Jul17SunJuly 17, 2022
A Call to Worship
Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the One sitting on the throne (the One who lives forever and ever), the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the One sitting on the throne (the One who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For You created all things, and they exist because You created what You pleased.” (Rev 4:9-11 NLT)
Revelation 4 gives us a glimpse of heaven. The Lord Jesus tells John to, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” (Rev 4:1 NKJV) What does John see? God on the throne in all His glory and twenty-four elders, representatives of all the redeemed, glorified and enthroned, worshiping God and the ascended Christ continuously! Revelation 4 gives a picture of worshiping because God is who He is-pure, holy, avenging wrath, mercy, awesome and wondrous in power and majesty!
So let me ask you, as I have been asking myself, when is the last time you worshiped God like this? When is the last time you worshipped God because He is who He is? Before you answer so quickly, let’s take a look at what worship really is according to the scriptures. Also, I have recently read a book called ‘Whatever Happened to Worship’ by A.W. Tozer. This challenged me and convicted me and has caused me to go deeper into what worship really is. I will share with you some of what stood out to me from the first chapter of the book (I will share more about worship from the scriptures and more highlights from the book in future blogs).
Let me start by saying that worship is not the same as praise although praise and worship often happen at the same time. Praise is recognition of God’s glory (Eph 1:6), a celebration and exaltation of God (Ps 100) and speaking or singing about the glories, virtues and honor of God (Ps 63:3; 1 Chr 23:30). Before you continue reading this blog, I encourage you to read my blog from May 23, 2021 called ‘Let Everything that has Breath Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Ps 150:6’.
Now let’s take a look at worship from the scriptures.
In Revelation 4:10 worship, proskuneo means to prostrate oneself, bow down, show reverence, do homage, adore. What stands out to me are the words show and do. Show reverence and do homage means to publically honor and respect God and the ascended Christ alone. Worship is not about what we say, it is about what we do. Worship is to be demonstrated in our lives continuously!
Let’s continue to look at scripture.
Worship, shachah in these scriptures means to bow, to stoop; to bow down before someone as an act of submission or reverence; to fall or bow down when paying homage to God. To make oneself low. In these scripture verses worship is used in contrast to exaltation: exalt the Lord (lift Him up high) and worship (bow yourselves down low before Him) at the place of His feet.
What does worship, making ourselves low and exalting Christ, bowing down in submission to God alone, honoring and adoring Him alone look like?
The Apostle Paul gives us the answer in Romans 12.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Ro 12:1-2)
Truly the way to worship God is to give our bodies to Him. To let our bodies be a living and holy sacrifice that He will find acceptable. Paul pleads with us to live our lives in a way that is separate from the world. Our thoughts, attitudes, mind sets, beliefs, desires of our hearts, words and actions must be acceptable to Him and demonstrate that we belong to Him. This is only possible because of Jesus and His finished work on the cross and the power and enablement of Holy Spirit. Oh how I desire this! Do you? I encourage you to continue to read Romans 12 which gives more direction on truly worshipping God by serving Him with spiritual gifts and looking like we belong to Him. Also read Philippians 2:1-11. Spend time meditating on these scriptures and let Holy Spirit transform you into the new creation that you are in Christ. (2 Co 5:17)
Tozer makes this statement in his book. It certainly is true that hardly anything is missing from our churches these days-except the most important thing. We are missing the genuine and sacred offering of ourselves and our worship to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you agree? Look closely at your own life first and then at the church of Jesus Christ as the body of Christ, as the bride of Christ. Not just on Sunday or other gatherings but daily, even when no one is watching, especially when no one is watching except the One we worship because He is who He is!
God is calling us back to that for which He created us. To worship Him and to enjoy Him forever. We are brought to God and to faith and to salvation that we might worship and adore Him.
It is out of our worship that we do His work. Worship prepares us and enables us to focus on the important things that must be done for God.
‘Listen to me! Practically every great deed done in the church of Christ all the way back to the apostle Paul was done by people blazing with the radiant worship of their God. It was those who were the yearning worshipers who also became the great workers. If we give ourselves to God’s call to worship, everyone will do more than he or she is doing now. Only, what he or she does will have significance and meaning to it. It will have the quality of eternity in it-it will be gold, silver and precious stones, not wood, hay and stubble.’ (Tozer)
What are we going to do about this awesome, beautiful worship God calls for?
Let’s start with Revelation 3:17-19.
Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Rev 3:17-19 NKJV)
I encourage you to spend some time and repent for the ways you have not worshiped God because He is who He is. For the ways you have not worshiped God according to the scriptures. I am doing the same. Let’s agree to answer the call of God and get back to true worship!
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:7 NKJV)