Acceptable Worship (I Samuel 5-6; 1 Chronicles 13-16

When will we learn that our Holy God must be obeyed? How long will it take before we give Him the honor He demands, and quit trying to do things our own way, expecting Him to congratulate us on our sincerity?

David tried twice to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem. The first attempt ended in disaster, in death. It wasn’t until David obeyed God that the Presence of God could go home.

Don’t think this implies true worship is dancing, singing, and blaring instruments. There was a rocking worship service going on both times. During the first incident David had organized a worship experience, dressed it up with a brand new cart, but all that did was to make God angry because that, as impressive as it must have been, was NOT what God had demanded.

The lesson in these chapters today is not about the window dressing. There is one difference between worship God accepts and worship He rejects.

Obedience.

The Apostle Paul says this about worship:

Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – which is your spiritual 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. (Romans 12:1-2)

Paul tells us worship that pleases God is sacrificial, from a soul transformed by God, set apart from the world. I hear Paul say worship is not about an experience as much as it is about a life totally submitted to God. Not just an hour on Sunday, but a 24/7 commitment of mind and body.

Jesus Himself had something to say about worship:

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. (John 4:23-24)

My personal opinion is that too many of us worship God half way. We get our spirits soaring, our emotions high as we repeat certain phrases in song, and at the same time turn off our minds. Jesus said we MUST worship Him in our spirit and in the truth which, to me, involves careful consideration of God’s Word, of Who He is and not just by what He gives.

The Truth of God’s Word can break your heart, humiliate you, cause you to be under heavy conviction. And it also can surround you with the sweet Presence of God Himself. But I hear God saying if we just worship Him in our spirits and shut off our minds, or if we just worship Him with our minds and shut off our spirits, we are not truly worshiping Him like He seeks.

The writer of Hebrews says:

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (12:28-29)

Worship is serious business. Worship of a Holy God cannot be taken lightly. And I believe God’s Word tells us true worship of Him is a conscious decision we make every day. We can’t worship God if we aren’t obedient.

Will you worship God today, Monday, May 4? Will your worship be acceptable as you offer yourself, body, mind, and spirit to our Holy God who demands holiness of each of us? Will your worship of God bring Him joy?

I know that is the prayer of my heart for my own worship of God who deserves to be worshiped according to His demands.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

 

 

 

 

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