You are like what you worship

Posted: 25 October, 2009 in Uncategorized

Recently I had the privilege of attending the annual Sola 5 conference which was hosted this year by Brackenhurst Baptist Church. During one of the sessions Jeff Gage spoke about “Elevated Worship.” The sermon made sense of the turmoil the church is in today by taking a look at worship. Without further comment from me – here are my notes of the first twenty minutes of the sermon.

Elevated Worship

Psalm 115:1-8

To Your Name Give Glory

115:1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

2 Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
3 Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.

4 Their idols are silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
5 They have mouths, but do not speak;
eyes, but do not see.
6 They have ears, but do not hear;
noses, but do not smell.
7 They have hands, but do not feel;
feet, but do not walk;
and they do not make a sound in their throat.
8 Those who make them become like them;
so do all who trust in them.

Worship is at the heart and soul of being a God-centred church.

How can you be a God-centred church if you are not defined by God-exulting worship?

Worship is what we are – we are worshipers of the true and living God.

Worship is not an event, it is the entire lifestyle of the believer.

Worship of a God Centred Church:

The emphasis in worship is on glorifying God.

Not MY EXPERIENCE. Doing those things that are genuinely pleasing to God. Those things that display his worth and worthiness. Not necessarily doing those things that are meaningful to me.

Idolatry can be very “meaningful” to idolaters. – it touches them deeply, and it moves them profoundly.

Tozer warned that suddenly feeling expansive and poetic does not mean we are spiritual. “Drunkards and tyrants and criminals can have those same sublime feelings, let us not imagine that they constitute worship.”

When I discover from the Bible what the things are that show forth the worth of God and I find that those things are not meaningful to me – what must change? The worship or ME? That which glorifies God should become more and more meaningful to me -this is one of the marks of sanctification and Christian growth.

Worship forms our theology

Worship is saying that what is meaningful to God is most important, not what is meaningful to me.

As I do those things that glorify God, my view of God is being formed. People in church are there, worshiping God before they are learning theology.

How worship is conducted forms our ideas about God. How we are lead to approach God forms our ideas about who this God is.

This either speaks truth about God or it speaks of idolatry.

How we worship God forms us.

Worship is formative – v. 8 we become like the object of our worship.

The stakes involved in worship:

Gods honour or dishonour, right theology or wrong theology and formation of peoples lives into godliness and ungodliness.

Approaches and their implications:

If church is lead to approach the worship of God casually – there is a party atmosphere – “lets have a jol with Jesus.” The people’s view of God is diminished and their lifestyles will take the holiness of God casually.

If worship is approached in total mysteriously,, total uncertainty and without definition. The people’s view of God will become very unclear and distant. Their lifestyles with either become very superstitous (seeing God in the swaying of a tree) or it will become very faddish.

If worship is approached as mere ceremonies – the church’s view of God will be very trivial. You will have God in a box. God is in the smoke or the candle. Your lifestyle will be very disconnected from God. While you are not involved in the ceremony you are not involved with God.

When God is approached in worship as The Holy One reigning over Heaven and Earth, yet near to all who call upon him in spirit and truth. Your view will be full of reverence and love. And your lifestyle will be one of thankful and worshipful obedience by grace.

Worship matters – how we worship matters – who we worship matters. Are we worshiping our own selves in making worship into what pleases us, or are we showing forth the glory of our Great God in the way that He has revealed in His Word?


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