Chapter 7. Worship

Chapter 7.  Worship

per — Capturing God’s Heart Volume #32

Worship is an important part of our lives as believers.  Each Sunday around the globe finds multitudes coming together in praise to our Lord.

But what if worship is more than singing and dancing before God?  What if worship is intertwined throughout our lives and the manner of our hearts?

I propose that worship is much more than what we think it is; lets take a look and see.

1.  The Work of our Hands

In Colossians we find, 

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Colossians 3:17 ESV

The work of a craftsman, an artist, a gardener, a builder, is also a way to worship.  There is no work that is more pious or sacred than any other work.  All that we put our minds and efforts to accomplish is holy unto the Lord as we commit it to him and invite him into it.

Today, be grateful for the work of your hands and give it the honour it deserves, and allow it to usher you into the presence of God as worship.

Today, honour and celebrate the work of other’s hands.  In this way we also worship our Lord who has equipped each of us for beauty and excellence in everything we do.

2.  Trusting God

The Psalmist writes,

“Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!  You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you!  I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.”  Psalm 40: 4-5 ESV

I suggest you read all of Psalm 40. It is a chapter thick with the presence of God when we remain in trust of him.  This is of course always the challenge.  How do we continue in trusting God when circumstances appear that we must do things on our own?

To remain steadfast and in trust of our God is also worship.  It is the refusal to give up on the character and goodness of God in our lives.  This will be tested time and again for trust is not easy to have.  But for those who remain in him, these ones prove their worship.

3.  Leaving Revenge to the Lord

“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.  He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.  Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.”  Psalm 34:15-22 ESV

When we are under attack from others we often want to cry out and

• defend our reputation

• declare our innocence

• hurt those who are hurting us

But none of these things are the way of the Lord.  In fact, God calls us to a different way. God says, ‘leave it with me, trust me.’  And when we put our reputation, our innocence and our hurt into the Lord’s hands, trusting Him, we are worshipping.

Proving by our actions and our restraint to go after others we enter into another deep layer of trust and rest in the Lord, here our worship is pure and sweet.

4.  Treating Our Enemies Well 

In Matthew we read this one sentence, 

“And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”  Matthew 5:41 ESV

Jesus was talking in this passage about how we are to treat our enemies.  He was speaking to the jewish people who were under Roman rule.  Their very lives were always under scrutiny and oppression.  The Romans were present in the land and a law at the time was this: If you are on the road and a Roman soldier is going the same way as you, that soldier can make you carry his pack (his bag) for one mile.

The people obviously hated this.  It would have been like having dust and dirt ground in your face by the one you hate.  It would have been humiliating and degrading to carry the pack of your enemy.

So Jesus speaks of a better way.  A way above humiliation and degradation, and that way was to bless over and above the required amount.  If one mile is required then carry it for two.

As we overcome evil with good we step out of ought and should and law and we enter into love and good deeds that again prove our understanding of God and his ways and in this we enter into profound worship.

5.  Being an Honourable Person

Proverbs says, 

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”  Proverbs 4:23 ESV

It is up to us to choose what we see and bear in our hearts.  We are commanded to keep our hearts with vigilance.  This means to take great care about what we put into our hearts and the thoughts and attitudes that come out of our hearts.

We are to be:

• honest and truthful

• patient and gracious

• holy and with a clean heart

• prayerful and trusting

• keeping our word

• gentle and kind

The manner in which we care for our hearts can also be worship.  Make good choices without excuses and here we also worship our Lord.

Honour him today and you will be honourable and your worship will be honourable.

6.  Being a Peace Keeper

In James we are admonished, 

“And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” 

 James 3:18 ESV

I suggest you read all of James 3.  This entire chapter is speaking about our language, the things we say and the spirit in which we say them.

It is a chapter about being careful with our tongues and our words.  The passage finishes off with this verse that speaks of peace.  We are told that righteousness is sown by peace.

This is important to know and to remember.  Righteousness does not come about by violence or under compulsion.  Rather, peace is our method if we are to be in the Lord.  Here too, as we seek peace and lead with peace we are worshippers.  In peace we honour the heart and ways of the Lord and here we also worship.

7.  Enjoying Ordinary People

Romans tell us, 

“Live in harmony with each other.  Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people.  And don’t think you know it all!”  Romans 12:16 NLT 

As leaders and pastors we must leave our importance behind if we are to please the heart of our God. 

There is nothing more offensive than Christians who think they are better than everyone else.

In fact, arrogance and pride make filthy our worship.  When we think we know it all we leave no room for God or others to give us a hand, and this is offensive to the ways of the Lord where we are to be receiving from each other.

As we leave our importance behind, only then can we truly enter into worship. Enjoying ordinary people is our worship.

