Jesus said Father God seeks worshipers (Joh 4:24). God will find you when you worship. It’s not as much about providing a “seeker friendly” church where people can find God. It’ more about being a worshiping church so when seekers come God will find them. God Seeks Worshipers.
PRAISE HIM WORSHIP HIM
By Pastor Delbert Young
God Seeks Worshipers
God Seeks Worshipers
Psalms 100:4, Psalms 89:15, Psalm 26:6-7, Colossians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 14:24-25, John 4:20, John 4:21-24, John 4:21-22, Romans 12:1, Matthew 4:10-11
We’ve begun a new series: PRAISE HIM WORSHIP HIM. I was praying not long ago and felt the need to teach about Praise and Worship, so I began to plan this series. I’ve personally been praising and worshiping God for close to forty years and taught praise and worship extensively, but I realized many of you have never been taught about this amazing, life changing topic. I’ve not helped you enjoy and understand what only praise and worship bring to your table.
I will begin my teaching by telling you from those decades of experience how praise and worship will affect you. It will transform you. Let’s look at four areas, but there are many, praise and worship transforms a person. Those of you who agree with these give me some, “Yes! It’s correct” as I talk about them. God seeks worshipers.
(1) PRAISE AND WORSHIP TRANSFORMS YOUR ENJOYMENT OF CHURCH. Instead of praise and worship being a DUTY IT BECOMES A DELIGHT. Praise and worship help make church fun. Instead of standing and observing, you actually become part of and enjoy church at a much higher/heavenly level.
Psalms 100:4 ENTER HIS GATES with thanksgiving and his courts with PRAISE; give thanks to him and PRAISE HIS NAME.
Praise and worship is how we are to ENTER HIS GATES. Have you ever heard someone say they went to church, but didn’t get anything out of it? I’ve never, in nearly 40 years of church, ever been to any church where a praise and worship experience was provided I didn’t receive and enjoy church – never ever! When you enter with praise, you always walk away with something special. God seeks worshipers.
(2) PRAISE AND WORSHIP TRANSFORMS GOD’S PRESENCE FROM “OUT THERE,” OR “UP THERE,” TO “RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.” Sometimes it’s as though he is so close to me I can touch him, and do. This level of closeness only happens to me during praise and worship.
Psalms 89:15 Happy are those who hear the joyful CALL TO WORSHIP, FOR THEY WILL WALK IN THE LIGHT OF YOUR PRESENCE, LORD.
When the countdown music begins and lights dim, we should be HAPPY. We should, “Get ready.” You are about to walk in the light of his presence. I am closer to God in praise and worship than in any other way. I will hear him during the sermon, but I connect with him in praise and worship.
(3) PRAISE AND WORSHIP TRANSFORMS BY WASHING.
Psalm 26:6-7 I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, O LORD, PROCLAIMING ALOUD YOUR PRAISE and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
This is exactly what praise and worship do. They proclaim aloud God’s wonderful deeds. When we experience praise and worship, it will wash the soul. Praise and worship have a way of getting you back right with God. I may have messed up badly during the week, but when I get back into praise and worship, I get back into God.
(4) PRAISE AND WORSHIP TRANSFORMS YOUR LEARNING EXPERIENCE.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you SING PSALMS, HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS with gratitude in your hearts to God.
We sing the word of God here. It gets into you when you praise and worship.
Back in the late 80’s until the mid 90’s, it seemed people were more desirable to dive into praise and worship than people seem to be today. It was normal to look out into our congregation and see the majority of people exuberantly enjoying praise by dancing, clapping, waving, etc. Today it seems to be the abnormal. Then it was common to see people on their knees crying and reaching into the Lord. Today it’s seldom seen. The songs are better. The musicians are as good if not better, but something’s happened over the past few decades and changed the experience of praise and worship. While songs along with music have increased in quality, people actually Biblically praising and worshiping God have appeared to decrease. Those of you who have been here over the years ask the same question I ask, “What’s happened?”
I’ve given this much thought and my personal conclusion is church went into what is referred to as “seeker friendly” services, which made church more an experience for the “lost” rather than for the “saved,” for the “seeker,” not for the “follower.” I think “church” has fallen victim to a “seeker friendly service,” which damaged the worship and praise experience along with the use of spiritual gifts. In a way, instead of worshiping God, we worship the lost in we make the worship service for them instead of for God. We’ve asked concerning praise and worship, “What do the lost want?” when we should ask, “What does God want?”
The “lost” do not have a relationship with God. They don’t know him, so they can’t praise and worship God. Church is more for the believers who do have a relationship with God and can praise and worship God. In a big way, we’ve allowed the non-worshiper to define our praise and worship services.
We’ve mentioned praise and worship done correctly have the power to transform a person’s life. This is true even for the lost. True praise and worship have a far greater affect on the unbeliever than does a “seeker friendly” service. When a non-believer observes people truly worshiping God’s way, they are being told by what they see the gospel is believable. Paul said when church is done correctly and an unbeliever comes in…
1 Corinthians 14:24-25 …he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So HE WILL FALL DOWN AND WORSHIP GOD, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”
Sometimes we get people to come to church with us. We are fearful if they see us raise our hands, or jump, etc, it will turn them off. Not so! It will turn them on when done correctly. It’s a declaration, “God is really among you!”
With this said, let’s talk about what God is seeking and wants from our praise and worship. Once at a well in Samaria, Jesus sent the disciples to town for food and while gone a woman came to the well to draw water. She had a sordid past of five husbands and was now living in fornication with yet another man. When the moment was right, Jesus addressed her issues. The woman realized Jesus was a man from God. She became convicted and wanted to correct her life. She asked Jesus a very valid question. Where should she go to worship and get her life where it should be with God. She said,
John 4:20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Where should she go if she wanted to truly connect with God and get things right? We learn much about worship from this conversation.
