Worship and Warfare Part II
Hindrances to Worship
Synopsis of Bible study 12/15/10
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
God is looking for worshipers. The bible teaches us that the Lord seeks those that will worship him in spirit and in truth. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says 9For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. -God is looking for people who are genuinely focused towards his glory. This is important, because when you think about worship, it is the idea of knowing who God is and it is the idea of being in relationship with who God is. How we comprehend or understand God is significant to how we worship. Ex – Look at the difference between Moses and the children of Israel. Psalm 103:7-8 says 7He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. 8The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. – This scripture is talking about God’s ways and acts. Psalm 95:10 says 10Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: – When you talk about the ways of God, you talk about the nature of God verses the act of God. If you only focus on the act of God without knowing the nature of God, then you will misinterpret who God is. Moses knew the ways of God. God’s ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. Sometimes God may act in a way or do something in our lives that we don’t agree, but if we know his nature, we know that what he allows is for our good. When we think about God’s acts, we refer to God’s actions. God is actively involved in our lives.
God is Jehovah Jireh, our provider. This is a character statement explaining who God is. Ex – You need a job, you pray for it, but you didn’t get. Just because you didn’t get that job, doesn’t mean God is not active on our behalf. It doesn’t mean he is not actively setting us up for another job. Because you know his ways, you still say he his Jehovah Jireh, because you know he is actively working on things for our behalf. We realize that he is Jehovah Rophe our healer. Just because we get a bad report doesn’t mean we are not getting healed. It means God may be taking the long route to bring things out of us and as a result, healing ultimately comes.
I. The new and living way
a. Some people come to church, ready for worship, but there are a of lot distractions. As a result we find ourselves 20 mins into the service trying to get focused. Hebrews 10:19-20 says 19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; – In the Old Testament, the way to the holies was behind the veil in the temple. Only the high priest could go there and he did so on our behalf. After Christ died, the veil was ripped in two. That meant we no longer do we needed a high priest to go to God on our behalf, because now we have access to him ourselves through our relationship with Christ our mediator. Hebrews 8:6 says 6But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises., Hebrews 10:20-22 says 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And having an high priest over the house of God; 22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. – You cannot try in the flesh to focus on spiritual things. You have to ask God to purify your heart so we can have a pure and holy experience with God without distractions. We are asking the Lord to give us a clean conscious. Flesh can’t do this. It is an act of the spirit. It is ok to tell the Lord that you can’t come into his presence with a lot of mess and distractions in our lives and we need him to remove it.
II. The categories of man
a. There are 3 categories of man. They are the Natural man, the carnal man, and the spiritual man.
i. Natural Man – Unsaved person without access to the holy of holies.
ii. Carnal Man– People that act both carnal and spiritual depending on what day it is.
iii. Spiritual Man -Try to be spiritual all the time. We want to live by the spiritual and not the natural man. We want our spirit to transcend the carnal nature in our lives.
b. Some revelations God doesn’t’ give us cause we are not at a spiritual place that we could receive them. 1 Corinthians 3:1 says 1And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. – He speaks to us in a carnal way, because we can’t get it spiritually yet. Ex- When you witnessing to someone that is a babe in Christ, you can’t use a lot of spiritual jargons, because they don’t understand what you are saying.
c. When you pray, remember the model prayer opens with worship and ends in worship. For example, “Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thou name … “The end says, “… for thine is the kingdom the power and the glory forever …” This is worship to. So it is safe to say it opens and closes by acknowledging. We can ask what we are asking fro in between, but we open and close with worship. This means I can’t effectively pray unless I am a true worshipper.
d. We often quote the next scripture to support that we can ask God for anything and it will happen. Mark 11:23-24 says 23For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
e. Know that if we hold on to this stuff in our heart, the promises will not happen because God will not hear our prayer. Psalm 66:18 says 18If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: – We try to worship holding on to carnality. God won’t hear you this way. It can be disillusioning. Ex- Say the husband or wife in a relationship is trifling, they devalue the other, and then one day they come and say to the other spouse, “I love you.” To the nontrifling spouse, the fact that the trifling spouse has said “I love you” means nothing, because their heart shows different. Imagine how God feels.
