Friday, February 11, 2011

Getting Down To Worship



By Dr. Woodrow Kroll

Dull, dry, stale—do these words describe your worship? You need a fresh look at what worship is?

Are you looking for ways to revitalize your worship? Has your worship become routine, even boring? If anything has characterized the Church in the past two decades, it has been the call for revitalized worship—and rightly so. Worship has become a lost art for many Christians.

Dr. Wood
But some attempts at rejuvenation have led us even further from true worship. We have window-dressed when we should have examined the very core of our understanding of worship. The English word “worship” comes from the old Anglo-Saxon word “worship.” Literally, worship means “to ascribe worth to.” It refers to an act of showing honor to some one, of declaring by deed and word the worth of one who deserves our honor. We worship in song (Ps. 66:4), in spirit (John 4:23,24) and in soul (Luke 1:46). But still our worship of God seems empty at times, void or real substance.

Perhaps the reinvigoration of our worship needs only a few fundamental changes. Perhaps instead of attending worship seminars or buying all those how-to books and tapes, we should simply pay closer attention to God’s Word. Let’s go back to the Bible to see what may be robbing us of true worship.

Getting Down to Basics

It’s possible that the value of our worship is diminished because we have failed the most basic prerequisite to worship—purity.

David asked, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol” (Ps. 24:3, 4 NKJV)

The reason for David’s concern is evident. We can never worship God with unclean hands or an impure heart. More important than the form or style of worship is conditions of the worshiper.

That’s why David prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart;… and see if there is any wicked way in me” (139:23, 24). He was preparing for worship.
Before we get down to worship, we must get down to the basics of clean hands and a pure heart. Worship will be uninspiring and meaningless if these prerequisites are not met. Let’s begin at the beginning—with ourselves.

Getting Down to Focus

Another way to infuse new life into our worship is to become focused. Thank God for the gifted pastor, the megachurch, the inspiring missionary, the talented musician. Be thankful for them, yea but don’t worship them.

Worship becomes vital when it becomes exclusive. God alone is to be worshiped, for He alone is worthy to be praised.

The Lord reminded Moses, “You shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God” (Ex. 34:14).

God’s servants sometimes mistakenly become our focus, and we channel our worship toward them. But it doesn’t work, for God won’t accept secondhand worship. No servant can accept the worship that belongs exclusively to God. If he does, he will not please his Lord.

Even the last chapter of the Bible records this problem. Revelation 22:8, 9 says, “And I, John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, ‘Do not do that. For I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

For worship to be vital, it must be exclusive. God will not share worship with others. So let’s forget about ourselves, concentrate on Him and worship Him.

Getting Down to Worship

One final way to restore meaning to worship is to return to a practice that has virtually been abandoned—the practice of getting down to worship.
In the Old Testament one Hebrew word was used almost exclusively for worship—shachah.
This word means “to depress, to prostrate in homage, to fall down flat, to do reverence.” The corresponding New Testament word is proskuneo. The prefix pro gives us a clue to its meaning—“to prostrate, to do homage, to make obeisance.”

The lost practice of getting down before the Lord in worship may well have contributed to the loss of vitality in our worship. After all, it’s hard to fall down flat in reverence when we are standing or sitting.

Must we fall down before God to worship? That’s like asking if we must kneel to pray. No, but if your prayer life lacks some luster, that’s a good way to make it more meaningful. The same is true with worship.

When Joshua met the Commander of the Lord’s army before the battle of Jericho, “Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped” (Josh. 5:14).
Paul advocated the clear preaching of the Word because if an unbeliever comes into the assembly and hears the Word, he will fall “down on his face, he will worship God” (I Cor. 14:25).
“Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him” (Rev. 4:9,10).
Are you serious about putting new life into your worship of the Lord? If so, take a page from God’s Word instead of an idea from a worship manual.
Start with clean hands and a pure heart. Focus your attention on God alone. And if your knees still bend and you can get back up, fall on your face before God and worship Him.
Maybe if we worship in a more biblical way, the result won’t be rejuvenation—it will be revival.

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For He is our God, and are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand” (Ps. 95:6.7). CL

Confident Living Magazine, Secunderabad
Pic. Credit: Back to the Bible Intl.


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