Posted by: Veroni Kruger | March 31, 2010

Are you finding it difficult to worship?

ESSENTIAL ASPECTS OF THE CHURCH
Another excerpt from a book on the Church that I am working on. Let me know what you think.

THE PRELUDE TO WORSHIP

Worship takes place when those who are born again focus by faith on the presence of God in love, respect and wondering amazement with the exclusive desire to please the Lord.

Our whole life should be an act of worship. Nevertheless, in order for us to be able to live in worship, we need to dedicate specific times when we focus exclusively on worshipping God. Every believer should dedicate some personal prayer time to worship, and part of the service in church should also be dedicated to focused worship.
Life in most cultures has become so busy, that people tend to come into a time of worship, as it were, with screeching brakes. The definition of worship given above, and the word picture just suggested, namely that of screeching breaks, are irreconcilable. There has to be preparation for true worship. How do we do that?

Thanksgiving and praise are the best way to enter into true worship. In a study of worship like this one, there needs to be a distinction between thanksgiving and praise and worship. What I am now saying is not that thanksgiving and prayer are the same as worship. However, when we give thanks to God and praise God, we are in actual fact preparing ourselves to enter into worship.

Psalm 100 was a song used in Temple worship. It describes the people of the Lord approaching the temple. They are preparing to enter into that part of the temple where they are allowed to worship the Lord. How do they enter the temple? Verse 4 gives a direct instruction: “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise his name.” These words provide very good directions for those who want to enter into true, sincere, realistic, intimate, Spirit-led worship. As we approach a time of worship, it is good for us to remember that “the Lord is God”; and that “it is he who made us” (Psalms 100.3); and that “the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalms 100.5). We would do well to preface the time of worship in our church services by helping people to focus on the overwhelming evidence of the grace and favor of the Lord in their lives. And in our personal devotions, beginning with a time of praise and thanksgiving definitely opens the way for true worship.

One caveat: Don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in your own needs, be they met or unmet, that you never get to the point where you focus on pleasing God alone. Remember the distinction Torrey made, quoted in my first posting about worship “in prayer we are occupied with our needs, in thanksgiving we are occupied with our blessings (in other words, needs that have been met), in worship we are occupied with (God) Himself (parentheses mine)”.

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