Church Redefined Pt 5 – True Worship
Oct 9, 2013 2161
By Tony Elshof, Wollongong Vineyard Church Plant
This message is to empower and equip you to live a better Kingdom life.
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24
The subject of worship is central to all of Scripture, beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation. It was the issue that God continually found against Israel, it was the key to the devil’s temptations of Christ, and it was the charge the religious leaders brought against Jesus. And in the final days of earth’s history, true worship will be the test of all humanity.
Given its importance, it is little wonder that the Church is continually under attack in the area of worship. Respected American pastor and author Dr. A. W. Tozer said much on the topic of worship, “We have become a generation rapidly losing all sense of the divine sacredness in our worship….There are many churches existing today as merely monuments of what they used to be, the Glory has departed….It is entirely possible to have a recognised form of worship apart from Christ and apart from the salvation He offers, but is it not acceptable to God.
For most Christians, any debate over worship usually centres on the length of worship, the type of songs, and the style of musicians, but I believe we are missing the point. Our main concern should be to discover the real purpose of worship, then authentically and passionately engage in it.
In Isaiah 6:1-8, the prophet has a vision into heaven and sees the Lord God Almighty siting on His throne. Through the eyes of Isaiah we see heavenly beings engaged in worship before God, crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts.”
The Apostle John, in Revelation 4:8-11, gives us a similar glimpse into the throne room of God, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, IS THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME….Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honour and power; for You created all things, and because of your will they existed, and were created.”
The perfect example of worship is found in the mouths of those who dwell in heaven and worship God. Their worship is an acknowledgement of God to God. Their words ring out in adoration to their Creator, in the simple truth of who God is.
John provides the key to worship when he says that we must worship in spirit and truth. The truth of God has already been stated in the passages above, but the method is less obvious. The gospel writers show Jesus reproving those who magnified external appearances of worship, Matthew 6:1-8; Mark 12:41-44; and Luke 18:9-14, while exalting those who were able to do so meaningfully and humbly.
I believe that worship is primarily an attitude, and while we physically engage in singing, lifting our hands, bowing before God or crying out to him, only God can perceive the heart or spirit we worship with. For our Heavenly Father to seek us, we need to spiritually humble ourselves before His throne and cry out in adoration, praising God our Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Healer and King. Blessings Tony