How Important is Worship?

Worshipper3-16-9

How Important Is Worship?

                      

Moses Was a Worshiper

Exodus 33:11-13 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You may say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’

Now, therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

One of the most recognized characters found in the Bible who had an intimate relationship with the Lord is Moses. In fact, the Word of God identifies him as a worshiper, one who drew close to the Lord during his lifetime.

Moses Was a Friend of God

What is a worshiper? A worshiper is a friend of God. All born again believers are children of God, but even greater than being a child of God is to be called a friend of God.

Moses was called a friend of God. The book of James declares God wants us to be His friends. Jesus called His disciples “friends.” Who is a friend of God? A friend of God is someone who gets to know the Lord face to face. This was God’s desire for Moses and this is God’s desire for us today.

Moses said, “Lord, I want to be Your friend. I want to know You more.” Moses spoke to the Lord as a friend. Normally when you speak to your friends, it isn’t to askem for “things.” You come together to fellowship with one another. The same should be true of our friendship with God.

Just like friendship, worship is an area you should grow in year after year. Throughout Moses’ life he continued to grow more intimate in his relationship with God as a friend.

A Lifestyle of Worship

I think about the man in the Old Testament named Enoch.  The Bible says he walked with God.  This is a great definition of a worshiper.  A worshiper simply walks with God.  Enoch walked with God as a friend and one day he was taken to heaven.  The Bible says “he was no more because God took him.”  I like to think God fellowshipped with Enoch every day until God finally said, “Would you like to come fellowship with Me in heaven?”  Then God took him directly from earth to heaven.  Wouldn’t that be a wonderful way to die?  This is the description of a worshiper of God, a friend of God, someone who is intimate with the Lord.

Ephesians 1:4 says God called us out in Him before the foundation of the world, but more than this, God wants us to be friends with Him.  Moses said, “I have found grace in Your sight.”  Moses recognized God’s grace on his life and was more focused on God’s grace than asking for things. He was more focused on the goodness of God than asking God for things.  Moses definitely asked God for things. The books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are filled requests from Moses. However, the real strength of Moses’ life was his friendship with God and his lifestyle of worship.

Worship is being occupied with God. It is also the movement of a soul toward God that has been moved upon by God. Worship is drawing close to a God who has given us everything. Religion teaches us to work our way closer to God so God will work Himself closer to us.  However, God has already worked His way to us and poured out His blessing on us. Therefore, there is nothing to do but praise, worship, and serve Him all the days of our lives. We need to draw closer to Him.

Show Me Your Ways

Exodus 33:12-13 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You may say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight

Now, therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

Moses knew God face to face and said in Exodus 33:13, “Show me Your way that I may know You.” Later in this chapter, Moses left the tabernacle, went up to a mountain alone with God, and asked Him to do something He would not do.  Moses said, “I want to see Your face.”  The Lord responded, “You cannot see My face.  No one can see my face and live.”  However, it is important to understand that a worshiper doesn’t need to see the face of God; knowing the face of God is enough.

In this natural body, we will never physically see the face of God because your natural body couldn’t withstand it.  A worshiper knows the face of God.  A worshiper knows God face to face.  In Deuteronomy 34:10, describing the death of Moses, it says there was never a prophet like Moses who knew the Lord face to face.

How do we come to know God? Through His Word! As we grow in our knowledge of the Lord, we become transformed into His image. The Bible says the Word is like a mirror and the beauty is after awhile you no longer see yourself; you see Jesus Christ! When the disciples asked Jesus to see the Father, He responded, “To see Me is to see the Father.” Jesus shows us the Father.

Psalm 103:7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.

God’s ways are not known by signs, wonders, and miracles.  Worshipers do not seek signs; worshipers seek to know the Lord. Often Christians seek after signs and wonders. Jesus made an interesting statement one time. He said an evil and an adulterous generation seeks after a sign (Matthew 12:39).  An evil generation not only includes sinners, it also includes those who know the Lord but go running after other things. God is saying, “I want you to seek after Me. If you seek after Me, you’ll see signs and wonders.”

