Questions every Christian should be able to answer Part VII
Bible Study 08/19/2009
Delivered by Bishop Walker
All of us have our own understanding of what worship is. Is it who we are or what we do? We wonder does it have anything to do with the context that we are in such as having music in the background or is it something you can do in the shower or driving down the road.
Worth is the English word for worship. Worth has something to do with value or something that is important enough to justify. Worship has worth. When something is of value, you contribute to it. Ex-If you have a penny or a quarter, you realize that the quarter is more valuable, because you know the worth of the quarter.
Many of us know we have a ways to go to get to real worship. The more we grow and learn about God, the more we appreciate the value that worship has in our life. Until we realize the value of God, we can never worship him the way we are supposed to. The essence of worship is tied to the value of who God is. God is worthy of our worship. When we worship, we contribute worth to God.
There is a Hebrew word for worship called – shachah ( shaw khaw – Strong’s #7812). It means to bow down, to prostrate oneself. It is to bow down or do give homage to God. This whole idea of going prostrate is that we come off of our ego trip and we literally humble ourselves in the presence of God.
There is a word in Greek for worship called proskuneo(pros-koo-neh’-o), meaning kiss toward or kiss the hand of him. It is not about a one night stand with God. God doesn’t want you to worship him in the moment and then later you are out cursing and drinking. God wants worship to be continuous, always being at a point where we can connect with God.
Latreuo (lat-ryoo’-o) is a Latin word for worship. It is a correlation between worship and service. Whatever we do for God must be worship. Everything we do must have God in it.
When we put all three of these together we get that Worship involves our attitude, our emotion, our actions, our mind, and our will. We literally come to a place where we humble ourselves and lay before God. We do this willingly without getting forced to do it.
Here is a great quote that will bless you. “Worship is the soul bowing itself in adoration or contemplation before the object worshiped”. Worshipping God is to bow before God in adoring contemplation of himself. When we pray we are occupied with our needs and the needs of others. When we render thanksgiving we are occupied with our blessings, because we are thankful, but when we worship God, we are occupied with only him. When we are worshipping God it has nothing to do with other people or material things. It is all about him. In worship we empty ourselves focusing on him and we are saying God is the most important thing in our lives. We are declaring that in him we live and have our very being.
In Acts 17, Paul has a discourse with some historic philosophers on Mars Hill. This was a place where scholars would come together and talk about philosophical and theological things. Paul told them on one occasion that they had been worshiping God ignorantly, because they thought worshipping God with chairs, religious artifacts, and even particular temples was the way to worship. Paul reminds them that God could not be worshiped in a particular context. Paul reminded them that God could not be worshipped in a temple made by mans hands. The idea is when we really apply worship in our lives; it is a sense that we are occupied with God. The only way to be occupied with God is to have a sense of focus.
When we worship, we get to a place where at this moment, nothing else matters but him. We declare that we just want to fall back in love with God. We come not asking for anything. Our worship has nothing to do with context. In worship, stuff could be going wrong in our lives, but it has nothing to do with our response to God. Our worship to him is a defiant way of saying to the devil that no matter what happens in our lives, it never will deplete the glory of God. In other words we will not sit with our lips stuck out because a certain thing we wanted did not happen. What happened or didn’t happen has nothing to do with who God is. God is simply worthy of our Worship. What do we do when God doesn’t do what we want him to do? What if we don’t get the tuition? What will we do if he doesn’t heal our body? Do we say since he didn’t do what we wanted, he must no care for us? God is not our bellman who takes our bags wherever we want him to. God is sovereign and has the ability to do whatever he wants to do. What we have to do is recognize all things work together for the good of them who love God and are called according to his purpose. If we can just worship God, we will understand that God may be working this thing out while we are in worshipping him. Many of us have contiguous relationships where we only will worship him if he does what we want, but true worship has nothing to do with contiguousness.
I. Why do we worship?
1. Man was created to worship God. 1 Corinthians 10:31: 31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. -Whatever we do is worship, because God gets the glory out of whatever we do. Our simply going to school or work every day is an act of worship, because we represent God and he gets the glory in all we do. When we take breaks, we don’t talk about management or anybody else, because what we do is about worshiping God. When a preacher preaches, they don’t just throw stuff together, because their delivering the word is an act of worship. As worshippers, we want to give God the best every time we step out. Everything we do ought to be to the glory of God.
2. If you minimize your gifts, you minimize God. You must use your gifts to the glory of God, because he gave them to for you to worship him. Everything God created still does what it is supposed to do. The rooster still crows, the cow still moos, but yet God’s greatest creation (mankind) just sits with their hands folded instead of doing what God called them to do.
