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Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Proper Place of Worship

Psalm 96:1-13 (ESV)
1 Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!
  2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
  3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
  4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.
  5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
  6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
  7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
  8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
  9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!
  10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.”
  11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
  12 let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
  13 before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

I am amazed when I hear that Christians have skipped worship. I have heard them say things like, "I come to the early service so I can get it over with and have the rest of the day for myself." They may have attended the "worship" service but they have not worshiped.

Some Christians think that worship is an emotional response to the message or the music. They say something like, "I was moved." Yes, they were moved but they weren't changed.

Worship is realizing who you are worshiping. Worship is realizing where you are. Worship is giving God your best. Worship is at the heart of who we are as Christians or we have our priorities out of order. Worship is necessary for effective evangelism and missions. Worship is necessary for deep prayer and a right attitude when studying the Bible. Worship comes from a healthy heart or there isn't any worship. We must worship or we can't be in God's will.

The Psalmist in Psalm 96 is leading in worship. The words speak of all there is in being a believer. A believer bows low before his Lord. He raises his voice in praises. He sees the splendor of God. He notes that there is none like God. Everything else that is worshiped is a meaningless idol. He realizes the strength of God. Overall he is glad to worship. There is great joy in his worship. Thus, he can look forward to the judgment day because he knows to whom he belongs.

There are plenty of verses in the Bible which tell of God's disdain for those who pretend to worship Him. They think they can act sinfully and come sinless to Him in worship. God says that He doesn't want to hear their worship. They claim to know more than God. They belittle Him. Judgment Day will not be so good for them.

Thus, we should worship at our best. We should bring Him glory. It is the most important part of what we do for Him. All glory to God for we were created for God's glory.


Anthony Chia said...

The Lord is good. He was good, and He is still good, and He will continue to be good. When I think back all the years I have been a Christian, one thing stands up, not that it is that I can take credit for it, but it has been, as I do not say no to Him, he has continued to draw me to worship Him (as in praise and worship). These have been the case for me, again I say, I share this NOT to claim credit, but to remember myself of how good He has been:

1. I have been, more than, a regular church-goer.
2. The draw is that I could praise and worship Him.
3. In my early days, the weekend worship wasn't enough, and I would go to a home-cell, where the members also praised and worshipped God, before we did other things. I learned to lead praise and worship in small group, the cell group.
4. The thing is that I did not sing well, and I still do not sing fantastic but has improved a lot, enabled by The Lord.
5. Because I don't sing well, in fact, close ones, would bluntly said that I was tone-deaf, and could not follow rhythm and tempo, yet I wanted and continued to sing.
6. Because of my love to sing and worship Him, despite I did not sing well, years ago, I asked God to gift me with the gift of singing in tongues.
7. I went to a secluded esplanade, asking The Lord to gift me, as I walked up and down along the shoreline, and The Lord actually gave, and I sing in tongues ever since.
8. Over the years, the singing in tongues broke level after level, initially, every 2 years or so, and then, it went shorter. And when I thought i probably reached the highest level band, He still surprised with some more break in levels. Today, I worship in tongues at will with great fluency and flow and ease, and it is like people would say, "it is as easy as abc".
9. For many years, because I was poor to follow the music, I had always been having my eyes glued to the lips of the worship leader on stage, so that I would not sing to early or too late, the start of each lyric line of the songs we sung. One day, it suddenly occurred to me, and this could only be work of the Spirit, that I mustn't do that. With that, The Lord started another journey in this area for me.
10. Since then, the Spirit continued to tune my music senses, and i progressively became able to follow music, and able to know when to "come in" in singing. Since then, I no longer need to look at the mouth of worship leader. In fact, today, I don't look at the worship leader on stage, apart from the time to take his or her hand cue signaling he or she is going to end the song (choruses could go repeated, and repeated, the leader needs to signal when he wants to end).
11. Not only that, enabled by The Lord, I could pick up a new song, the first time it is being sung, in a church service! I would let the worship team sing a few lines, and myself, pray in tongues, while they did that, and then I could follow, mostly accurately, how the song was to be sung! It amazed me, and I am still amazed by this.
12. Between The Lord and I, I was the Loud One, and since then, although I am still the Loud One, I have a dream with Lord to be His singing healer, as I also move in the area of divine healing.

How important is praise and worship?


Anthony Chia said...

Cont. From above

It is so important that The Lord would do all of that, just so that I could worship Him, according to His desire. Works for The Lord is also worship, and The Lord also enabled me for several years until about 1 1/2 years ago, to serve Him in church services in releasing words of knowledge and prophecy to the congregation, followed by praying for the people who responded to the words, many were for healing. Because of church leadership change, the works were disrupted, yet the primary draw of worshipping God still continued, and continued to draw me to enjoy going to church. It is indeed, better is one day in the house of God than a thousand elsewhere. I really am lost in worshipping God; how nice if indeed I could sing forever. When everything is stripped, our ministry, our works, and in our personal life, our loved ones even, will you still worship Him? I did.

As an update, the 1 1/2 years pause has ended, I am back at my works (new senior pastor decided to resume the altar ministry I do (with others)), serving The Lord in releasing words of knowledge and prophecy, and praying and ministering to people in the church services, a part in the liturgy of the service. By the way, I do this ministry of release of words of knowledge and prophecy and praying for the people, towards the end or at the end of the praise and worship segment of the service liturgy. I wanted it done at this point, because what better time is there, than after we have worshipped God, that we ask for his hand of grace. We seek His face first, and in worship we do that, and then we seek His hand for others.

I am but a member of a church congregation, not a pastor nor a full-time church staff, and so, I am deeply honored by the Lord's use of me, whether in the overall worship atmosphere or faith atmosphere of the services, or the works that I do, as I have described above. I pray for others, yet I do need prayers and covet the prayers of a godly servant of God. Ps Prentis, if you are reading this, would you keep me in prayer for a season, as the challenges in my working life (my "secular work" for income), and direction of life, including ministry for The Lord, continue to mount; especially, the work situation is very pressing. Oh, how I wish I do not have to be bothered with whether or not I earn any income, and give myself to the works of The Lord. Oh, how difficult it is, when the balance is disturbed. Pray that peace and joy of The Lord will not cease to be shed abroad in my heart; and that means that I be led by the Spirit, in whatever path that is to be taken.

Oh, yet I will praise you, yet will I worship you, O my Lord and my God.
Anthony Chia, high.expressions