The Mystery Of Worship As The Traverse To Glory (Part 1): Sermon By Bishop Gobanga
Then I looked, and I heard the voices of many angels on every side of the throne and of the living creatures and the elders [of the heavenly Sanhedrin], and they numbered ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, saying in a loud voice, Deserving is the Lamb, Who was sacrificed, to receive all the power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and majesty (glory, splendor) and blessing!
And I heard every created thing in heaven and on earth and under the earth [in Hades, the place of departed spirits] and on the sea and all that is in it, crying out together, To Him Who is seated on the throne and to the Lamb be ascribed the blessing and the honor and the majesty (glory, splendor) and the power (might and dominion) forever and ever (through the eternities of the eternities)! Then the four living creatures (beings) said, Amen (so be it)! And the elders [of the heavenly Sanhedrin] prostrated themselves and worshiped Him Who lives forever and ever.”Revelation 5:11-14 (AMPC)
Why do we worship? We worship that which will help our mind and hearts focus towards the object of our intimate desire.
Worship has to be something that captivates you as a person; an intense longing that holds your focus for a long period of time.
What Worship Is Not
Worship is not emotional exuberance. Worship is not excitement. Some people make the mistake of confusing being ecstatic with being brought closer to God. Yes, worship involves the emotional capacity, but when there is too much emphasis on an emotional experience to connect with God, then that is wrong.
You can’t worship without involving your emotional capacity. Problem starts when we major on the response of our emotions in trying to attain worship. It’s possible to worship your emotions and tears.
Worship begins with our reverence for God. Where there is no fear of God, there is no worship.
At the core of our worship is the fear of God and a sober reverence for God.
Emotions without the veracity of revelation becomes a performance. When you have too much of truth without emotions, you are good as dead. You cannot love God with you mind or will only. There has to be a balance.
Your mind must be able to receive truth. Your heart must love the truth to enable you to exercise your will to obey God.
Worship is not a supernatural experience. Spiritual worship is not a mystical thing. Having supernatural experiences does not make you a worshipper.
There are individuals in the Church who have exalted their personal spiritual experiences above the truth. It is the truth of God’s word that serves as the scale of balancing every spiritual experience.
Joy does not always have to find expression in your persona. The joy of the Lord is the fact that God is in control over everything.
Worship is not a musical performance. Music is only a tool that expresses the worth of God. Worship does not only entail singing praise and worship or praying or listening to songs. It’s biblical for all of us to do all these things, but in of themselves they are not worship.
And, said David, 4,000 shall be gatekeepers and 4,000 are to praise the Lord with the instruments which I made for praise.1 Chronicles 23:5 (AMPC)
Chenaniah, leader of the Levites in singing, was put in charge of carrying the ark and lifting up song. He instructed about these matters because he was skilled and able. Berechiah and Elkanah were gatekeepers for the ark. Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer the priests were to blow the trumpets before the ark of God. And Obed-edom and Jehiah (Jeiel) were also gatekeepers for the ark.
So David, the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the house of Obed-edom with joy. And when God helped the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord [with a safe start], they offered seven bulls and seven rams. David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as were the Levites who bore the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah, director of the music of the singers. David also wore an ephod [a priestly upper garment] of linen.1 Chronicles 15:22-27 (AMPC)
Worship minus revelation is not worship. Revelation precedes worship. The revelation you receive from the Spirit of God becomes your song. When you ponder on what the word that the Spirit of God has given unto you, that meditation is converted into a song.
God considers other forms of worship as unacceptable because of wrong heart postures.
I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will not smell a savor or take delight in your solemn assemblies. Though you offer Me your burnt offerings and your cereal offerings, I will not accept them, neither will I look upon the peace or thank offerings of your fatted beasts. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice run down like waters and righteousness as a mighty and ever-flowing stream.Amos 5:21-24 (AMPC)
The Lord rejected the worship of the children of Israel because it emanated from an impure life which is unacceptable before a Holy God. God wants your life and heart to be right. That way, whatever comes out of your life and heart will be acceptable to Him.
If everything we do as worship to God emanates from an impure life, God regards it as noise. God is looking at the heart, not the excellence of our worship.
If you are Spirit-filled and Spirit-led, you can not have defilement in you.
The principle of singing is you praying. One of the advantages of prayer is that it purges evil from you and breaks things.
The primary audience of our worship is God not the congregation. The primary goal of worship is the pleasure of God not of people or our own.
One of the reasons why we have music in the Church is because the Holy Spirit wants us to testify of the Lord’s goodness.
Biblical worship is not a religious ceremony. It is not ritualistic. Culture and religious rites should not take precedence over our obedience to God. God is after obedience.
Samuel said, Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.1 Samuel 15:22 (AMPC)
Worship is personal.
If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the world’s crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world? [Why do you submit to rules and regulations?—such as] Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them], Referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines. Such [practices] have indeed the outward appearance [that popularly passes] for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor of devotion and delight in self-humiliation and severity of discipline of the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh (the lower nature). [Instead, they do not honor God but serve only to indulge the flesh.]Colossians 2:20-23 (AMPC)
Worship is not having an appearance of religion. That is not what God is looking for. God is looking for partnership and relationship. Worship has a lot to do with intimacy with the Divine.
God is looking for relationship, not do’s and don’ts.
Biblical worship is not psychological self-indulgence. You do not come to the house of God because you are needy. Such an attitude serves to mock and dishonour God.
Sowing is not about the seed you are giving but a lot to do with heart attitudes and heart posture.
When we insist on our satisfaction more than God, we devalue God to a level below us.
Worship is not self-actualization. Your desires and achievements should not become the center of your focus in worship. Do not focus on what you want, focus on God. Don’t be a worshipper because you want to get something out of it. Focus on the fact that you want God and God alone. Serve God and be happy.
Do not worship God because you want to get some experience. Worship God because you love Him.
What Worship Is
Worship is the response to the vision (revelation) of God.
The glory of God is the beauty of His Spirit, the resplendence of His character and the magnificence of His attributes.
Worship is a response of what you can see and what you value as worthy. Seeing for believers is having an insight and perception of God.
Worship is a humble response to the revelation of God. You respond in humility to the perception of God that God has given you.
The prophetic is very important because it teaches one how to respond to God in worship.
Worship is responding in great giving of our lives because God has drawn near to us.
Worship is responding to the reality of God.
Worship is what enables you to be integrated into the glory of God.
God’s glory is the public display of His attributes. It is the demonstration, the manifestation and the impartation of God’s attributes.