II. God is seeking worshippers.
1. God is looking for someone who values a relationship with him. Can you imagine having children in the house? You brought all their clothes, all their food, all their games. You go through the house and you see clothes on the floor, food left in dishes on the table, and games strode all over the house. Because of all this you see, you begin to feel that everyone in the house is taking your for granted. You begin to wonder if you are loved, because you see all the stuff you worked hard for laying around. You can tell that they don’t realize the value of having you. John 4:23: 23But The hour cometh and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. –Just like the previous example given, God is searching the house for someone that sees the value of a relationship with him. God is looking for somebody ready to say that he is the best thing that has ever happened to them or someone ready to say they appreciate everything that he has done in their life. The time has come where God is looking for true worshippers.
III. God calls us to worship.
1. Worship will be our occupation in heaven. Psalm 95:6: 6O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. – All we are going to do in heaven is worship God. Some people are ashamed to worship out of fear of what people may think or the fact that they don’t appear weak.
2. Worship before the throne. Revelation 4:5-6: 5And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. -There is a sea of crystals before the throne. Now to get a visual, imagine the stage of a theatre being the throne and all the seats on the floor and the balcony being a sea of crystals. There are some people who are in the back of most churches that worship God, but it is mechanical. They go through the motion, but there is no intimacy. Imagine being in the relationship with someone and you were trying to get them to love you like they love them. Ask yourself have you ever been in a relationship with someone where they loved you 90% but there was 10% you just could not tap into. That 10% represents what we allow to interrupt us from worshipping God. Now like this relationship, we only allow 90% of our beings to worship and focus on God until that 10% of us that has us distracted, hurts us. After the hurt we finally decide to focus 100% on God. As you worship at a 100%, you begin to come closer to God on the throne in the midst of the sea of crystals. The more you worship, the closer you get. Finally you find yourself at the throne of God and you look down into the crystal and you are able to see yourself the way God sees you though the reflection of the crystals. You could not see this far away, but up close you see yourself and how flawed and sinful you really are. We are so unworthy. Seeing all of this, you wonder why God would use someone like us. When we are this close, we don’t’ have time to see other peoples mess. All we see is how messed up we are. After we realize that he still trusts us with our gifts and blessing despite how bad we look to him, we can’t help but to bow down and worship him. Until you get close to the throne, you will never see yourself as you really are!
3. Around the throne were 4 beasts. These beasts had eyes and could see. The beasts represent the 4 gospels and like the beast they saw and then they wrote about it. Because of the vision John saw, he wrote it down.
a. Verse 7a says: 7And the first beast was like a lion… The lion represents the gospel of Matthew. Matthew is where it is written that Jesus is King of kings like the lion is the king of the jungle.
b. Verse 7b says, and the second beast like a calf… This represents Gospel of Mark. Mark like the calf depicts Jesus as a servant.
c. Verse 7c says, and the third beast had a face as a man … This represents the book of Luke. Luke shows us the humanity of Jesus Christ such is found in the story of the prodigal son.
d. Verse 7d says, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle… This represents the Gospel of John. Here we have the dispensation of the Holy Spirit being announced.
4. What were 4 beasts doing around the throne? The word was together. The only way we can get worship together is to get the word together. This has nothing to do with your belief, your doctrine, or your denomination. This is about you getting into the word. If we get the word together, our worship will come together.
5. Your bible says and the four beasts had each of them six wings about him, and they were full of eyes within, and they did not rest day or night. You question might be what did they do? Well we are glad you asked. They cried, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come!” Revelation 4:8: 8And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. – It is like you have this marvelous depiction of seraphims bowing down around the throne saying Holy, Holy, Holy and when they came back up, God had done something else, and they bowed down again saying Holy, Holy, Holy and then they looked out over creation, God had done something marvelous again, and they had to go back down and say Holy, Holy, Holy once again. Every time they go down and come back up, God has done something marvelous again. Just like this, every time you go worship God, you come back and God has done something for you again. They worshipped God in heaven and therefore we ought to realize the power of worshipping.
IV. Who do we worship?
1. We worship God alone. Even though we have admiration for a man or woman, there is no saint or angel that should be worshipped but God himself. If you are not careful, you will let your admiration for someone slip into idolatry. You will begin to worship inadvertently what you never intended to worship. Ex-Our church (Mt Zion) is a melting pot of many cultures and doctrines. There are lots of dominations that make up the Mt Zion church family. There are former Baptist, Primitive Baptist, Presbyterian, AME, CME, Church of God in Christ, Catholics, Apostolic, Church of Christ, and etc…We come together because we are trying to get this word on one accord, because until we get this word together, we will never begin to worship God in truth.
