Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Participation in Worship

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. Psalms 100:1-4

"Worship is communion with God in which believer's by grace center their minds attention and their hearts affection on the Lord Himself.  Humbly glorifying God in response to His greatness and His worth." Dr. Bruce Leafblad

Worship is not a spectator event but rather it is to be a participatory event which we enter in together and participate in the worship of God.  A look at the Psalms reveals that all worship is to be focused upon God.

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the LORD; The humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together. Psalms 34:1-3

Where is the psalmist's attention?  Upon himself or upon the Lord?  Yes, upon the Lord Himself.  Worship is intended to "enlarge" God in our lives!  

Something happens when man meets God.  No man can enter His presence and walk away the same.  We may perform many religious acts and never truly experience worship but we cannot encounter God and worship Him.

If worship does not change us, it has not been worship. To stand before the Holy One of eternity is to change. Worship begins in holy expectancy; it ends in holy obedience. -
Richard J. Foster

Participating in Humility
Throughout the scriptures we as the worshipper are instructed to humble ourselves before the Living God.  It also makes clear that if we will not humble ourselves, we will be humbled.  Jesus said, "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 14:11

Our lives like the evergreens are to be bowed down to God in humility by the weight of who He is.  Joseph Garlington says when we get on our knees and put our faces to the ground it elevates the heart higher than the head.  We must humble our minds so that we do not come into this building with made up minds but rather hearts that are humbled before the Lord to worship God in His greatness and worth.
Listen to the words of Job as He encounters His God:

Job 13:11  "Will not His majesty terrify you, And the dread of Him fall on you?
Job 31:23  "For calamity from God is a terror to me, And because of His majesty I can do nothing.
Job 37:22  "Out of the north comes golden splendor; Around God is awesome majesty.

A man does not have to humble himself before God for he is humbled by God through the awe of His majesty and power.  There is no room for the pride of man in the presence of God.  The nature of man in worship is utter humility.

Scripture to Claim:
Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.  James 4:10

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