seen by God, and He recognizes true worship.
God hates insincere worship. God would rather we shut the doors of the church than to come and worship insincerely. The devil would rather we worship insincerely, than to shut the church congregation out of the building.
"...but ye have profaned it (the name of the Lord), in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted, and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. Ye said, also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought an offering; should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing; for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and My name is dreadful among the heathen."
It is a weariness to God, a hurtful and offensive thing to have beings who owe their all to the Lord to insincerely, hesitantly, unwillingly, give praise. Yet, the churches are filled with those who do not really mean their praise, do not want to give any praise, and who say things in their praise that they do not feel.
Do you attend out of habit? or to see friends? or are you made to come? or to please someone? God would rather you would not come, than to come for those reasons. What has happened to the sincere people who come to church expecting a blessing? or to seek God? or to commune with God? God hates insincere worship.
The song service is a time of worship. Some sing things that they do not mean, as "I'll go where you want me to go", or "keep me near the cross." You are not singing to your neighbor, nor to the preacher, but to God. God hates insincere, misdirected, un-meaning worship.
"Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools; for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God; for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few. ... a fool's voice is known by multitude of words. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for He hath no pleasure in fools; pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay."
Two or three times, Jesus came to the temple and cast out the money changers. He was angered at their abuse of the house of God. It was not that they had sold doves and lambs for the sacrifices, it was their cheating, stealing, and deception to the people. Jesus called it a "den of thieves" and told them that His Father's house should be a "house of prayer." It is time we re-teach that lesson. We are the Temple of God, and this temple should be a "house of prayer" and worship. Sinful and insincere should be expelled from our lives.
It is like the fancy wrapped boxes a lady left in her car. Knowing they would likely be stolen, if she left her car unlocked, she had wrapped her garbage in the fancy wrappings. Many people in congregations have wrapped their shallow faith in beautiful songs, and exuberant praise and worship. The enthusiasm does not fool the Lord. If the inside of a person is the filth of sin, the outward worship, no matter how enthusiastic or harmonious, is rejected by our God.
In the real and true worship there is no set pattern. Yet, it never becomes disorderly or confused. Since the Spirit is in control, the Spirit directs us to worship in manifold ways. Nothing is more disastrous than to try to create an atmosphere of worship. While we may try to create exuberance and rejoicing, the Spirit may be seeking to get us to weep and cry our love for Jesus. When we seek the weeping worship, the Spirit may want to direct us toward praise and shouting.
What we must do in revival is -- to create an atmosphere that allows the Spirit to create -- a worship. When people try to recreate what they saw God do in another service, it will fall flat. Spiritual worship, since it must be Spirit directed, cannot be produced by even the best of worship leaders. It can only be -- prepared for, -- by the worship leaders... and the worshippers. We must prepare our hearts and minds with the knowledge of the "worth-ship" of the Lord, and the thankfulness for His mercy and grace.
The worship and praise in the early church took place in upper rooms of the homes, in fields, in the temple, in the market place, in the prison cells, etc. In other words, they worshipped the Lord wherever they were. Their worship sprung from a relationship with the Lord, and was not directed by a worship leader who told them when to praise, when to clap, and when to raise their hands. Their lives, their witness turned the world upside down. They were spiritually healthy, physically able to continue doing the work of God.
When Charles Wesley was saved, he was flooded with joy. He described his happiness to Peter Bohler, and added: "I suppose I should keep silent about it." Peter Bohler answered: "No, never! If you had a 1000 tongues, go and use them all for Jesus!" Wesley went home and wrote the song - "Oh For a Thousand Tongues to Sing My Great Redeemer's Praise."
A great evangelist, teacher of the more recent past, A.G. Ward said: "Our Lord is desirous that people should be rejoicing Christians. If Christians were more joyful, they would set sinners' mouths a-watering for the dainties of true religion."
Sometimes our hearts are heavy, our troubles are many, and we feel we must wait until things get better, or perfect, and then we will praise our Lord. Habakkuk questioned God of all the troubles that Israel was facing, and God replied to him: "The just shall live by faith."
