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Worship God. But do you and I really “worship”?
There are a lot of concepts about what “worship” is. Check out the newest sermon on “Worship” to see what the actual Hebrew and Greek words usually translated as “worship” in our English Bibles actually mean! You’re in for a surprise. In that sermon I also discuss what Yeshua said, that God seeks worshipers who will worship him in spirit and in truth.
But to go along with that sermon, here are some important additional points I wanted to say but ran out of time. I hope you’ll read this and then hear the full sermon.
--- Billions of people “worship”, but probably in vain. That’s not me saying that. Yeshua (Jesus) said that (Matthew 15:7-9). If any worships on “auto-pilot”, on rote saying of words and prayers, and bowing when they are supposed to, and singing when told to – but their hearts aren’t in it, then it’s all in vain. Our heavenly Father, the Supreme Being of the universe, wants our hearts more than anything as we worship before Him. He wants us very cognizant, aware, of whom it is we come before.
--- Some of the best worshipers of YHVH, the Living God, were formerly men and women of disrepute. The Almighty has to whittle us down to size before He can use us. John the Baptizer said “He must increase; I must decrease”. He got it! We can’t and won’t see our lowliness until we experience and “see” Yah’s majesty and greatness. Sometimes it takes someone to know how much he/she’s been forgiven before they “see God” and His Way clearly. If you know you’re a chief sinner, there’s probably more hope for you than 99 others who feel they need no forgiveness or repentance. (See Luke 15:7).
Moses was a felon on the run when after his meeting with Yah in the burning bush, became one of the spiritual giants of history. The great apostle Paul was a persecutor of Christians. He did all the rituals of worship perfectly, but until he had his one-on-one with Yeshua on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), he was worshiping in vain. Job clearly said that he knew about the Living God, but now that I see you – “I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6). After that, God healed him and blessed him tremendously. Peter, the great apostle, had been with Yeshua for a while but only when he grasped that Yeshua was someone beyond just a normal, regular human, did he deeply repent and realize in whose presence he was. Read the account in
---Having a true one-on-one encounter with Yeshua (Jesus), WILL lead us to genuinely change and become a new person, a “new creation”, by God’s Holy Spirit and by Yeshua’s righteousness in us. Worship without genuine change, without obedience to our Maker, is also worship that is in vain.
Read Isaiah chapter 1 where Yah makes that so clear. He doesn’t want us coming to worship Him while we continue a life of unrighteousness. Yes, this applies to us all, including me. Neither does He want us thinking that “going to church” once a week “to worship” makes what we do the other 6 days a week alright.
Matthew 7:21-23 –it’s not enough to cry out “Lord, Lord” and not be doing His will or obeying Him. He’ll say, “I never knew you, depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.”
Click on “Continue reading” to the right to finish this blog and learn more about true worship.
We can’t worship one day a week and practice lawlessness the other days. God will say He never knew you or me if that is the case. Yeshua said that. So YES, accept His forgiveness and even His righteousness as your covering, but if you and I really KNOW Yeshua, we WILL be walking in his steps. We will be letting Him live again in us the way He lived the first time: obediently. If that isn’t happening, we’re liars and don’t know him (1 John 2:3-6).
Worship is useless unless it’s changing us. If you recognize I’ve just described you, then you must repent deeply, be lovingly accepted by Holy God, and ask Yeshua (Jesus) to change you by living in you. This transformation will result in some areas of your life changing instantly, while other areas of your life will take a lifetime to be transformed. The hardest transformations will be the things that make us who and what we are. You and I then have to follow what he’s teaching us and where he’s leading us. It’s a WAY of life.
You can sing to God in beautiful voice. You can preach the most awesome sermons. But if our hearts – our true selves, what we are inside -- are dirty and unforgiven, we are simply whitewashed sepulchers. Yeshua said something akin to that too.
Read Isaiah 1 carefully. There our Almighty God YHVH carefully spells out how going through all the motions of “worship” without changing is disgusting to him. There’s more on this point in the sermon.
---TRUE WORSHIP – with bowed down hearts – will only fully happen when we experience and become deeply aware of the gulf of difference between perfectly holy, holy, holy God – and us. However, in true worship, Holy God also covers us with Yeshua’s perfect righteousness if we will humbly repent of our evil ways, ask for “the LORD our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6) and receive it. Yeshua will change us to become more and more like him. It is in this holy garment – Yeshua as our covering – whereby we can come boldly and joyously before our perfect Father, who then will receive you gladly and warmly. Isaiah 61:10 says Yah covers us “with the garments of salvation” (Yeshua). Then, in verse 11, it clearly tells us that GOD causes true righteousness to grow in us. But first – deep repentance and willingness to change.
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ, whom I usually call by his Hebrew name Yeshua: WE are now the temple of God’s Holy Spirit if we have God’s spirit in us (1 Cor 3:16-17; Eph 2:20-22). Your life and my life should be what the temple was supposed to be: a house of prayer and worship. You and I should be known as a life of worship, a house of prayer, the House of GOD (1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Peter 4:17; Hebrews 10:21).
The Temple of God is being measured (Revelation 11:1) –“and those who worship there”. That means God is taking the measure of you and me right now before the Days of Wrath begin. WE can be spared much of the horror of the days of God’s wrath if we seek him with all our hearts right now. I should speak sometime soon about that topic.
--- A TRUE WORSHIPPER will always try, with God’s help and grace, to bring Him glory in everything we do, in every word we say. “….do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Everything we say and do – especially those who know you and I are “believers” – will either bring God glory, or disrepute.
I’m not sure I agree that everything we do is “worship”, as some claim, but I do believe everything we do is either bringing God glory – or shame, if we claim to be part of His chosen people. When you bring shame, as we all do from time to time, repent deeply, turn around, and ask for strength to keep going the right way. Ask Him to change you from the inside out.
--- TRUE WORSHIP therefore never stops. The Temple of YHVH was always a temple. It was always intended to be a House of Prayer to the living God, 24/7, constantly, all the time, no exception. Since WE are God’s temple now, we need to be very, very aware of being the House of God – all the time, 24/7, no exceptions. Our lives should be non-stop God-centered awareness.
Am I there yet? Do I practice all of the above perfectly?
Absolutely not yet. But I know where I’m supposed to be and with His help, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Let’s get back on the path, walking the Way, with each other and with Him. I’m sharing what He’s teaching me. I’m sharing where I’m seeing I have to grow and change and grow up to the full stature of Yeshua, until Christ is fully formed in me (Gal. 4:19).
Let’s all bow down with bowed down hearts and worship our Maker, our Father, our Savior and our King. Amen and amen. When you go to the Feast or to sabbath services, go with a bowed down heart and worship the King, our Savior.
Now check out that most recent sermon on this topic – August 2014.
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Greetings Philip Shields, I have really been yearning to know what true worship entails to better understand what Jesus meant in John 4:23-24 but it has not always been easy for me. Fortunately, I have found what you have written about true worship to be thought provoking indeed. How I wish all who are earnestly desiring to know what true worship is may read and meditate on the contents of this blog! It has given me the impetus to read and listen to your Sermon- WORSHIP GOD! Be blessed dear brother! George Otieno Owato, Holy Anointing Church of God (Seventh Day) Migori- Kenya.