This is a great message that I think we all need to hear from time to time. Pastor Ian Dizon from Calvary Chapel Aurora did an amazing job. It's long but worth the read.
- WORSHIP isn’t about music; it isn’t about a time that is set in a church service, usually before the teaching, although it includes those things.
- WORSHIP is about my heart.
God is God. He doesn’t change because I don’t worship Him. He doesn’t rely on my worship to make Him greater, or feel better.
I (WE) worship because He is worthy.
And until I really had this encounter with The Lord, where I gave Him my whole life, I didn’t fully understand that.
The more that I worship The Lord; the more I realize that it’s good for me to worship Him. I benefit from my time with The Lord, because I change.
When I see Him, and I see who He is, there is nothing else for me but to change, there is nothing else for me but to worship.
- Isaiah would say it like this… (Isaiah 6)
Instead of being a generation of worship/church critics, we need to pray and be changed in the very presence of God. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Humility – Prayer - Seeking God’s face.
Characteristics of True Worshippers:
I want to start actually in Verse 4:25-39, This is a good point to make when we talk about worship.
- Worship leads to evangelism
- If we are true worshippers, and we draw close to Him, we will know His heart, and His heart is for the Lost. His heart is for people.
- A whole generation of Samaritans, changed, because of this one encounter with Jesus.
- How is this generation being changed by our lives? How is the generation coming up being affected by our worship unto the Lord?
- Discipleship: How are we discipling this generation? It’s not about preference. It’s about a life, a heart surrendered to Jesus.
Let’s take a look at some things that this generation coming up might not know about or understand…
- The frustration of opening a new CD because all of those dumb stickers, or maybe for some it’s records, or 8 tracks, or cassette tapes)
- The anticipation of getting a disposable camera developed.
- The annoyance of half of those pictures turning out overexposed/blurry.
- The fun of sharing doubles with your friends.
- What a walk-man is
- The frustration of fitting a CD player in your pocket.
- The frustration of walking around with a Disc-man
- The pain of going to places using printed out MapQuest directions and then getting lost and frustrated.
These illustrations are funny, but what about who God is, His law, His word, how we as believers are called to live… Will that be on this list as well? I pray not.
Joshua 24:31 – Judges 2:7-11: One generation away from knowing who God is.
- John 4:1-24
MUST worship in Spirit and Truth – There is no other way to worship God, but in SPIRIT and In TRUTH.
Worshipping in Spirit and Truth is my life… It has to be a lifestyle.
Pastor Ed is my worship leader as well as my Pastor. He sets the tone; he has that privilege and responsibility. Again, it’s not just music.
Those who are true worshippers of God are “Born Again” or Born of the spirit.
- Trend in worship ministry/churches is to hire professional musicians who are non-believers because they sound good.
- If worship isn’t mainly about MUSIC, then why would we follow this trend?
- Some could say it’s an outreach, reaching non-believers, but it’s like hiring someone who is smart and speaks well, asking them to pastor and to teach, and hoping that they get saved by one of their teachings… it just doesn’t work that way.
The bible tells us in - Romans 8:11 – Given us His spirit
- We were once dead in sin, but YOU, ME, US, those who believe and confess Jesus is Lord, He has made alive! (Eph. 2:1 tells us)
Write these verses down, they are about being born again in Christ… There is NO way to worship God who is SPIRIT if we are selves aren’t born in the spirit:
To worship in spirit also would mean you are concerned with the spiritual realities, not outward sacrifices, having to do things to merit being ok with God.
The deeper our knowledge of God, the deeper our worship is.
You think about music – and how the lyrics are written. There is a false sense of love (more attraction) when these songs are being sung. (Shallow)
To worship in truth means you worship according to God's word, especially in light of the New Testament revelation. Knowing who Jesus is, Him coming to forgive our sins. (Psalm 119:11 – Hidden your word in my heart)
We can easily have an emotional response during worship, but what happens after the emotional response? There has to be a transformation and that comes from knowing the word of God.
John 16:13 – The Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth.
I think it also means doing what we’re saying. (James 1:22-25)
7 ways to praise
1) Yadah - Verb
This means to show reverence or praise with extended hands. The word pictures associated with the root words for this type of praise is shooting an arrow or throwing a rock. It literally means to extend the hands, or to shoot and arrow.
To give thanks.
To confess the name of God.
Scriptures to reference: Psalm 42:5, The Dedication of The Temple in 2 Chronicles 7 uses this expression of praise (visualize Levites blowing the trumpets and calling everyone to worship and the “praise” that everyone is expressing is through standing and lifted hands).
So when we share this with our people we get them to visualize a small child who wants to be picked up. They extend their hands high above their heads in a sign of surrender and desire to be held. You could also use the image of throwing or shooting your praise outwardly to God instead of holding it in. Have your people lift or extend their hands.
This word is very similar to yadah, but has a slightly different flavor. It means to show agreement with by extending the right hand. In today’s society the closest thing we have is a handshake to seal a deal or pact. The idea is that it is usually associated with sacrifice (specifically things given up to show thankfulness to God).