We must learn as Habakkuk to live by faith, to rejoice even when our sight tells us there is nothing to rejoice in when troubles abound.
Habakkuk wrote at the end of his book:
"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall there be fruit in the vines... yet will I rejoice in the Lord."
God created us for fellowship. The stones will cry out with praises if we do not. We must keep the stones silent, and praise our Lord and King. Certainly, He is worthy of our praises. God will inhabit our praises, and will come and dwell in the midst of those who are praising Him. Will you praise Him?
Let's sweep aside every hindrance, and give God the praise He deserves. Let us keep the stones silent, and let us be the ones to praise Him. Some await someone to lead their worship. It is not wrong to have worship leaders, but our praise must now be confined to these times only. True worship in the latter rain revival will be directed by the Spirit.
Our worship not only honors and magnifies God, but it is also for our own edification and strength. Worship helps us develop a God-like and Christ-like character. We become like unto those we admire and worship. When we worship God we tend to value what God values and gradually take on the characteristics and qualities of God, but never to His level.
As Philippians 2:5 says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ." How do we take on the mind of Christ? In Romans 12:2 we read, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." We renew our mind as we study and meditate on God’s word and worship Him.
When we worship God we develop such traits as forgiveness, tenderness, justice, righteousness, purity, kindness, and love. All of this is preparing us for eternal life in heaven with God and Christ. As we are told in Colossians 3:2 to, "Set your mind on things above, and not on things on the earth."
Worshipping God "in spirit" means with reverence, attentiveness, and having the right purpose of honoring God, while understanding what we are doing. Hebrews 12:28-29 says, "Let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire."
Our worship must glorify God. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, "For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."
In order to worship God in the right spirit, we must take time before worship to make ready our hearts and emotions so we will be in the proper frame of mind. We read in Psalms 89:7, "God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence by all those around Him." Our worship must show great reverence toward God. He is our creator and He holds our eternal destiny in His hands. We must strive to please Him. We should not have to rush or hurry to worship, arriving late but should always plan to be there early enough so we can be in a worshipful attitude and spirit. Our mind must be ready, attentive, and alert.
Concerning the Lord’s Supper, we are warned in 1 Corinthians 11:27, "Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." Our worship to God must be done in a worthy manner. It must be done in a manner that brings glory and honor to God and Christ. Continuing to read in verse 29, "For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body."
We must control our thoughts during periods of worship and not let them wander to other things. We should never be wishing the worship service would hurry up and be over so we can get to the restaurant early and not have to stand in line. In fact we should be of the frame of mind that we are disappointed to see the worship service end.
Many people want to do what they think best and what seems right to them. We are warned not to do this in Proverbs 14:12, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." What is right for God, is for us to be worshipful while finishing His work. That is the ‘way of life’. But many do what they want, and it is the ‘way of death’. Health of the spirit, and of the body, are greatly improved, when we worship and serve God.
God has always told man how He is to be worshipped. God is the only one who has the right to determine how He is to be worshipped. He will only accept that which is in harmony with His prescribed will. God instructs us how to worship Him acceptably through His word in the Bible. In Ephesians 5:17 we read, "Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ifwe are the least bit concerned about where we will spend eternity, it is wise to know what the will of the Lord is so we can do it and be pleasing to Him. We are accountable for what we believe and practice. Our eternal destiny hangs in the balance of how we treat His truth.
SERVICE TO GOD, AND WORSHIP
WILL RENEW OUR PERSON
Ephesians 4:23 (KJV)
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
When our thinking is aright, is transformed, we will then be able to ascertain, prove, what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. We are renewed in our thinking so we can approve and agree with what is God’s will and God’s thinking. That brings happy thinking.
Ephesians 5:8-10 (KJV)
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
We should not be unwise in our thinking, we need a transformation, a renewal of our thinking, so we can know and can agree with the will of God. We need to do the works we have been given, worship the Lord as our body, soul, and spirit were designed to do, and health will spring forth, joy, even in the midst of trials, will be there.