“For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24 NLT)
In yesterday’s post we began looking at worship as we gather with others, but I closed with a question I’d like for us to pursue today. I asked: “Does my life really ‘look’ any different than a person’s life who doesn’t know Jesus?”
I’m not sure if you noticed, but both Scriptures I used at the top of the page in yesterday’s post and in today’s, included the word “must.” More specifically, “must worship.” Why is worship so vital?
It’s ironic, but the worship God requires of us, the display of our love for and dependence upon Him, isn’t what we do, sing, or say in a corporate setting, it’s what our heart and mind are focused upon in the quiet moments of worship in our life when it’s just me and Jesus.
Why do you think Jesus’ ministry was so effective? Yes, of course, He was God’s only Son, but He, as a human being, had a choice that He confirmed when He was being tempted by the devil. Remember Matthew 4:8-10? “Next the devil took Him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, ‘I will give it all to you,’ he said, ‘if you will kneel down and worship me.’ ‘Get out of here, Satan,’ Jesus told him, ’For the Scriptures say, “You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.”’”
Worship is the distinguishing characteristic of every human being. What we worship is what we serve, and who or what we serve is what we worship. It’s the focal point of our lives. It’s the clarion call of our life that announces to the world and to God what is first in our life. That’s why worship is so vital.
Corporate worship is inviting and enjoyable, but it’s not what set’s us apart as believers. Anybody can come to a corporate worship gathering and sing and shout and dance and cry – and it’s all good! But it’s the person on their face before God, alone, in private, that steadies our heart and steers our life.
Worship isn’t always visible, except as it becomes visible through the “fruit” of our life. If we want to know what we truly “worship,” we must allow the Lord to sit us on the precipice of our life and reveal to us all the kingdoms to which we bow from day to day.
What is the “fruit” which reveals my worship? And here again, it’s not only and always the material things we desire or the attention from others we crave or the prestigious position to which we aspire. The “fruit” which sets us apart and defines the object of our affection (worship) is how invested we are, not in the religious aspects of our “commitment,” but in the devotion we show to Jesus when no one is watching.
Is private and continual communion with our Savior what we long to have in the course of our day? Do we crave His closeness? Do we desire above all things to sense His heart and to hear His voice? When no one sees us but Him, are we dodging His glances, or embracing His invitation to sit with Him in quietness and stillness?
Why do you think Jesus made it a habit of spending time alone with His Father? It wasn’t to impress anyone. It was to prepare His heart and mind for battle with the enemy of His soul. After hearing Jesus preach and after watching Him heal and deliver multiple people, why did His disciples ask Him: “Lord, teach us to pray?” They understood, as we must understand, that activity for Jesus, if it’s going to be effective and meaningful from an eternal perspective, must be derived from time alone with Him.
C. T. Studd, the British Missionary wrote: “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” If you’re selling your soul for anything but Jesus, you’re worshipping at the altar of the wrong god.
Blessings, Ed 😊