How many people come to church for the singing, but never really enter into the worship? All through a congregation, you will find those who have entered the “Holy of holies” and right next to them will be someone just going through the motions. One person can have an encounter with God while others are thinking they’re glad it’s over.
Revelation 3:20 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
Why do you think Jesus said that He would “dine with you”? I think because He wants intimacy with us that we have when we dine with others. Is there not conversation when you dine with someone?
I’ve seen this for years: People loving to be fed on the Word of God but never thinking about with whom whose presence we have come to be with. The church shouldn’t be just about getting a “good meal,” but “Who is sitting at our table?”
Look, Listen, & Look
Exodus 3:1 – Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. (Verse 2) And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, but the bush was not consumed.
(Verse 3) Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” (Verse 4) So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Verse 5) Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”
Moses looked at that bush. He didn’t just glance at it and move on. When we enter a worship service, should we not look hard for God? Focus everything on Him. When we are focused on something, that is much more than just looking at it.
2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
This is the same way, that if we will come and look at the manifest presence of God, we will be changed into His presence. When we look intently, as if looking at our image in a mirror, we can translate ourselves into the presence of our Lord. But our whole focus has to be on Him.
How many people come to a worship service burdened and weighed down and don’t really put their whole focus on God? Can we change anything by worrying? No, so why not let the One that can change the situation have our entire focus. When we enter the presence of God, He will speak to us!
What bothers me is when the congregation is in the middle of entering His presence and people come in late, talking, with their coffee they stopped for, and interrupt that precious time. They break off my time with the Lord because they are rude and disrespecting of the worship time. They ought not to let them into the sanctuary if worship has already started! This happens in every church I have ever been in. If the leaders would stop them from coming in and disrupting then it would stop.
Exodus 3:4 – So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” God was waiting until he had Moses’ attention before He spoke.
When your children were young, didn’t you make them stop what they were doing and look at you before you told them what you had to say? And then when they stopped and focused on you, you’d speak.
Could it be that the word from God that some are so desperate to hear, that He is just waiting there until we get our focus on Him? When God saw that Moses turned aside from what he was doing, then God spoke! How many people would love to hear from God, but yet spend so little time in His presence?
Psalm 100:2 – Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing.
Psalm 9:3 – When my enemies turn back, they shall fall and perish at Your presence.
All the enemies, the wickedness, that comes against the believer, is defeated in God’s presence.
Psalm 68:8 – The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God. Blessings come by His presence and mountains move at His presence!
Acts 3:19 – “Times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord” Look, focus, and listen and then:
Moses heard God tell him to “Remove your sandals because the place where you stand is holy.” Any place or thing that God touches is holy!
Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. Exodus happened 2,500 years after creation! So, how could Moses write Genesis or the other four books for that matter? God taught Him! How else could he have written about Adam or Eve, Noah, or Abraham? God taught him.
Psalm 103:7 – He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. God made known what He did to the children of Israel, but He made known why He did it to Moses!
It is amazing what God will change in each of our lives if we will just enter His presence in a time of worship!
Why We Nedd To Express Our Worship
Have you ever thought about what it would be like if your spouse or a friend, or your child, or parents, for that matter, never expressed their love for you? It wouldn’t feel very good, would it?
Are we not believers, the church, the Bride of Christ? How do you think it makes Jesus feel if we never express our love for Him? Worship is love expressed. Believers express themselves in worship, not because it’s charismatic or pentecostal, it is because it’s Biblical Doctrine.
The difference in Dogma and Doctrine is: Dogma is “established opinion.” It’s an opinion that people form over many years. Doctrine is established teaching based on the Bible.
There are two reasons in the Bible for clapping: First, it is for “victory.” Job 27:23 – Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place (the wicked man). Nahum 3:19 – Your injury has no healing, your wound is severe. All who hear news of you will clap their hands over you. (The King of Assyria that was defeated.)
The second reason for clapping is for joy: Psalm 98:8 – Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the LORD,…; Isaiah 55:12 – “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees (people) of the field shall clap their hands.” When we clap our hands, we are expressing joy to the Lord and victory over the enemy!
Psalm 47:1 – Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! Galatians 4:27 – For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor!”
Worship is an act of faith. Everything we do as believers is an act of faith. Shout before we get the victory. The Israelites shouted before the walls of Jericho came down! Too many believers wait for God to move on their behalf before they give a shout of victory and that’s backward. God wants us to shout and rejoice and then He will move.
Here are 5 good reasons to worship even when we don’t feel like it: (1) He is worthy; (2) It’s being true to who we really are; (3) Praise is a command; (4) Feelings should not dictate our actions, principles should; (5) We worship by faith.
Psalm 95:1 – Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Psalm 96:1 – Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Numbers 21:16 – From there they went to Beer, which is well where the LORD said to Moses, “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.” (Verse 17) Then Israel sang this song: “Spring up, O well! All of you sing to it.”
Are there any dry places in your life? Then sing and worship God and watch what He will do! Believe and you’ll see. Too many want to see first and then they’ll believe. That’s not how it works.
4) Bowing and Kneeling
Psalm 95:6 – Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. Bowing and kneeling represent submission. Satan wanted Jesus to bow down to him: Matthew 4:9 – And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You fall down and worship me.” Satan wanted Jesus to express His worship to him because even Satan knows that true worship is always expressed!
Kneeling represents honor: Why does a man get down on one knee to purpose to a woman? Because he “honors” her! So why not honor Jesus?
5) Lifting Hands
According to Scripture, lifting hands represents “blessing.” The One to whom we lift our hands is blessed.
Psalm 63:4 – Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
Luke 24:50 – And He led them out as far as Bethany, and lifted His hands and blessed them.
Psalm 134:2 – Lift up your hand in the Sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
Psalm 150:1 – Praise the LORD! Praise Him in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty firmament! (Verse 2) Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! (Verse 3) Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the lute and harp! (Verse 4) Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! (Verse 5) Praise Him with loud cymbal; praise Him with clashing symbals! (Verse 6) Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!
What we do in worship validates our expression because our focus is on the King!