Psalm 122:1, I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the LORD”
Psalm 126:3, “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad”
Worship is an action every believer should engage in each day throughout the year. We worship God with others, and we show our worship of God by our actions for others. We weren’t meant to worship only one hour on Sunday morning. Instead, we should plan our week to worship God all the way through and to commit each day unto His care. Worship is a reflection of an appreciative heart; thus, every part of our life speaks, “Lord, You are worthy.” Yes, my friend, Jesus is worthy of the adoration and praise of all beings. Revelation 5:12 tell us, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” Have you ever thought or considered the worship service the Israelites held after they reached the other shore of the Red Sea. We all know or should know the story of how God parted the Red sea, allowing the people to cross on dry ground, but when the Egyptians rode their chariots onto the seabed, God cause the waters to cascade down on them. That’s when the celebration began! Joyously, the people poured out their hearts in worship and praise to the God of their salvation for:
(1) His strength (Exodus 15:2-18),
(2) His power (Exodus 15:6),
(3) His greatness (Exodus 15:7),
(4) His holiness (Exodus 15:11),
(5) His mercy, redemption, guidance (Exodus 15:13), and
(6) His eternal reign over them (Exodus 15:18).
Benefits of our worship would include:
(1) Forgiveness … we recognize God’s holiness and accept His forgiveness (Romans 5:1; 1 John 1:9). Through worship, we are purified;
(2) Guidance …. Those who honor the Lord will be given wisdom and will receive His guidance day by day (Psalm 25:4-12; Proverbs 1:7; 3:5-6);
(3) Provision … Jesus said that God would meet our material needs if we give Him first place in our lives (Matthew 6:33; Psalm 23; 37:3-6);
(4) Love … the love of God is experienced in our hearts (Psalm 63:3, “Because thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee”; John 14:21, 23; Romans 5:5);
(5) Strength … to all who give God the glory He deserves, He gives the enablement to do the things He requires of them (2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Ephesians 3:14-21; Philippians 4:13);
(6) Protection … God faithfully watches over all who acknowledge Him, and He keeps them in all of life’s changing circumstances (Psalm 5:11-12; 1 Peter 1:5);
(7) Glory … we will one day be glorified. We will inherit a new heaven and a new earth and join a company of believers and angels in perfect, uninterrupted worship (2 Peter 3:13; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 19:1-10).
While there are certain benefits of our worship promised in God’s Word, unfortunately there are also hindrances. Thus, our worship can be hindered by numerous factors and it’s essential to recognize them and do what is necessary to overcome them. Some of the more common hindrances of worship would include:
(1) Ignorance … many people worship man-made gods but not the true God (Acts 17:23). They are “religious” but lack a vital relationship with their Creator. They are sincere but wrong (John 4:22). What they need is the truth;
(2) Unbelief … when we come to God, we must approach Him with believing hearts. If we don’t, we cannot expect Him to be pleased with us or to reward our efforts (Hebrews 11:4-6);
(3) Unconfessed Sin … when we as Christians sin, we should confess it immediately to God (1 John 1:9). If we don’t, it destroys our fellowship with Him and we become cold and insensitive to Him;
(4) Wrong Attitudes … if we hold a feeling of resentment against someone, God will refuse our worship until we make things right with the other person (Matthew 5:23-24; 6:14; Ephesians 4:31-32);
(5) Misplaced Priorities … when we allow other things to become more important to us than God, we take away from the honor He deserves (Matthew 6:33). Right worship recognizes His worthiness to be first;
(6) Enemy Opposition … the world system of evil, the indwelling sin nature, and Satan are constantly opposing our worship (Romans 7:23; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 2:15). But as we daily depend on the power of the Spirit of God, He will enable us to overcome our enemies (Galatians 5:16; James 4:7; 1 John 5:4).
It was late winter in Kishnau, Moldova, a city near the Romanian border in what was formerly a part of the Soviet Union. “Uncle Charlie” Vander Meer, director of Children’s Bible Hour, was visiting the city to encourage Christian workers and to tell children about Jesus Christ. Another cold Sunday didn’t deter the Christians in Kishnau. They turned out in force, about 1,500 strong, to worship at a church built 10 years earlier during strong communist persecution. According to Vander Meer, of all those who attended, only 20 or 25 arrived in cars. The rest either walked in the snow (some as far as 3 or 4 miles) or took public transportation. Some had to change buses up to five times. Then they did it all over again for the evening service. Amazed at the dedication of these people, Uncle Charlie wondered, “Would we go to church if we had to do that?” The Christians at Moldova, like the people David wrote about in Psalm 122, were willing to go to great lengths to worship God. Neither the faithful in Jerusalem nor the worshipers in Kishnau had it easy. They faced many hardships and obstacles, yet they went with gladness and dedication. As believers in Christ, we worship the same living God. Let’s go to the house of the Lord with the same joy and eagerness. Thinking it over:
(1) Do you go to church eagerly and out of love for God?
(2) Do you pray during the week for your church, pastor and especially your own preparation for worship?
There are many ways the worship God, but only one God to worship.