The Wilderness Generation

If there was ever a generation marked by carnality, it was the wilderness generation. The children of Israel saw miracles every day in the wilderness for forty years. They didn’t need to search for the power of God; it was right there.  Each morning they opened their tents to find manna laying on the ground. When they were tired of manna, God gave them quail. Even though God supernaturally provided for them every day, they were known as the most carnal generation ever!  It seems every time a sign was given, they wanted another sign. The people complained about needing water and suddenly water came out of a rock.  However, the man who called down the manna, the one who called down the quail, the one who opened up the rock was a worshiper.

God wants us to know His ways, not His acts and deeds. Worshipers don’t substitute works for worship.  God made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel.  Worship is developed in secret. This is where you discover His ways.  We often believe what we do in public is most important, but what we do behind the scenes is more important than anything.”

Outward Life Demonstrates Life Before the Lord

Moses’ actions before the people were an outward demonstration of his secret life before the Lord.

Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content;

I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Paul said, “I have learned, I have learned…” Contentment is learned.  Contentment is not a feeling.  Contentment does not drop on us out of heaven.  How do we become content in the midst of the situations of life? We need to draw on what we know.  Draw on what we’ve learned.  Draw on the sermons we’ve heard in church.  Draw on the personal Bible studies we’ve done. Draw on the books we’ve read.  Draw on the teachings we’ve just listened to. Draw on the notes we have taken. This verse says contentment is a result of what we’ve learned.

Notice in verse 12 Paul’s first two words are, “I know…”  He says, “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things…” The next three words are, “I have learned…” and then in verse 13 Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Your power to produce for God’s kingdom, to do all things through Christ who strengthens you, is determined by your private study, your learning, your knowing.  In this passage, Paul said, “I have learned, I know, I know, I have learned…”

See Him High and Lifted Up

Isaiah 6:1-3 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.

Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

And one cried to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

The whole earth is full of His glory!”

A true worshiper sees God as more than a friend, more than a Father, more than the Provider. God wants to be seen as more than a need-meeting God. Worshipers see God as high and exalted, the train of His robe filling the temple! When we worship God, we join with the angels.

Isaiah saw the angels, specifically seraphim, around the throne. Seraphim are the angels of heaven that do the bidding of the Lord.  The cherubim are angels who remain constantly with the Lord. The Lord dwells between the cherubim.  Seraphim are the angels who are around the throne worshipping. They fly from one end of heaven to the other do the work of the Lord.

This passage describes the seraphim as having six wings.  With two they covered their face.  With two they covered their feet.  With two they flew. Only two of the six wings were for work.  The other two were to cover their face, I’m not worthy to be in your presence.  The other two were to cover up their feet, My works are not worthy to be brought into Your presence.

A worshiper sees the Lord high and lifted up, but views himself with humility. When Abraham came into the presence of God, he said, “I am just dust and ashes.” This should be the attitude of a worshiper. It is right to say we’re the righteousness of God.  It is right to say I’m sanctified and redeemed by the blood of Jesus.  A worshiper approaches God with the attitude, “Lord, I’m nothing.  Without You, I’m nothing.  I’m but dust and ashes.  My face needs to be covered.  Lord, it’s not my face that’s important; it’s Your face that’s important.  Lord, I cover my feet because, Lord, oh yes, I’ve walked to places and preached the Word, but my feet aren’t even worthy.  My works aren’t even worthy to be brought into Your presence.”

God rewards openly what we do in secret. However, Paul instructed us to renounce the hidden things of dishonesty.  Not only will our secret life be rewarded for the good things we have done, we also are accountable for what we have done in secret that is contrary to God’s will. Paul says we are to renounce the hidden things of dishonesty.

Paul’s Life of Worship

The book of 1 Corinthians gives us a glimpse into Paul’s private life of worship. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:18, “I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all.”

Paul must have had an intense prayer life, an intense worship life where he came before the Lord daily and spent hours in His presence and spent much time before He went out to do the things of the ministry.  Paul literally learned to fellowship with God and God’s presence went with him as he went out to minister.

Moses said, “Show me Your way, that I may know You and that I find grace in Your sight.” God responded in verse fourteen.

“My Presence Will Go With You”

Exodus 33:14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

These are two incredible statements:  My presence will go with you. I will give you rest.

It is important for us to enter the presence of God.  However, it is also important to understand that when we leave His presence, His presence goes with us!  When you’ve been in His presence, people will recognize it.

