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Acts of worship

Is worship just doing a deal with God? 

Worship leaders perform their acts of worship through the writing and performing of songs that draw their hearts toward God. By doing so they are fulfilling the criteria just mentioned. Those who listen and are moved by these songs, are also sharing in this experience, but for these people, and for others who don’t totally share in this particular experience, God is happy for them to worship in other ways.

… use our mind, body and soul in worshipping Him.

We weren’t created just to be able to sing. We can also speak, read, study, argue, write, create works of art, build things, organise others, help others, clean a room, wash dishes … the list, of course, is endless.

For me, my main act of worship is what I’m doing right now (in my time frame, not yours). I’m writing these words which, for me, is a fulfilment of a pledge I made many years ago to God. As a writer, my career could have gone in all sorts of directions, but there was a point in time when I decided, as my act of worship, to direct all of my God-given talent back to the Giver of the talent. For me, writing is an act of worship. For you, perhaps you have made a similar promise concerning the talents you have been given, or perhaps you are still praying for a talent in the first place that you can return to the Creator with interest? We all have something of value, even if the World (or even the Church) doesn’t recognise it as such, maybe because it doesn’t fit in the usual grand mould of giftings. Your task is to identify it and offer it back to Him as your act of worship. Nothing is too little, or insignificant, as long as it is done with a willing heart.

… use our mind, body and soul in worshipping Him.

Now for an important consideration. Why do we worship God? Really. Honestly. Why do you worship God? Is it because you wholeheartedly wish to acknowledge Him for Who He is or is it because you need something from Him?

I ask this because the very heart of pagan religion is what is called a Quid Pro Quo – you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours (strange expression!). Gods needed to be bribed in order to ensure good health, a fine harvest or fertility. This was firmly opposed by the biblical prophets, who saw their own people enticed into this abhorrence and appalling lack of faith. The nation of Israel had an unconditional covenant with God to fall back on and the conditions of this covenant supplied all of their needs, so why try to do deals with the Almighty?

If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.  All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. (Deuteronomy 28:1-3)

Isaiah reminds the people of this in a very practical manner:

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” (Isaiah 55:1)

Of course the modern Word of Faith preachers have so little faith and so little understanding of the Word that, when they look at God, all they see is Someone with Whom to do deals and to trick into supposed loopholes, promising their followers “proven formulae” for cajoling unlimited prosperity, health and favour simply by sending a “seed offering” to their ministry, to pay for the insurance premiums on their Lear Jet, or nannies for their pet poodles! This is Quid Pro Quo taken to the extreme and relegates Almighty God to a cash machine in the sky. This kind of teaching must have some sort of come-uppance soon, if only to release unwary brothers and sisters from these unholy burdens and falsehoods.

God just looks for one thing in our worship, faithfulness to Him and to the path He has put us on. We must not allow anyone to deflect us from this path, notwithstanding responsibilities to family and people that God puts across our path. So how does all of this affect Christians today? How should Hebraic Church worship?

  • We need a full acknowledgement of Who we are worshipping.
  • We need an understanding of worship as a function not a form and should involve using the gifts and talents that God has given us.
  • Worship must be unconditional.
  • Think differently …

This is an extract from the book, Hebraic Church, available for £10 at http://www.sppublishing.com/hebraic-church-101-p.asp

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