Picture this: You’ve worked 50 hours this week; you’re stressed to the hilt. You hop on a plane to a deserted beach where you can don beach wear and lay out on the beach for hours without interruption. There’s a cool breeze, only the sound of sea gulls and the ocean. Are you there?
Well, that’s what Sunday school was like today – refreshing. Pastor Adam took us to Psalm 50 written by Asaph, one of the men back in Bible times that were in charge of the worship service. He gives us an excellent listing of what true worship is. Churches today have lost their zeal, a passion for God that they once had. They’ve turned into social clubs that offer their own form of praise and worship contrary to what God tells us in His Word. It’s not enough to just say they’re social clubs and we need to change to gain God’s blessings. We need to know what true worship is. We certainly don’t want to eliminate fellowshipping with God’s people, but that’s not why we go to church, though it makes it very enjoyable to be around and interact with fellow believers.
(vs. 1-4) “The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.” Our God calls to His world from morning to night shining on us with His perfect beauty, full of might and majesty. He alone will judge our worship, whether it bring Him glory or fall short of what He has deemed right and good. We need to be in awe of His deity, for He is the ever present, almighty God. True worship springs from our respect and fear of our awesome God.
(vs 5-6) “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.” Those of us who are saved have an obligation to worship our living God for He judges in truth those of us who claim to be of God. Only God can judge our worship to be acceptable.
The first sacrifice, Cain’s offering from the garden, was not accepted because it did not meet God’s requirements of true, pure worship. Our worship will displease God and lose for us His bountiful blessings of God if we do not have the right attitude of reverence in our offering. Gen. 4:3-5 “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.”
(vs. 7-15) “Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me. I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” God won’t ask more than we are able to give; He’s more concerned about our heart condition and thoughts of Him. If we are genuine and desire to worship Him correctly, He’ll accept our worship and bless us through it. We have no right to offer what WE think is acceptable, especially since He outlines in His Word what exactly we must do. Here is the list of what true, pure worship is. Anything less is rejected:
1. Thanksgiving for all He does – longsuffering, goodness, blessings, direction, etc.
2. Faithfulness in our daily living
3. God centeredness in our thoughts and actions
4. Giving God the glory in our thoughts and actions
(vs. 16-19) “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. ” Here we learn how NOT to be. God contrasts true worship with the actions of wicked who have no desire to worship Him. Here’s the rest of our list of how to worship God we glean from reading the list of the ways of the wicked.
5. Declare God’s statutes – declare who He is and what He requires for salvation
6. Love His Instruction – love obeying Him and listening to His direction
7. Spend your time with others who love Him, be loyal and love truth
(21-23) “These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” We will experience God’s blessing in our churches and personal life if we worship Him according to His direction. This is missing in many churches, and perhaps is the reason many are no longer in existence. Unfortunately ministries have become idols. We lift up the ministry, or our church agendas, above the needs of the people and even God Himself. What are we doing? Isn’t it all about Christ? Only a return to true worship and the acknowledgment of the awesomeness of God will bring our churches back to a place where we are pleasing God. Only then will be experience the blessings of God in our churches and personal life. How does your worship line up?