Scriptures to reference: Psalm 50:23 (the thank offering NIV, KJV uses the phrase praiseth)
When we share this, we get them to visualize offering our thanks to God (and our agreement with His promises) by visualizing the extended hand. You could use a handshake, if so have people imagine they are shaking hands with God. Or you could have people lift their hands (similar to the yadah, but instead of surrender the underlying notion is thankfulness and agreement).
3) Barak - Verb.
This flavor of praise is one that we commonly see around altars. It means to kneel down. It means to bow low as a sign of adoration and reverence. It carries with it the idea of humbling yourself to a place that is lower than the recipient of your worship (God).
Scriptures to reference: Psalm 95:6 (expresses this idea literally); Psalm 103 (uses the phrase “bless the Lord” to convey this expression)
This one might be the most physically “uncomfortable” expression to have people do, but you can have people stand up and bow or kneel right where they are. I also like to have people think about a royal court of years gone by. Have them answer what would be the first thing you’d do before approaching the throne to have an audience with a king or queen. You would bow low as a sign of reverence and deference to their power. The same applies here: we bow and kneel to outwardly express our awareness of God’s greatness.
Praise (demanded by qualities or deeds or attributes of God)
This type of praise is singing, but not just any type of singing. It’s the singing that bubbles up from our hearts. It’s a spontaneous type of singing. These songs are unrehearsed and unprepared. They are straight to God.
Scriptures to reference: Psalm 22:3 (these are the types of “praises” that God enthrones or inhabits, which is interesting because it’s so specific: God literally lives in the
SPONTANEOUS praises of His people!); Psalm 33:1 (this type of praise is “fitting” for God’s people, or it literally makes them “look good”); When Isaiah talks about trading garments of ashes and mourning for garments of joy and praise, the word praise their literally means SPONTANEOUS praises!)
This is also a tough one to get people to just do because of the spontaneous nature of it. But you could have everyone on the count of three to stand up and just blurt out a praise to God! That would illustrate it. It would be coordinated, but each person would be “praising” spontaneously.
This literally means to pluck the strings, to celebrate in song and music. Basically it’s probably the most common form of “praise” we have across the world in our churches. It’s just singing songs put to music. What’s neat about it though, is that it can also refer to JUST PLAYING, as well. It is usually translated as “sing praises.”
Scriptures to reference: Psalm 150 (this psalm illustrates a picture of instrumental worship).
A fun way to illustrate this is to have everyone clap together (playing their five fingered instruments!). There’s not much needed to illustrate this form of praise though, because it is so prevalent in our churches. Our regular Sunday Setlists are filled with ZAMAR.
This might be one of the most “fun” forms of praise because it requires one to step outside of “dignity” for a moment. It means to be clamorously foolish. To boast. To shine. This is the kind of praise that David exhibited when he danced for joy at the return of the Ark of The Covenant to Israel. It’s also the form of praise that prompted his wife to ridicule him for his lack of dignity.
This is also where we get the word Halellujah from. It literally means “Praise the Lord” but even more literally it means to BE CLAMOROUSLY FOOLISH unto the Lord! This includes dancing and laughing and leaping and twirling before the Lord, but it also (and probably more accurately) includes the state of the heart before God. A heart that is turned towards God and not afraid to BOAST in and of God is a “halal” heart. Halal is not only demonstrative praise, but can also be the force behind any of these other forms of praise. You can sing or shout or even play an instrument as a halal.
Scriptures to reference: This word appears over 100 times in the Old Testament. 1 Chronicles 16:4 (there were actual appointed musicians to “halal” before the Lord); Nehemiah 12:24 (an example of call and response halal)
Are you ready to get loud? Shabach means to address in a loud tone. It’s typically associated with freedom or triumph. But it’s more than just a loud shout, it’s the idea of putting everything you have into it. An attitude of wholehearted praise.
Scriptures to reference: Psalm 63:3-4 (We typically look at this psalm as soft cry of thirst in a dry place, but the words in these verses literally mean to SHOUT praises!)
This is pretty simple to illustrate. Ask people to stand up and shout a phrase (Hallelujah or Praise the Lord works great) together on the count of three! Encourage them to view it as a wholehearted expression of praise. One of the best comparisons for this is the spontaneous, electric cheers and yells that fans at a sporting event utter when something good happens to their team.
AS WE CLOSE
Let’s take a look at the beginning of the Chapter.
There’s a part of worship that we can very much overlook. WE overlook it because of its simplicity.
But part of worship is just showing up. Location is not the key.
- The woman showed up at a time when it wasn’t normal for women to get water from the well.
- She was in sin, and knew that others knew. But she showed up. She showed up in such a way where she wasn’t changing.
- But Jesus showed up there too, and He totally changed her life, and the life of so many others.
- Show up, and God will show up. (James 4:8)
Psalm 108:3 – Sing among people