THE FORGOTTEN ART
Worship to the Lord has been a defiled concept. It has been watered down, diluted, perverted, corrupted and poisoned from what it truly is. If worship as defined and promoted in some churches were medicine, it would not heal anyone. If worship, as defined by some churches, were a poison, it would not kill anyone. If worship, as demonstrated in some revivals, was food, it would not be nourishing food. If worship was water, it would not quench anyone’s thirst.
Worship is vital to our Christian life.
We do not exist but for the purpose of worship. When we reach heaven, we will worship and honor the Lord, and realize finally that we were created to bring the pleasure of worship to the Lord.
Revelation 4:9-11 (KJV)
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
10 The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him Who liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.
All will some day speak worship to Him in heaven, we shall realize the import of worship, we will worship forever and ever whenever we come before His throne.
Revelation 5:13 (KJV)
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Down here on earth, while we suffer the effects of a cursed world, and a sinful generation, we are still to offer the ‘sacrifice of praise’ and worship despite the troubles of life.
Hebrews 13:15 (KJV)
15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.
We are to ‘bear fruit’ to our Lord. The ‘fruit of our lips’ is praise, worship, and if we do not have fruit, and are barren, we will be like the fig tree that the Lord found, having leaves, proving life, but barren of fruit.
"And He left them and went out of the city into Bethany, and lodged there. Now in the morning as He returned into the city, He hungered. And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it. Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth forever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!"
On the fig tree, the fruit appears before the leaves. It was in leaf, and means it was in a sense, proclaiming it had fruit. This fig tree was barren, and had leaves only. Israel was that barren fig tree. Christ's word caused the fig tree to wither.
The fruit of our lips is to be worship. Some have no fruit, some have forgotten the art of worship. To profess something, and not have it, angers the Lord. God wants fruit from this world. The fruit of worship is desired by the Lord, deserved by our Lord, and demanded from we who are His own.
Israel proclaimed to know Jesus as the Messiah, and to give honor to Him. Yet, on the day of the Triumphal entry to Jerusalem, the Lord noted that there were words of praise, but no real fruit of worship. Their words were hollow, empty, void of real heart felt worship. They would shortly crucify Him.
Likewise, many profess to be Christians in our day, many sing songs of praise, but their minds and hearts are on the ball game they want to hurry home to, or on the meal they plan to consume at the local restaurant. Their hearts are not worshiping in spirit and in truth, their mouths are uttering sounds of worship, but they are meaningless chatter, for they are not sourced from the heart.
Some do not really have fruit of real worship to prove their profession. We have ministers, board members, teachers, song leaders, etc. who are hypocrites, abusers, and false prophets. They offend and do iniquity, and yet call themselves to be Christians, sing the same songs of praise as do we, but are really barren fig trees.
Jesus is still angered at such, and a curse that will cause them to wither and die is soon to come!
The book of Matthew says that "presently" the tree withered, but in Mark, we find how long that time was.
"And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away..."
The fig tree withered away within a day. It was quick and sudden judgment upon the lack of the fruit. The fruit of the lips is a mandatory fruit the Lord expects from His own. We are to worship, and yet, it is a forgotten art.
Church meetings have cordiality, humor, zeal, high spirits, clapping, toe tapping, beautiful music, and wonderful decor of the sanctuary. Yet, are these same meetings adorned with real worship? Does the overshadowing presence of the Lord fill the place in which we meet? Is the Lord adorning the building with a manifestation of His presence?
We may have correct doctrine, pleasing personalities behind the pulpit, talented musicians with their instruments, and trained voices in the worship team, yet... is there a love affair with Jesus ongoing?
Worship is a forgotten art, and is unnatural and rare within some churches. Few truly worship. Worship should be natural for it is for what we were created. At the new birth, inside us, our spirit came alive again, and that spirit was created to worship, to praise, to give glory to the One Who resurrected the dead spirit, and promised it eternal life.
While spiritually dead, we worshiped things, persons, sports, money, fame, power, and heroes. Listen in the foyer of the church, and see how often those things are still the subject of the praise. Our new, alive spirit, will only be satisfied with true worship of our Savior. There is no other thing we might worship that will satisfy. Yet, the unsatisfied ‘saints’ in buildings meant to be places of worship, are often trying to still be satisfied with the carnal, fleshly, worldly things the world worships.
Worship is love, and we must love the Lord to worship Him. We are told to worship Him with all our being.
Mark 12:29-30 (KJV)
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Some cannot truly worship the Lord, for their opinion of the Lord is not in obedience to this great commandment. Their opinion of others, of money, of fame, of possessions is so great, that the Lord is not on the throne of their lives. God is reduced to a modified, amended thing, instead of being the Savior, Lord, Creator, Provider.
Isaiah saw the Lord, to be ‘high and lifted up’. We need to literally lift up our Lord in our hearts, and praise Him for the glory and power that is totally His alone.
Isaiah 6:1-7 (KJV)
1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
When we, like Isaiah, see the Lord in His glory, we will see ourselves in our degradation. We have had unclean lips, glorifying other things, praising others than God. Yet, when we truly see Him, and see His glory, we will realize our lips need cleansed.
If God is only a bit higher than we esteem ourselves, and if other things get our words of praise, we will find it hard to be in awe to serve the Lord with the fruit of our lips in worship, in holy fear and reverence.
The proud and lofty person cannot worship any better than the proud devil did. Self glorification destroys worship. Worship comes from an inward attitude, a mental acquiescence to the omniscience of God, understanding that we are in ourselves totally foolish. The spiritual recognition of the holiness of God and the depravity of self allows praise and thanks to become true worship.
Our righteousness is as filthy rags, and we truly realize that when we see the Lord high and lifted up. Praise and worship become willing and not forced. The emotional need and willingness to express His greatness, and to be awed by His superiority is natural when we eliminate the proud sham of the human nature.
The Bible says that ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God...’ and yet, the only sin upon Jesus was our sins that He took upon Himself. Jesus left His power and glory, taking on the frailty of mankind. It was His inner purity and sinlessness that allowed the Holy Spirit to work miracles through Jesus. When we learn to glorify Jesus in true worship, that purity and power comes upon us in ways we have yet to imagine.
We are told to ‘do the works of Christ’, and ‘greater works’. We can do that, if we learn to put on the ‘purity’ of Jesus. The walking on water, the calming of storms, the feeding of thousands with a few loaves and fishes, the healing of all the sick, the raising of the dead will be very common if we ever learn the forgotten art of worship of our Lord.
Jesus knew that His purity needed to be total. He came to John the Baptist, and asked John to baptize Him. John the Baptist knew that Jesus had not sinned, and he protested Jesus’ request.
“I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?”
Jesus did not need to be baptized to admit sin, but to fulfill righteousness.
When the baptism took place, a dove landed upon Jesus’ head, and remained calmly there. This signified the power of the Spirit that would anoint the ministry of Jesus.
Then a voice from heaven, God’s own voice, spoke. God said;
“This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.”
God was well pleased, for the Son, i.e. Jesus, One of the Trinity, was obedient and honoring in a worshipful way, the clean example we are to be to this world. The baptism was a worshipful obedience. John praised Jesus as Jesus came to be baptized. The Spirit landed upon the head of Jesus, the Lord God spoke from Heaven in praise of Jesus. And we too, are following the example of them in worship as we glorify Jesus. Our ministry begins with worship, for worship may be a forgotten art to many, but to we who love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, will worship Him truly.