When Mary broke the alabaster box over Jesus’ feet, the expensive perfume probably stayed with her.  The fragrance probably penetrated her skin, her hands, her hair so that wherever she went people could smell the sweet fragrance of being around the presence of God! If we maintain a life of worship, the aroma, the fragrance, of being in His presence will go with us.  God said to Moses, “My presence will go with you.”

“I Will Give You Rest”

The next words God spoke to Moses were, “I will give you rest.” Rest is another word for worship. A worshiper doesn’t strive in life because he finds his rest in the presence of God. What God has asked us to strive for in the Christian life is learning to rest in the presence of God.  God was simply saying to Moses everything he does will have the aroma of worship attached to it.

Think about Mary.  She learned at Jesus’ feet, prayed at Jesus’ feet, worshiped at Jesus’ feet.  It is possible to learn in an attitude of worship. She also fell down at Jesus’ feet and prayed He would bring Lazarus back from the tomb. Mary’s life was so filled with worship, it affected everything she did.  Every time we find Mary she was at Jesus’ feet petitioning Him, learning from Him, and worshipping Him. The word worship means to fall prostrate at the feet. The Lord was simply telling Moses, “If you come to worship Me and come into My presence, not only will My presence will go with you. My rest also will follow you.”

Entering Into God’s Rest

Hebrews 3:7-11 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years.

Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, “They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.”

So I swore in My wrath, “They shall not enter My rest.”

The word rebellion could also be translated temptation. The word is referring to the forty years the children of Israel tempted the Lord by constantly griping and complaining.  God says, “Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness: Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years.  Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways. So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” God was looking for someone who understood His ways, not his works.  Moses Knew the ways of the Lord, the children of Israel knew His acts. This is why God was not pleased with that generation. Attached to knowing God’s ways is entering God’s rest.

A Rebellious Israelite or a Resting Moses?

Hebrews 4:3-4 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:

“So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.”

A worshiper understands everything he needs has already been provided. A worshiper says, “Lord, I’m going to spend time with you. You already know what I need and as far as I’m concerned, You’ve already provided for it. I’m just going to worship You.”

God rested on the seventh day because everything had already been done. Jesus sat down after the resurrection and ascension because everything has been done. Since everything is done, we need to simply spend time with Him, getting to know His ways and entering into His rest.

The children of Israel stayed in the valley. Moses went up the mountain. Are you a rebellious Israelite or a resting Moses?

Exodus 33:21 And the Lord said, “Here is a place by me, and you shall stand on the rock.

So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.

The word “by” means beside.

God is looking for worshipers. God is saying, “I’m looking for someone who will not only be born again, will not only stand on the Word of God, but will also say, “I just want to spend time in Your presence.”  There’s a place right here beside Me.  I’m looking for you to fill that place.”

Moses went on to become a greater worshiper at the end of his life. Throughout his lifetime, Moses continued to draw closer to the Lord.  In fact, the closing epitaph of his life was that there had never been a prophet like Moses who knew the Lord face to face.

God desires the same for us.  We never arrive when it comes to worship.  There are always new heights of intimacy we can enter with God. No matter how long we’ve been born again or how well we know of the Word of God, we can still draw closer.

Paul, after writing much of the New Testament and establishing many churches, made this declaration: “That I may know Him…” Paul was a worshiper.

Too many church workers are so caught up in doing what they’re doing, they forget the most important thing is intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Service is important, but more important is what you do behind closed doors.

Jesus said, “…your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:4)

Confession:

Father, today I want to be in that place by You.  I want to be a worshiper.  You told me You were looking for a worshiper.  Here I am.  I will be one who worships You in Spirit and in truth.  I commit to make knowing You my highest goal in life.  I enjoy working for You, but I will not offer You my works.  I enjoy seeing the supernatural, mighty signs and wonders, but knowing You is more important.  I seek to know Your ways and not Your works.  As the deer pants after the water, so my soul longs after You.  I desire to worship You, to live at Your feet.  I want worship to affect everything I do so I can take Your presence with me and always experience Your rest.

(repost from Bob Yandian, used with permission)

Posted in Christianity, Church, Holy Spirit, Pastors, Prayer/Fasting, Spiritual Pursuits

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