Genesis 4:26 When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. At that time people first began to worship the Lord by name. Our worship as believers should be a precious, heartfelt expression of love and honor to God. The path to worshipping God in Spirit and Truth was made possible by Jesus for all who know and receive Him. Jesus gave a clear explanation and a promise about the worship of the saints and changed it from a formula to function when speaking to the woman at the well in John 4. Look at what he tells the Samaritan woman in 21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
So you may say “who are you to tell me what kind of worship is acceptable to God?” To which I will say “search the Word!” One pastor did a radical thing a few years ago at a church called Survivor Church in Watford, England. The pastor, Mike Pilavachi, believed their church had begun to worship worship and he directed his worship leader, Matt Redman, to do worship without all the bells and whistles, like sound systems and lights on the stage, and get back to the heart of the whole thing. Now keep in mind, Matt Redman is a true innovator and trailblazer in writing songs of worship and at that time was becoming very well known in the states, but that didn’t matter. Getting back to true worship was the focus and the peripherals were removed to allow that full focus on God. It was a bold move in the midst of a church that was bursting at the seems with growth and most of that growth was below the age of 30. So the desire to “minister” to that age group was a powerful, intimidating force. Mike knew something was missing and he led their church to be more “real” and get deeper in their worship of God and thus get deeper in their walk with God. God showed him the superficial way they had digressed in their worship and knew that was not what God wanted, and they changed the whole thing and got back to the basics.
Of course, I could make excuses to use every bit of technology available and thus create a monster to better communicate “the gospel.” But what needs to be the pure heart of the whole thing? Lift up the name -Proverbs 18:10 says The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe. When lifting up the name of the Lord, a whole new level of humility and honor for God comes into focus and the result of that is a people who depend solely on the power of God and NOT on the power of our abilities. We must quit manipulating God and His Word and let him be the puppet master, not us. It causes us to never use the Lord’s Name in vain by mouth or action, and the residual effect is a life of total surrender to the Name of Jesus. In times of trouble we run to HIM, not a confused and dying world. Jesus becomes our focus and function, and we live to glorify HIM and HIM alone. A great example of this attitude is found in Matthew 3:8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. 9 Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 10 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.11 “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. John knew where he was in this whole equation and His honoring God and Jesus showed he knew what his part was in the whole thing. It was all about JESUS! End of story….Remember John also said I must decrease and Jesus must increase! It doesn’t sound a lot like some of our worship settings today. We tend to put ourselves ahead of Jesus and forget to honor His name because we are too busy trying to elevate ourselves in front of the crowd and “let” them worship Him by hearing our beautiful voice. There is something so wrong in all of this, but as I said before I can make a legitmate argument for doing it until….THE WORD OF GOD!
So what I am saying is there came a time(Genesis 4:26) when we were able to honor the name of the Lord and not just talk about the name of the Lord and we should never take it for granted by putting ourselves in any place of honor equal to or ahead of the Name of Jesus!! Paul had a true understanding of the power of the name in Philippians 2:10 where he said 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. In this second chapter we see the attitude that we are to have as believers and Paul points us to lifting up the Name of Jesus. Look at verse 3 and 4 where Paul says 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. In reality, we aren’t very impressive anyway, so there is a humble, God honoring attitude in there somewhere and it needs to come out, and then our worship will be what God intends for it to be. REAL!!!
The Pilgrimage continues….