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The True Worshippers

June 24, 2009
They can be difficult to detect as we cannot see into the heart of another. The picture is further obscured as we live in an age where, all too often, prayerful discrnment is set aside as the primary focus is placed on appearances. It goes without saying that the ambience today is filled with confusion and that even the most discerning among us will not have a completely accurate picture of it. Each of us can only give diligence to ensure that our words of praise unto God and embodiment of works done in Jesus name are motivated by nothing other than a sincere love for him. Before going any farther, however, the post “HE DELIGHTS IN ME”  must be relinked to. Not to fill this brothers comment section with ping backs, but because the writing is so significant that it warrants a second link.

worship

 True worship is not determined by ones vocal talents or how many times they visit the prisoners. There’s no physical “worshipometer” that we can hook up to another and it will tell us where their true motives lie. It’s quite possible to “put on a show” that appears so real that nobody in the vicintiy ever questions the persons authenticity. Historys most infamous example of this was Judas. This man blended in so well with the other disciples that, when Jesus stated “Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me” the other eleven began to search their own hearts. There was nothing outwardly that revealed the true nature of Judas. I’m thinking that one could have heard a pin drop when Jesus revealed what was about to happen.  Even after Jesus rose from the dead, there was still confusion as is revealed in this familiar passage: (Note: Jesus had just revealed to Peter that he would live to an old age, but would not die of natural causes)
John 21:20-21″Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord. which is he that betrayeth thee?
Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?”
It was so unthinkable that one of them had betrayed Jesus that now everyone seemed questionable; even the one who appeared closer to Jesus than all. “and what shall this man do?” Is he less than authentic? Suspicions arose in places where beforetime there had been none. The reply that Jesus gives Peter is something that applies to all of us as we travel through this world where showmanship is trumpeted and two kings shall speak lies at one table:
John 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.”
(Just a note: even this answer generated much discussion and even led to many thinking that “the disciple whom Jesus loved would not die)
“Follow thou me.” The thing for us to do is to follow Jesus. Things won’t always be as they appear, but we are to follow Jesus. To love him so much that we desire to be just like him. To desire fellowship with him so much that we are ready, at a moments notice, to go anywhere or do anything that he asks of us. If we are true worshippers; if we just “love the Lord Jesus with reckless abandon of everything else” our words and actions will begin to line up with this love. As such, we’ll not go into the streets with a backpack full of tracts to fill a quota, but because we love Jesus and desire to share the words of life with others. Compelling them to turn from the ways of death and believe on the one who paid for their sins with his own blood. . A true love for Jesus will cause us to abandon motives that are of a weak and beggarly nature or that would seek to bring attention to our name.
In the post relinked to near above, the author makes a notable observation that warrants elaboration. (The whole post is awesome; please check it out) He states:
“We sadly relate to God mostly in two ways: Either we relate to God in the context of what he can do for us or in the understanding of our usefulness to him. In other words, we use biblical precepts to worship ourselves either by using Christianity to fulfil our wants and comforts or by seeking accomplishments to bring before him so that we feel justified in our self worship.”
The landscape today is filled with examples of both and all of us must be ever mindful of the dangers associated with placing “self” on the throne of our heart. The prosperity gospel movement seems to focus primarily on the acqiisition of stuff and therby equating gain with godliness. (I Timothy 6:3-10) It’s promotors use feigned words and promises of “ones best life now” if they will follow their definition of the gospel and exercise their seed faith.  They sound authentic, they come in Jesus name, they will often be surrounded by a praise team that’s second to none, but they lure their followers into seeking a bigger house, a better car, or anything that their heart should lust after. Maybe it shouldn’t astonish us, given the times that we’re in, but for me it’s still hard to believe that something so blatantly materialistic can have such a tremendous following.
The other side of the equation is equally dangerous as we use our embodiment of works to justify ourselves. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus tells about many who will stand before him, thinking that they were in good standing, only to find out that “they never knew him.” Their rehersal of activities; including some of which even appeared supernatural, done in Jesus name reveals that they were placing confidence in their works and subsequently, were seeking to enter in through a window. Their arguements have no power to alter that which has been forged in life by a heart that wasn’t right with God. Our works, done in Jesus name, should not be done in an attempt to gain approval, but should rather be collaborating evidence that we are born of the Spirit and maintain the testimony of Jesus. (James 2:14-26, I John 5:2-4)
In short, if we truly love the Lord; if we unconditionally place him first in our lives and keep our hearts with all diligence, everything else will begin to fall into place. Our desire will be completely unto the Lord and if we begin to become otherwise minded, the Holy Spirit will reveal this unto us. My prayer is that we would give all diligence to ensure that our worship is authentic and that no contrary motivations are allowed to set up shop in our heart. We know that Paul was greatful whenever the gospel went forth; even in pretence, (Philippians 1:16-18) as the word of God will never return void, but to minister out of a sincere love for Jesus is far greater. It then becomes a work that will follow us into eternity.
Blessings always in Jesus name.
I Samuel 16:6-7 “And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him.
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
Psalm 63:1-8 “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is;
To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:
When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.”
Revelation 2:4-5 “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, escept thou repent.”
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8 comments

