We are created to worship!

by Carol Tetzlaff, SWCC Events Coordinator

From our first breath until the day God calls us home we are created to worship!  Only God knows the time when He will come and all the holy ones with Him.  As Zechariah prophesied:  “On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost.  When evening comes there will be light.  On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, The Lord will be king over the whole earth.  On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.”  Paul tells us in Philippians that at that name, every tongue will confess  “Jesus Christ” and every knee will bow to the Glory of God the Father.

That is Who we worship, our great God and Savior who alone deserves our praise.  I love the phrase from the song “Come, Now is the Time to Worship.”  The chorus says: One day every knee will bow.  Still the greatest treasure remains for those who choose Him now!

Louie Giglio said, “There’s a trail of our time, our affections, our allegiance, our devotion, our money. That trail leads to a throne, and whatever’s on that throne is what we worship. We’re all doing a great job of it because God has created us to be worshipers. The problem is that a lot of us have really bad gods.”

Everyday worship is that which pours out of our very lives, each and every moment.  It is the choice of how we spend our time, it’s the attitude of our heart, and even the words that come out of our mouth.

In Romans 12:1 we are told that worship is presenting our bodies a living sacrifice.  In the Old Testament when sacrifices would be offered, the animal would be dead when placed on the altar, it wasn’t going anywhere.  But in the New Testament Jesus was the final sacrifice, and now He asks us to present ourselves a living sacrifice.  The biggest problem with living sacrifices is that they have the ability to crawl off the altar.

Living a life of worship must be done intentionally.  Each morning when I pray, I tell God very simply,  “I need You!” It sounds kinda like this:

“God, so far it’s been a good morning, I haven’t done anything that is against your plan and purpose for my life, but I’m about to get out of bed and I am gonna need You to help me get through another day.” 

Sometimes our tendency is not only to crawl off the altar, but to steer clear of it.

God knows that we need a bit more instruction than to just “get on the altar,” so in verse 2 of Romans 12  He tells us we can do this by not conforming to the world but transforming and renewing your mind.

The world wants to control our mind and does this by placing in our path the pressures from without represented in the culture around us.  But God wants to transform our mind by releasing His own power from within, given by the Holy Spirit.

“If the world controls our thinking we are conformers; if God controls our thinking, we are transformers” (Wiersbe, 149), not the robot kind, but the kind that impacts the world and brings God glory through our everyday worship.

But sometimes it’s hard to focus our worship on God alone.  It’s easy to trust when things are going well, but when the road becomes difficult sometimes it’s just easier to forget about what God is doing and just try to figure things out on our own.  We sometimes think that we can cause the pain to stop coming our way.  When we do this, our world falls in and the shape of our worship changes.

Matt Redman wrote this:   “From a heart so amazed by God and His wonders, burns a love that will not be extinguished.  It survives any situation and lives through any circumstance.  It will not allow itself to be quenched, for that would heap insult on the love it loves in response to.”

In his book, “Unquenchable Worshiper,” Matt uses the illustrations of fire to explain this concept of worship.

There are three elements that can put out a fire:  cool the burning material with water or another substance, cut off the oxygen, or cut off the fuel supply.  The same is true in our lives as we burn for God. 

Just as water cools a fire, pressures and trials we face in this life can dampen or cool our heart of worship so that we don’t feel like worshiping anymore.

When we are found living a life of sin, it quenches or grieves the Holy Spirit which is liken to the cutting off the oxygen of a fire. 

And at times we discount the fuel of our fire which is the revelation of God that is seen through creation, His Word, and overwhelmingly at the cross.

The heart of God loves persevering worshipers who, though overwhelmed by many troubles, is overwhelmed even more by the beauty of God.  Whatever trials lie ahead in this life, unquenchable worshipers are found with a song of undying worship on their lips.

The evidence of a life as an unquenchable worshiper is one who lives in complete surrender to God producing a life that loves… loves God and loves others.  We have the ability to love because He first loved us.  When that truth is realized in our lives, our actions becomes an overflow of this worship both in our reverence and awe of God and in our interactions with other.

But we must keep the two separate because there is no one like our God.  There is a word that comes to mind when I think of worshiping God and that is “otherness”.  “It is defined as a sense that God is so pure, matchless, and unique that no one else and nothing else even comes close. Often times we take the extraordinary revelation of God and somehow manage to make Him sound completely ordinary!  We fail to communicate the sense of God’s otherness.” (Matt Redman)

A. W. Tozer said, “Left to ourselves, we tend immediately to reduce God to manageable terms.” And in Isaiah we are reminded that:  God will not give His glory to another (42:8), He is the first and last and apart from Him, there is no God (44:6),   Who compares to God and is counted His equal?  (46:5), and I am God and there is no other, I am God and there is none like me (46:9).

God is not like us. He is utterly incomparable – beyond the furthest horizon of our imagination.  The more we embrace the otherness of God, the more we grasp the truth that worship is quite simply “all about Him”.  The whole of our existence – our creation, our justification, and our sanctification – is first and foremost all about God.  Whenprayer sxc we face up to our glorious God, we soon find ourselves facedown in worship.  To worship facedown is the ultimate outward sign of inner reverence. (Redman)

When we look at worship in the Bible we see it in many forms; bending the knee, standing, hands raised, and dancing.  But when one encounters God’s glory,  it is then we find that worship is facedown.

John as he encounters the risen and exalted Jesus in Revelation 1, Ezekiel when he beholds the appearance of God’s glory and Daniel is found facedown as he is given a glimpse of a heavenly scene.  Even in 1 Samuel when the Philistine nation captures the ark of The Lord and places it in their temple beside their idol Dagon, the next morning the idol is facedown.

Louie Giglio commented:  “If you find your god bowed facedown on the floor before another God, then it’s time to get a new one!”

No power set against our Almighty God can stand in His presence.  And those who dare to set themselves up against Him are setting themselves up for a fall.  It is a facedown fall.

One day every willing and unwilling knee will be found facedown in worship of Jesus.  Rebellious tongues will not just be silenced but will find themselves urgently confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  It will be impossible to stand up on that day. (Redman)

Who is on the throne of your life?  The greatest treasure remains for those who choose [to worship] Him now!

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