8.  Honouring People

And in Romans we read, 

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour.” 

Romans 12:10 ESV

The love of our God is people.  It is for people that Christ came to earth.  It is for people that our Holy Spirit remains with us.  God is for us and as we are for others we come alongside the Lord.  This too is worship.

To be concerned with what concerns God is worship.  To take action and advocacy on behalf of others is exactly what Christ did for us and this too is our worship.  In fact, all of our lives can be summarized by how we have loved people.  This in fact proves our worship. 

We may very well come each and every Sunday to worship, but if our treatment of others is ill-kempt the rest of the week our worship is nullified.

“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go.  First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”  Matthew 5:23-24 ESV

And there is more.  Basically, in any way that we agree in words and heart and action with our God, this is worship.  For in the heart of worship is acknowledgment and due respect and honour proven by our actions and choices, by words and deeds.

Worship the Lord today and every day.

Prayer

“God we bring you our very lives and ask that worship would become a part of every day.  As we interact with our children, our spouses, our families, our neighbours, remind us that our kindness and care reveals our hearts of worship, or not. 

We want to express you through every part of our day.  Enable our actions to speak of you.  May the work I must do today be unto your glory and honour.  I worship you with my work. 

Teach us patience, trust, faithfulness, and peace that in all things my manner may worship you.  Renew my heart and my attitudes so that you are honoured in all things by my life and mind. 

Thank-you God for worship and adoration.  May my outer worship on a Sunday morning be supported and proven true by my actions and words and love the rest of the week.  With all honour to you Lord,  Amen.” 

Application

Our worship is proven, or disproven, by our integrity in all things.  Scripture gives us standards by which we can check ourselves to see how we are doing. 

  • Are we honest?  Leviticus 19:35
  • Do we honor others?   Romans 12:10
  • Are we kind and patient?  Colossians 3:12
  • How is your speech?  James 4:11-12
  • Do we respect our elders?  Leviticus 13:92
  • Are we gentle with children?  Ephesians 6:4
  • Do we work with diligence?  Luke 16:10
  • Do we make excuses or blame others?  Hebrews 12:15
  • Are we taking responsibility for our lives?  Luke 12:48b
  • Are we considerate of our co-workers?  James 3:17
  • Do we receive from each other?  Ephesians 5:21
  • Are we holding grudges?  Matthew 15:18
  • Are we people of peace?  Proverbs 14:30
  • Do you lead well?  1 Peter 5:3

These are just some of the questions we can ask ourselves. (15)

Again, in our walk with God we can bring all parts of our heart to him.  This kind of honest and authentic relationship is what he desires to have with us.  There is nothing too big for God and this includes every part of our hearts. 

And again, conviction and revelation of our hearts sin is a gift from the Lord; we cannot see our own sin without the Holy Spirit showing us our hearts.  So begin by inviting God to show you the sins of your heart and life, that you might be transformed by his power. 

1.  Invite the Lord to convict you and to bring to mind where you may be violating the heart of God. Write down what the Lord reveals to you. (16)

2.  Use the prayer process  to confess and repent of any areas of your life that do not reveal a true heart of worship to our Lord. 

3.  Take the time to pray through each thing the Lord reveals to you.  Do not rush this. Allow your heart to come into true repentance and a turning from the sins of your heart and life. 

4.  Become conscious of how you might change your habits.  For instance, if you have had a habit of holding grudges consider how you might come to God on a regular basis, confessing your hurt and leaving justice in his hands. 

5.  Ask the Lord to guide you as you continue to seek him on a daily basis.  Be consistent and diligent in your relationship with God.  Come to him each day and he will transform your life.  

Summary – worship 

Worship is much more than singing and dancing to God.  Colossians 3:14-17

Worship is how we: 

Live our lives.  Romans 12:1-2

Treat other people.  1 Peter 4:8

Go about our work.  Colossians 3:16

The Bible tells us to take care of things before we come to church.  Matthew 5:23-24

Worship is: 

Heart attitude.  Proverbs 4:23

Taking action to make things right.  Isaiah 1:17

This life-hearted worship pleases the Lord.  John 4:23-24

 

Footnotes: 

15. Note: We ask ourselves these questions. Do not take these questions and use them for your congregation this next Sunday. Begin with yourself and the Lord! Only in time, after you have done business with the Lord for yourself, are you free to take these things to those you serve. 

16. Remember to first set the space with the Lord, “I come before you God in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ. I desire your revelation God. I declare that all lying, deceiving, and confusing spirits must be silent in the name and blood of my Lord Jesus Christ. I invite you God, to speak to me.”

17. From the Freedom Chapter (in the course found on Pages 31 – 34). Linked HERE

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