Worship Lesson # 5
Worship And The Wonder Of His Presence
Praise is simultaneously the warfare and the victory when the church sees God as majestic as He is.
Praise proclaims that the kingdom of darkness has been defeated (Rev. 12:10-I1).
Praise shouts "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 15:57).
• sure military defeat into triumph, because praise is mightier than armies. – 2 Chron 20:20-27
• an insurmountably defended city into rubble, because praise is stronger than stone walls. – Joshua 6:1-21
• imprisonment and abuse into freedom and salvation. – Acts 16:22-34
• sickness into health as it affirms the promise of covenant benefits. – Psalm 103:1-3
• weakness into strength as we abide in God in complete dependence on Him. – Psalm 84
• mourning into joy – Isaiah 61:1-2
God made His people to praise Him.
God calls believers His chosen people whom He formed for Himself to declare His praise (Isa 43:21).
This is a close personal relationship of worship. We are sealed in Him to the praise of His glory (Eph 1:14).
We belong to God to declare His praises, because He called us out of darkness into His wonderful light (1 Pet 2:9).
God is still looking throughout the earth for worshipers (John 4:24).
For too long, the church has thought that after all the nations are brought to His throne, then we will praise Him.
Praise is a prayer strategy that will facilitate bringing the nations of the earth to knowledge of the Savior.
Worship is emerging in the church all over the world.
Never in recent memory has there been as much emphasis on the nations worshiping God in their own ethnic expressions, rather than singing 18th or 19th century English hymns and merely dubbing their words to fit music styles relevant to Western culture and church tradition.
It is a wonderful move toward letting every kindred, tribe, and people express their deepest hearts of love for our Creator and Savior.
Will we worship until the knowledge of the glory of the Lord covers the earth (Hab 2:14)?
Habakkuk 2:14: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (NIV)
Or will some of our churches be bound in traditionalism and division about forms of worship?
God may allow us our preferences, but He does not allow us the prejudice that the style of praise we like is the only one that is "proper."
He must be displeased when we insist that everybody express their love to Him in the same way we've always done it.
Have you ever asked Him what He likes to hear?
Love unexpressed grows cold, and soon it is not love at all but an arrangement.
Do you think that maybe praise is the key to moving from knowing about God to knowing Him intimately and being powerful in Him?
God does not "need" anything from us, but He commands our praise.
He rightly wants us to fix our eyes on Jesus, His kingdom, and His glory.
It is the occupation of all eternity.
We time-bound creatures get it wrong, in part because we have only the merest glimpse of His might, His majesty, His holiness, His goodness and severity (Rom. 11:22 KJV).
We just don't know Him.
The kingdom of God needs more worshipers, not more workers.
This might not be popular with recruiters of nursery helpers, but the intent is right.
Workers who do not focus on Jesus as their Reason and Reward will soon become disgruntled ex-workers when they are not properly stroked or appreciated for their contribution.
Worshiping hearts make sacrificing hands.
Religious sacrifices from hearts that are not completely His are a stench in God's nostrils (Ps. 50:814, 51:16-17; Isa. 1:12-15).
But the sacrifice of our holy praise is a sweet aroma (Ps. 141:2).
This is praise in times of despair, trial, and grief of soul-praise that comes to God saying, "All I have to offer You is praise, and in these circumstances, I choose to praise You."
Personal perpetual praise does not depend on favorable circumstances.
Imagine believers in every time zone praising our eternal God.
Think what a sweet unbroken chorus of worship must fill God's ears every moment, when blended with the constant praise of heaven's eternal now.
The Old Testament speaks of corporate perpetual praise-musicians and priests who worshiped before Him day and night (1 Chron 9.33).
Never-ending praise is the continual occupation of heaven, and we need to be practiced up.
Psalm 103 tells us not to forget all God's benefits.
We think of past deliverances, present gifts and joys, and all there is of God we've yet to experience.
In light of who He is, our worship is not big enough.
Our passion is not intense enough.
Charles Spurgeon said, "The Lord always deserves to be praised for what he is in himself, for his works of creation and providence, for his goodness towards his creatures, and especially for the transcendent act of redemption, and all the marvelous blessings flowing therefrom.”
Learn to practice the eternal hallelujah."
How do we get to be worshipers?
As we hunger for more intimacy with God, His Spirit beckons us closer.
We remove ourselves off center stage and put God where He belongs.
We focus on giving Him the honor He deserves.
We can start with singing the matchless hymns of praise from the Psalms.
God would love to hear some new songs from us, even a joyful noise.
We can sing some of the contemporary praise music or sing some of the New Testament hymns of praise, like Ephesians 1.
We can glorify God through His many names and attributes.
We feel the song that rises in our spirits, as praise places a deposit in our hearts that grows as an insatiable desire to worship Him more.
God is here with us (Ps. 56:9).
He is here for us (Rom. 8:31). When we still our hearts before Him, He will sing over us, because worship is relationship (Zeph. 3:17).
Our love affair with God flows both ways.
How can we ever praise God enough, even when it will be our life for all eternity?