Week 5-Response-February 20, 2013
Points to Ponder
v Responding to God’s revelation in a manner that is pleasing to Him involves service and surrender.
- Freedom in worship is not you or me overcoming our inhibitions. Freedom in worship is God overcoming you.
- There is only one thing that makes our service appropriate and sufficient: complete surrender.
- We all have found ourselves at similar crossroads in life-possibly laying down something that we want to have or to do in order to follow the “still small voice” of the Spirit. But more often, complete surrender means surrendering our hearts, our thoughts, and our reactions to the daily issues of life to God’s direction. It isn’t always easy to exchange our lives for His, but the rewards are indeed great when we do.
- The Word of God is the only thing that can renew our minds, and it will contradict our typical thought life regularly.
- As we make conscious decision to train our minds to align with His thoughts and His words of life, we are ready to adopt a lifestyle of worship.
v A lifestyle or worship is essential if we are to overcome in order to “become.”
- Worship must be part of our everyday lives if we are to become living sacrifices-not conformed to the world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds.
- First, we must recognize and acknowledge the battle for the conformity of our minds and our lives. Second, we must be equipped to overcome those powers and principalities that assault us and our families, fellow believers around the world, and our nation.
- For now let us consider another powerful tool that can help us to stand against the enemy of our faith: worship! Our expression of worship always invited God’s intervention in our circumstances.
- Notice that their first response to the threats of the enemy was prayer and worship! (2 Chronicles 20)
- What had looked like a battle with flesh and blood was won in the spirit and in the natural as they responded to God’s revelation with worship!
- We worship in response to God’s revelation. We make an informed decision to surrender to His love and become a living sacrifice, wholly and pleasing to Him.
v Worship strengthens the Word in us.
- In worship we both receive the Word of God and strengthen the Word within us. Worship apart from the revelation of the Word (the Living Word and written Word) is incomplete.
- The battleground was temptation, but the core issue was worship. The Enemy wanted Jesus to worship something other than God, but Jesus drew upon the Word of God within to fight the battle (Matthew 4:8-11).
- The Enemy still wants us to worship something other than God-Father, Son, and Spirit-and the answer to this and every other challenge or temptation is still “It is written”! The Word of God is always the answer.
v Worshiping God while we are waiting for Him to act opens a place for Him to intervene.
- Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
- We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses…Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time. Hebrews 4:15-16
v God wants us to worship Him with all our heart and soul.
- The issue is not the type or magnitude of any one trial we face, but our response to every test. God’s Word gives us real hope and real direction as we respond. James 1:2-5
- The issue is that each believer must raise his or her own unhindered expression of worship to the King of kings in response to what He alone has done.
- The Bible is full of specific activities of worship, including those listed below:
- Kneeling/bowing (2 Chron. 29:29; Luke 22:41; Acts 20:36)
- Singing (Ps. 100:2; 147; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16)
- Praying (Matt. 6:9-13; Acts 1:14; 4:31; 1 Thess. 5:16-17)
- Shouting (Ps. 95:1-2; 98:4; Zech. 9:9)
- Clapping (Ps. 47:1; 98:4,8; Isa. 55:12)
- Prostrating (Deut. 9:18; Josh. 5:14; 1 Kings 18:39; Rev. 1:17)
- Raising hands (2 Chron. 6:13; Ps. 63:4; 1 Tim. 2:8)
- Dancing (2 Sam. 6:14; Ps. 30:11; 149:3)
- Playing instruments (1 Chron. 15:16; Ps. 98:5-6, 150)
- Meditating/listening (Josh. 1:8; Ps. 77:12; 81:13; 119:15; Phil 4:8)
- Giving (Isa. 58:7; Mal. 3:10; 2 Cor. 9:7-8)
- Serving (Ps. 100:2a; Matt. 20:25-28; Acts 20:18-19; Rom. 12:1)
- Taking communion (Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26)
- Fasting (Neh. 1:4; Esth. 4:3; Isa. 58; Joel 2:12)
4. Now the Lord is Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17