Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas
God expects his people to worship him. The true fact is that most churches and many believers have never worshipped God. Many times we go to church, sing songs, listen to messages but we fail to worship God. We often mistake the means of worship for worship. Song, music, message are all means or elements of worship by they are not worship in themselves.
This morning I want to speak to you on the elements of true worship, we are also going to see what true worship produces in our life.
In true worship the Holy Spirit is the director, worship leader and the congregation the performers, and God is the audience. So worship is not based on our liking, worship is based on whether God liked our worship or not. Somebody said worship is like a football field where everyone participates: the players, the referees, and the audience; no one is there with folded hands. In true worship we worship, the angels worship with us and God Almighty moves and delivers his people.
Genesis 22 has a great story which speaks of True Worship. In fact the word ‘worship’ appears for the first time in the Bible in Genesis 22:5. Let us see how Abraham worshipped God.
Genesis 22:1 1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.
God tests His children. Here God tested Abraham. Abraham was called out of his house at the age of 75, God promised him a son. Finally when Abraham was 100 years old God gave him a son. Now Abraham was very happy with his only son after sending out Hagar and Ishmael. Life is going pretty happy, comfortable, and easy going. Now God decides to test Abraham.
God tests his children. First of all God tests us in our blessings. In our job, talents, family, business, money etc. Secondly God tests us in our trials.
Deuteronomy 8:2 2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
INGREDIENTS OF TRUE WORSHIP
Genesis 22:1-2 1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
True worship is based on the revelation of God. God here revealed himself to Abraham through revelation and then Abraham worshipped God.
When we worship we must know who our God is, we must know what he has done for us, and we must also know what he can do for us. When we come to worship we must realize he is all powerful and he is in absolute control. We worship God for who he is. We worship God because we know the power of our God.
Genesis 22:3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.
Once you know who our God is we need to make preparations to worship him. The revelation Abraham received from God was a tough one but he made preparations to obey immediately. Abraham got up early in the morning, got his servants, cut the wood for burnt offerings, saddled his donkey, took his son and set out for worship. Abraham prepared for worship and we need to prepare ourselves to worship God.
Illustration: We prepare for work, vacation, school, exam etc, should not we prepare to worship our God. What time do we get up on a Sunday morning? What time do we come to church? Let us prepare in advance to worship our God.
My Imagination: Now Abraham is walking to the mountain to sacrifice his son. It would have been a long day and old Abraham would have been tired. If you look into his eyes we will know that it was not his body that was tired, it was in fact his spirit. The place of sacrifice is getting closer. He had wrestled with this thought a thousand times since God had spoken. As he was thinking his servants ran up and suggested a time of rest. The sun would have been hot and Abraham agreed for a small stop. The animals were tied down and the servants both laid down under a tree for a nap. Besides Abraham there was a boy still standing who had a great resemblance to Abraham. Anyone seeing this would ask if it is Abraham’s grandson. Abraham would say, “He is my son Isaac.” Abraham asks Isaac to sit down with him for a while. Isaac after making sure his pet animals were really secure came and sat next to his father. Being tired of the heat mixed with the cool of the tree and the warmth of the father’s bosom the boy would have soon fell asleep. Abraham turned his eyes toward his son Isaac. Tears began to roll down his face as he realized what must take place just in a few short hours. A part of him wanted to pick up Isaac and run away, another part knew he had to obey God. The old man never closed his yes. While everyone else slept, his eyes never left his son.
Genesis 22:4-5 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
At a certain point in the journey Abraham left his servants behind. It was possible that they would have interfered when they realized that Abraham was going to sacrifice his son. Abraham did not allow anything to distract him from worshipping God.
We need to separate ourselves from anything and everything that would take our attention from God. It can be family, work, business, finances etc. Understand you cannot eliminate these but we must be wise enough to draw a line when needed; nothing must not stop us from coming to church or God.
Illustration: The night before a one-day international cricket match the players are not allowed to go outside their hotel corridor. The players are all ready and resting for the performance the next day. We need to prepare ourselves for worship.
(Note: Understand worship is done always but here I am talking in context of coming on a Sunday and worshipping God. Abraham went to worship God in the mountain; Abraham also worshiped God in his tents.)
Genesis 22:6-8 6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
Now Abraham is totally shattered. His only hope, his son is going to die. He is depressed, tired, and weak. In the midst of these feelings Abraham is proclaiming who God is. He is saying God will provide. He is proclaiming victory over his circumstances even before he could worship or sacrifice.
Even before you step out of your homes proclaim victory over your circumstances. You will see God touch your needs here in worship.
Genesis 22:9-10 9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
Abraham totally surrendered himself and his son to God. Abraham built an altar, arranged wood, bound Isaac, laid him to the altar, and took the knife to slay his son. Now his son is going to die. He is in a situation where the blessing God gave is going to be no more. Can you obey God when God takes away your job, your loved ones, your finances? Abraham still trusted and obeyed God.
It was a total surrender to God. When you do not have anything it is easy to surrender but when God blesses you it is usually tough to surrender. We must surrender our time, money, lives etc to God. True worship is costly; it requires us to surrender our best to God.
When God blesses us God also tests us. God has given us wonderful jobs, good salary but many of us are not willing to surrender our tithes and offerings. Do not hold back, surrender everything to God.
RESULT OF TRUE WORSHIP
Genesis 22:10-14 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” 13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
Isaac was restored and given back to Abraham. What you surrender will be given back to you in double measure.
True worship produces restoration in one’s life. Maybe the devil has taken away your blessings, your joy. God is calling you for true worship. We are going to restore what the devil has taken as we stand up to worship.
God Bless You.