WALK BY FAITH DEVOTIONAL
If you think you’re not worshiping other gods just because you “praise and worship” at church every Sunday, or sing along with your favorite Christian radio station, think again.
When God commands us to have no other gods before Him, He is not talking about singing songs. And when Jesus teaches us to “worship in spirit and in truth”, He isn’t talking about whether you sing along with the church choir. In fact, biblical “worship” according to numerous scriptures has nothing to do with choir practice, hymn books, the latest contemporary praise song, etc., at all. And, with the understanding of what biblical worship truly is, you might reconsider whether you might in fact be worshiping other gods whether you realize it or not. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word translated into “worship” actually means to bow, crouch, fall down, lie prostrate before, worship, reverence, and more. In the New Testament, “worship” means reverence, adore, prostrate oneself to, worship, and more. Get the point? When God commands us to have no other gods before Him, He is commanding us to not bow down to anything other than Him. Yet if the truth be told, and we do a clean sweep of our hearts and lives, we humans have a tendency to do just that. We are prone to bowing down to everything from alcohol to sex, from drugs to eating disorders, to work and ourselves, to wrong relationships, and a whole host of other people, places, and things. So why does Jesus call us to worship God “in spirit and in truth”? In the scripture in which He uses this term, He is talking to the woman at the well who talks about worshiping God in one specific place, Jerusalem. I believe Jesus is saying that true worship must transcend people, places, and things.
In other words, true worship is not about a church building, not about Jerusalem or Hawaii, not about denominations, not about the traditions of humans, not about one hymn versus another, or anything human at all. I believe Jesus is teaching us that true worship is living our lives sold out to God. We are called to bow down to God in our thoughts, emotions, actions, decisions, our very lifestyles.
He is to come first in all things in every way. We humans tend to like to put things in boxes, compartments, categories, and such, with big fat labels with permanent ink. But true worship isn’t about humans; it is about God.
WALK BY FAITH DEVOTIONAL
Isn’t it interesting how churches often call Sunday services “worship services”, as though worship is limited to an hour or two on Sundays in a building? What happens when churchgoers leave the building after “worship”, and what happens to those who don’t attend church at all but fellowship with followers of Christ from house to house or even outdoors in assemblies as described in the book of Acts?
What happens when we take “worship” out of our human, comfortable, familiar, just-like-everyone-else boxes and bow down to the Lord in the way we live our lives? And what happens when we get honest with ourselves and with the Lord and confess and seek forgiveness for lying prostrate before other gods instead of the Creator of the universe? Have you ever gotten down on the ground lying prostrate before the Lord? It’s not too popular, nor common, these days, is it? But the Lord hasn’t called us to be popular. He is looking for TRUE worshipers. And I don’t believe He is looking for people just to get down on their hands, their knees, and their faces before Him in physical form. I believe He is looking for those who reverence Him in their everyday lives. I don’t know about you, but for me this is convicting. How far I fall short daily in worshiping the Lord. But I am not under condemnation for this. I am under conviction – conviction that I have a long way to go, and I can begin this very minute by seeking the Lord’s forgiveness for falling so very far short of His glory. Then, I can ask Him to lead me in worshiping Him the way He desires. Not to satisfy my flesh, but to honor my Lord. I strongly encourage you to do a word search – along with a study – of the word “worship” in the Bible. I use the E-Sword program from www.E-Sword.com to do an in-depth, EASY studies of God’s Word. You may also want to check out www.biblegateway.com, www.biblehub.com, and www.blueletterbible.com.
Exo 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying, Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:1-6 KJV)
Joh 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
Joh 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
Joh 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Joh 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:19-24 KJV)
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