  1. Hi Timbob,

    As I read this post, I thought of a quote that my husband has on his computer screen. To him, it is a constant reminder of what being a minister of the gospel is all about.

    “How can a man with a lust for praise and promotion preach the Gospel of Him who made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant?” E.M. Bounds

    Whether we’re worshipping, witnessing or doing some kind of ministry, it’s good to ask God to search our hearts and let us know if we are doing what we are doing that He might receive the glory.

    Thanks for this post.

    Blessings,

    Carol


  2. I’m with Carol, thank you for this post… I too often wonder about the following of the prosperity faith movement. I would like to take away the megaphones they carry. I see the wake they leave behind them. cindy


  3. “When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.”

    Wouldn’t you have liked to worship in the midst of the cloud! Wow!


  4. Hi TimBob: You have touched on my passion and calling. This is wonderful! I believe that people get confused between ministry and worship. Ministry in my opinion are the things that come down to us from the Father, through the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit in the form of Spiritual gifts. Worship, on the flip side, goes up by the spirit’s power through the son, to the Father. This descending and ascension have to, to the best of our ability, be in perfect balance. We need to be Mary’s…sit at His feet and worship.

    Worship is not just an addendum to our life, it is the core. To this day, the most beautiful worship service I have ever attended was when our family took a two week mission trip to Juarez. There were no instruments, couldn’t understand alot of the language, and no time limit. It was truly an amazing experience.

    The image in our minds that scripture such as Nehemiah 9:6 should leave simply brings me to my knees.

    Thank you for this,
    Debs


  5. Hi Carol. A great quote and something that we must always keep in memory. The incredible dangers of a “look at me” mindset are well known, and yet it can sneak in ever so subtly. Thanks for stopping by and for the quote.

    Blessings in Jesus name.


  6. Hi Cindy. This is a good point. The prosperity gospel leaves a lot of damaged souls in its wake. Many who started off strong, but along the way, someone lured them into a pursuing after temporal things. These are dangerous times. Thanks for stopping by.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  7. Hi Archie. AMEN! One would speechless as they beheld such a manifestation of the glory of God. And yet we cannot even begin to imagine what it will be like when we see him as he is. Such thoughts make it almost impossible to get excited about the things of this world. Thanks for stirring up some ponderings.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  8. Hi cindy. You hit on something that’s really important to grasp. Worship isn’t just a series of songs that we sing at predetermined intervals. It’s a 24/7 attitude of adoration for our God that manifests in various ways. Sometimes just laying still and thinking on the awesomeness of the Lord will take one into the stratosphere.

    The mission trip sounds like an incredible time that would almost defy capture by words. Thanks for the incredible report.

    Blessings always in Jesus name



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