III. Hindrances to worship
- Lack of knowledge-Says we don’t spend time in God’s word. Studying God’s word is worship. Worship means face to face kissing with God. We study God’s word to learn more about God. There are those who don’t know you, but want to be close to you like they do. Hebrews 11:6 says 6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Every time we spend time in God’s word, we start becoming more like God. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says 18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. – Worship should change you. We start to be more like him. Ex-Bishop explains he remembers when he was little, seeing a Deacon smoking a cigarette and cursing somebody out in the church parking lot. Bishop explains how as a young lad, this messed him up. We expect for people to look and be different when they come out of worship.
b. Pride – 1 Corinthians 1:29 says 29That no flesh should glory in his presence. – God is not impressed with our possessions. He is not impressed with what you drive, what you wear, or what kind of clothes you have on. He is looking for somebody that is desperate to have the glory of God on our life. Our flesh cannot glory. There are too much of us in the way. We should want people to see God and not ourselves.
c. An independent attitude– It is that “I got it spirit.” You turn all your stuff inside, because you think you got it. The more you have it, the more messed up it gets. John 15:5 says 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. – We are just a branch. Some of us just feel like we are just hanging on.
d. A critical attitude– Often manifests out of pride or judging. Ex-One of the thesis is dealing with hierarchy of sin. It’s funny how people in church create hierarchy of sins as if some form of defiant behavior is greater than another. It is like saying that we can justify our behavior, because it is not bad as somebody else’s. Ex-I might do weed, but I don’t do crack or I am not a homosexual, but I will fornicate. Matthew 7:1-2 says 1Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again., Romans 2:1 says 1Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. – There is no hierarchy on sin. Sin is sin. Stealing is stealing. Whether you rob a store or shop lift, it is stealing.
e. Apathy– This is laziness. How many people can have a lot of stuff to do and never seem to get it done? God is active. Apathy is like standing still. You are trying to get with the move of God, while standing still. God is always moving. Ex- If a truck is going 30 miles per hour, the likelihood of you jumping on the truck from a standstill if far less likely than if you trotted alongside the truck and then jumping on. This is the same way with the God. You can have a powerful move of God going on and some are wonder what is going on. They have apathy. They are just sitting there waiting to jump onto the move of God. On the other hand, you have others that are already running just waiting for the move of God to come by so they can jump on.
f. Slothfulness – Ecclesiastes 10:18 says 18By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. – Doing nothing, the house is decaying until it finally falls through. In other words, everything you do just falls through due to your idleness.
g. Impatient – We want things right now in this day and age. Hebrews 6:12 says 12That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. – Sometimes you have to learn how to turn stuff over. What about those bills? They turned over and decided not to worry about it anymore. These are people who have turned it over to God and decided to let God handle it. We want to wait for God’s best to manifest in our lifein our lives. -James 1:4says 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. – The devil will try to capitalize on your lack of patience. He will try to get us to believe that God is taking too long.
h. Legalism– This is the subtle hindrance. It is becoming proud of all you do for Christ. You want brownie points for what you have done. They think their works earned them certain benefits. They have entitlement issues. Isaiah 64:6 says 6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. – The purpose of worship is not to draw attention to your work, but his work.
i. Worldliness– We can’t escape the world system, but we have to learn to live above it. 1 John 2:15 says 15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. – We have to learn to live in another kingdom. Even though I obey the laws of this world, we live by different laws. We are not impacted by what the world is impacted with. We don’t have to lose our integrity to climb the corporate ladder. The world calls it recession and we call it regrouping. Just because we are in recession don’t mean that God can’t open up the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing you don’t have the room to receive. We are living in another world system.
j. Unforgiveness– This will always separate us from worship. There are 2 ways to look at this. #1 we don’t forgive and #2 we don’t ask forgiveness from God. Ex- Remember the illustration we gave one step towards God and then we take 3 steps back. Sin separates us from God. Isaiah 59:1-2 says 1Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.- When we pray we have to ask God to forgive us for our trespasses. Mark 11:25 says 25And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. – We must forgive. Every day we wake up, we are in a place of confessions. If you have problems praying, start with what you have to repent from. That will be enough to keep us praying without ceasing. 1 John 1:9 says 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – When we take the 3 steps back, our confession helps to make up some of that ground. It bring us back closer to that intimate relationship with God.
k. Wrong priorities– Exodus 20:3 says 3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Matthew 6:33 says 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Seek means to pursue. God is active and because we are like him, we are not apathetic. This means we are actively in pursuit of something. If we pray “thou kingdom come”, this is God’s way of doing things. We are saying let your super come down into our natural making it super natural. We seek or are in pursuit of God’s way of doing things and we are in pursuit of his righteousness. We want continuity. Instead of worship being a verb, we want it to be noun. It is not what we do, but who we are. Thing shall be Added– We didn’t seek after the things. We sought him and the things just came. Matthew 7:7 says 7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: -If you asked God for it, he already knows what you want. We need super to come down into our natural. What is knocking? It is an intimate relationship or worship. Knocking is worshiping God so the door will be opened. What is the door? You need God to open the doors in heaven for you. It’s a supernatural door. You need things done that can’t be done down here. God says you already asked me. You don’t have to remind him. God is looking for people who could worship him before it happens and having faith that he is working to make it happen. If you don’t worship him, then you don’t have faith and belief that he is actively making it happen. Ex-In Acts 12, Peter was in prison. The church was a Mary’s house praying. While they were praying for Peter and the doors of prison opened up where Peter was. It was supernatural. If you worship him here and God will open doors there! Take a moment to worship him for who he is and his glory will come!