Thursday, April 7, 2011
Worshipping in Spirit
We are called to worship in spirit and in truth. Worshiping in spirit is based on the nature of God. Since God is spirit, His worshipers must worship in spirit. As spirit, God is not confined to a particular location, such as a church building or temple. The place where true worship occurs is in the heart of man.
Matthew 15:8-9/Isaiah 29:13
'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'"
1 Samuel 16:7
…God sees not as mans sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
1 Kings 8:39
…for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men, that they may fear You…
"The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.”
Sheol and Abbadon lie open before the LORD, how much more the hearts of men?
If we had forgotten the name of our God, or extended our hands to a strange god;
Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.
Worship of the heart and spirit is contrasted with “formal worship”, with its emphasis being on the outward forms of worship without the heart of worship.
Genesis 4- Cain and Abel’s sacrifices
"What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?" Says the LORD. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams, And the fat of fed cattle. And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs, or goats. When you come to appear before Me, Who requires of you this trampling of My courts? Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies-- I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, They have become a burden to Me. I am weary of bearing them. So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you, Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil,”
But the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness. You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also? But give that which is within as charity, and then all things are clean for you. But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the front seats in the synagogues, and the respectful greetings in the market places. Woe to you! For you are like concealed tombs, and the people who walk over them are unaware of it."
Formal worship ought to express our hearts response to the character of God. The forms of worship are not intended to make us look good or feel good. They are intended to express our hearts as we honor the Lord. All our singing, clapping, raising our hands, bowing our heads, praying, and sharing are empty and worthless to God unless our hearts are worshiping Him.
Don’t let our worship be a nuisance to God because of our arrogant “going through the motions” of formal worship. Spend time to reflect and meditate on His revelations of Himself and His works. When God reveals more of who He is or what He has done for you don’t hold back!! Proclaim His worthiness to Him and honor Him with your worship from you heart. Wherever you are you can worship Him in spirit. So do it!!