2. The word of God says worship God alone. Acts 10:25-26: 25And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. 26But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. – Peter was the one God left over the disciples. Peter was also the one that God said he left the keys to the kingdom to. Peter was an awesome leader and Cornelius met Peter and fell down and worshipped him because he admired him so, but Peter told him to stand up, because he also was a man!
3. In Revelation, after John had seen all he had seen, fell down at the feet of the Angel of the Lord to worship him. The angels that showed him these things told John not to worshipper him and went on to explain that he was his brother. He tried to tell John that he was just like him and he instructed him to worship God. Revelation 22:8-9:8And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. – We have icons today where we worship men of God, but Bishop reminds us not to worship him. He explains that he is thankful that we love him, but he reminds us that all worship goes to God. Bishop explains that he is just a man that is being used by God. Just like a parent that would never leave their kid with someone that is irresponsible, he wouldn’t leave us with someone that would feed us nothing but junk food. He explains that he is just a man that eats cheerios and drinks mountain dew to stay awake just like the next man. He explains that he is simply a man being used by God. There are people that might admire you, but don’t let people worship you. Have them worship God. We can admire people, but not worship them. We can appreciate Michael Jackson’s music, but we don’t worship him. We admire the King of Rock, the King of Soul, and the King of Pop, but all those great kings are gone, yet the King of Glory still lives! Bishop says he is jus t a man. He explains he cries he bleeds and sometimes people get on his nerves just like they do ours.
V. What are the results of worship?
1. God is satisfied. He is pleased when we worship him.
2. The worshiper is satisfied. Psalm 42:1: 1As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. The deer that panted is used as a reference to the worshipper . God is not a taker. He adds value to us. If you let God occupy your space, he will take your takers away from you.
3. A worshiper gets direction and clarity. God will not let you worship him and not give you direction. Isaiah 6:1-3: 1In 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. 2Above 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. 3And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.-A king’s train indicated the size of this kingdom. The earth is full of the glory. It is here right now and we need more of it. What we have to do is empty our self so you can take more of it in.
4. God will remind you how big your blessing is. Isaiah 6:4: 4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. – Your blessing is too big for a door.
5. God burned the sin out of him. Isaiah 6:5-8: 5Then 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. 6Then 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: 7And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.-we look for volunteer, but if you around worshippers, they volunteer themselves. Find a worshipper, they will do it whether you like it or not. If a volunteer is not a worshipper they will quit as soon as you make them mad.
6. There is incredible power in worshipping God. God will strip you and purposely get you to a place to worship him. Trouble will bring you to your knees. Just when you think you can’t get any lower, God will put you on your face. It is then that you will worship him and your breakthrough will come. You would have never got that low, if trouble hadn’t come your way. Trouble brought you to your knees, but the acknowledgement of his worth will bring you to your face.
a. It was spoken over King Hezekiah’s life that he was going to die. After hearing that report, he turned to the wall and worshipped and talked to God and God gave him 15 more yrs, because worship is God’s soft spot. 2 Kings 20 : 1In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. 2Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying, 3I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. 4And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 5Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD. 6And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake
b. God had closed up Hannah’s womb, she was worshiping so hard her mouth was moving, but no sound came out. The priest thought she was drunk. She told them she wasn’t drunk, but desperate for something from God. There priest told her that she could go in peace and as a result of her worship, Samuel was born. 12 As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. 13 Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. 14 “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” 15 “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. 16 Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” 17 “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.” 18 “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.19 The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, 20 and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel,[f] for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”
c. There was a discourse over his Job’s head between God and the devil. Satan says he had been look to see what he could devour. God says I have been looking for somebody too. God says he was looking for worshippers. God asks had Satan considered his servant Job? God said he would put his reputation on the line with Job, because no matter what happens to Job, God knew Job would not fail to worship him. Satan says who wouldn’t serve God with all the blessing Job had, but he asked permission to take everything so he could prove Job would curse God. God gave Satan permission for Satan to take everything away but his soul. Job found himself in a Major recession so to speak. Everything was leaving even his children. Job 1:20: 20Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, -Job worshipped God and got 3 times what he originally had. Our response to God can’t be limited to praise. Job gave a response, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. The important thing to know here is that Job did not sin or charge God foolishly. If you ever get to the place where you worship him in spite of, you open yourself up for the greatest miracles of your life.