John 4:21-24 JESUS DECLARED, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the TRUE WORSHIPERS will WORSHIP THE FATHER IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH, for THEY ARE THE KIND OF WORSHIPERS THE FATHER SEEKS. God is spirit, and his worshipers MUST WORSHIP in spirit and in truth.”
Isn’t it interesting Jesus declared? The Greek word is lego meaning to lay forth, relate in a systematic discourse. She’s asking about worship. Jesus laid it out for her.
I’m going to attempt to help us using the entire passage, but I want to jump to an amazing point. FATHER GOD SEEKS WORSHIPERS. GOD WILL FIND YOU WHEN YOU WORSHIP. IT’S NOT AS MUCH ABOUT PROVIDING A “SEEKER FRIENDLY” CHURCH SO PEOPLE CAN FIND GOD AS MUCH AS IT IS ABOUT BEING A WORSHIPPING CHURCH SO WHEN SEEKERS COME GOD WILL FIND THEM.
Jesus said people MUST WORSHIP and worship must be in spirit and in truth. What does this mean? It’s a lower case “s” meaning it’s the person’s spirit, not God’s Spirit. Your spirit MUST WORSHIP. Your spirit is your life force. It’s your very breath. When the spirit leaves, the body dies (Jam 2:26). When people won’t worship, won’t come to church to worship, or say they can’t worship, those people need to evaluate their spirit, for those God seeks MUST WORSHIP him first in their spirit. If a person’s spirit won’t worship something is amiss.
Jesus said true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in TRUTH. Then Jesus said it again. His(Father’s) worshipers MUST worship in spirit and in TRUTH. Years ago, I was told I preached too long and we needed to sing more songs when, at this time, we were already singing seven songs. There is an idea a “worship service” is better if we sing more songs or repeat a chorus over and over. This is not necessarily true. The worshiper must have TRUTH to worship correctly. The English word “worship” comes from old English “worth ship.” It’s attributing worth to something or someone. It’s only done if we have knowledge of the worth of the thing or person. Again, we see a “worship service” can’t be designed for the “seeker” for they have no truth to use to worship. Worshiping, or attempting to worship, something you do not have truth about is false worship. The Samaritans thought they were worshiping God. Were they? Jesus said,
John 4:21-22 …You Samaritans WORSHIP WHAT YOU DO NOT KNOW; we WORSHIP WHAT WE DO KNOW, for SALVATION is from the Jews.
Can you worship in TRUTH what you do not know? There is a connection between knowing what you worship and salvation. The question is: how much “truth” do you know? Worship comes from the life force of the spirit and comes from TRUTH – understanding and knowledge. Father God is seeking those who engage themselves through understanding and knowledge, not mindless empty duty. God seeks and finds those who worship him with their spirit (life force) and truth (mind understanding, knowledge). The more you know about God, the truer your worship will be. As we grow and develop in our knowledge and understanding of God, we will grow in our praise and worship of God. IN PRAISE AND WORSHIP, YOU PLACE YOURSELF IN A PLACE FOR GOD TO FIND YOU. It’s why his presence is so intense during praise and especially worship.
How important is worship? Of what priority is worship? Your life is a call to worship.
Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to OFFER YOUR BODIES as living sacrifices, HOLY AND PLEASING to God – THIS IS YOUR SPIRITUAL ACT OF WORSHIP. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
There is the physical body aspect offered in worship and praise. We are going to talk about hands, feet, lips, mouth, knees, etc in our series. You need to know why and what you are doing in praise and worship. Notice here your body is a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Then the apostle says, THIS IS YOUR SPIRITUAL ACT OF WORSHIP. Worship and praise includes the involvement of your body.
This involvement begins a transformation process of the RENEWING OF YOUR MIND. Jesus said you must worship in spirit – life force – and truth – mind. Praise and worship, as much as anything we do, is a call for our bodies and our minds to respond to God. This is what Father is seeking and it’s extremely pleasing to him.
Once again we note our worship is not to conform to the pattern of this world. However, it seems in an attempt to reach the “seeker,” we have conformed. Instead, our worship should be transforming and renewing the minds of the believer.
Worship is a priority. We find worshiping people all the way through the Scriptures. Worship fills the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. Worship and praise are the dominate acts of people in eternity and around the throne of God. The scenes in heaven are of worship and praise. In this sense, the ultimate goal for you is to worship and praise God. In heaven, you will shout, “Worthy is the Lamb!” In heaven you will bow and sing “Hallelujah!” In heaven you will wave and rejoice.
God’s people were and are defined biblically by their praise and worship, but not only defined as the people of God. Their very lives were defined by their worship. When they operated in praise and worship their lives were blessed and they experienced good things. When they didn’t worship, their lives were not blessed and they experienced bad things. Your praise and worship touches all of your life, not only your Sunday experience. The lack of worship releases the enemy upon a life. The presence of worship sends Satan away. We observe this when Satan came to Jesus in the wilderness.
Matthew 4:10-11 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, and serve him only.'” Then THE DEVIL LEFT HIM, and angels came and attended him.
Not only does the devil leave, but angels come to minister when we worship.
Praise and worship transform your life: Your enjoyment of church; Your experiencing God’s presence; Your washing – getting back right with God; Your learning experience. Praise and worship are not for the unbeliever. They are for the believer. Jesus declared true worshipers must worship in spirit and truth. Your life force and your mind along with your body are to be presented in praise and worship. Jesus said when this happens; you won’t have to find God. He will find you. Praise and worship define God’s people. It will send the enemy away and bring the angels of God to attend to you. GOD SEEKS WORSHIPERS! Place yourself in a position for God to find you.
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