..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

True Worship & False Worship: Part 2--Giving Him our Best

The first time the actual word "worship" is
mentioned in the bible is when Abraham is
going up the mountain to offer Isaac to
the Lord (Genesis 22). Up until this time
it is said that Abraham built an altar,
but it does not use the word "worship."
No doubt at these altars God was beginning
to build into Abraham the deepest
understanding of what worship is, for by
the time he climbs Mt. Moriah with Isaac
he tells his servants, "we will go and
worship"(verse 5). He knows full well what this
will mean.

So we can see that we start off the idea
of worship with Abraham prepared
to offer his all. We have Abraham ready to
give his son as worship, against all reason,
and seemingly based on a radical,
desperate obedience.

The last times in the bible that worship is
mentioned are in the book of Revelation where
we are before God's throne and the elders and
all of heaven and earth are giving Christ
their all: everyone is casting everything
that they have and are toward Him!

Worship always offers something valuable to
God. In the Old Testament nothing blemished
or faulty could be offered to Him. He could
not be offered second best. How does this
translate into what happens as we engage in
corporate worship?

God needs to receive something from us,
both individually and corporately. But what
He needs to receive from us is not a little
something, but our all and our best. And
this consists not just of outward things
that we own, but the very depths of our
being. When I sing I need to give Him,
through the avenue of sung notes, all
that is in my heart. It does not matter
if I can sing well but whether I live
well before Him and offer my whole
life to Him, born on the musical
notes that rise to His ears.

Corporately, we must give our all to Him.
When Ananias and Sapphira fell dead in the
early church, God was making a statement.
God killed them because they were not just
individuals holding back, but the ungodly
leaven that would infect the whole faith
community's ability to give everything to
God, with nothing secretly held back.

Do not think you can get lost in a crowd
on Sunday morning. God is looking on each
of our offerings, but He is looking at
what each church is offering Him. When
Jesus judges each church in the book of
Revelation, He judges them on their works:
what they did and did not give Him, what
they did and did not do. You do not just
belong to yourself but to a greater body
of believers. You must give your all both
as an individual and as a corporate member
of His local Body, or the whole church suffers.

We think that the offering is the time
that we give to God. All well and good, but
that is only ten percent of our
giving! Where is the the other 90% given?
Is it not in "purifying our souls in
obeying the truth through the Spirit,
in sincere love of the brethren" (I Pet
1:22)? What do you need to bring forth
so that you are giving Him 100%?

We have sadly lost the sense that each
time of worship is a time to bring
something costly to God. Each time
we worship we should bring Him
ourselves with nothing held back.
We need the practice of always throwing
everything of value at Him lest in
eternity we have nothing of value--
no crown to cast at His feet!

You will be embarrassed and yes,
shamed, if you have nothing but
your old shoes to throw at God while
others are casting diamonds, pearls,
and gold bricks at Him with wild
abandon. Where do you think these
diamonds and pearls and gold come
from? From true worship. Worship
in thought and deed and heart and
life. It is mind, body, soul, and
spirit offered in one accord without
reserve. Get in the practice of giving
Him the best, the priceless, the
precious. That is worship.

Jesus gave us His all. He gave His
Father His all. His Father gave us
His all. We mentioned earlier
about the idea of worship entering
in when Abraham was called to give
up his Son. We wonder how God could
have asked this, but consider this:
this was but a foreshadowing of
what God was called to do with His
only and precious Son, and this
time there would be no ram in the
thicket. God would have to go all
the way and let His Son be killed
as a sacrifice for us. This is
where our worship starts. Is there
anything that can match the very best that
God has given us? Can you go all
the way in giving Him everything?

Giving God anything less then everything
is false worship. Be a true worshiper.

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