The journey through the Bible continues…today is exactly 9 weeks since I began. The lesson plan I started with was intended to help me read through the Bible in 88 days. Obviously, that is not exactly panning out. However, I am still having a blast and refusing to quit.
I am currently in 1 Chronicles, but want to back track just a little to 2 Kings. The first section of 2 Kings chapter 23 is entitled (in my Bible) Josiah Restores True Worship…That really got me thinking about what true worship is and if I am doing it in my life.
Josiah was known for true worship. We are told something significant about him in the last verse of the section…2 Kings 23:25.
There was no king to compare with Josiah—neither before nor after— a king who turned in total and repentant obedience to God, heart and mind and strength, following the instructions revealed to and written by Moses. The world would never again see a king like Josiah.
When I read that, I underlined it and filed it away mentally. I began thinking about true worship and what that would look like. Josiah was completely and totally tuned in to God. He was following Him heart and soul and, because of that, he was able to exhibit true worship. The New King James Version says that Josiah had turned to the Lord with all of his heart. So, if we have turned to the Lord with all of our heart, we will be able to also exhibit true worship…
We will worship when we are in pain – Job 1:20…There was none like Job in all the earth. Those were the words that God Himself said about Job. He was upright. He was blameless. How hurt and confused he must have been with the sudden and unexpected loss of all of his children…yet, when he was told of their deaths…Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head. These are both acts of intense grief. Then…he fell to the ground in worship. That is true worship. When we can worship amidst our grief, our confusion, our heartache, our stress…
We will worship in awe – Psalm 95:6…Psalm 95 is entitled A Call to Worship and Obedience. I know that, in my own life, I am guilty of not fully acknowledging the awesomeness of God. This psalm is a great reminder of who it is we are serving…I love this psalm..particularly verses 4-5: In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land. The deep places of the earth…boy, do I feel like I have been there at times. I always envisioned God reaching out and picking me up out of those valleys and saving me. How much more comfort I find in knowing that, while I was in the deep place, I could still praise Him because even the deepest, darkest valley is still within His hand. We should be in absolute awe of Him…
We will worship in joy – Psalm 100:2…Lest we focus too much on pain and heartache, remember from the above mention of Psalm 96:4-5, that the heights of the hills are also His. Nothing will bring joy to a person’s life like being fully aware of what God has done for them personally. And, when the realization hits, you will want to make a joyful shout to the Lord (Psalm 100:1). You will want to come before Him singing (Psalm 100:2). True worship involves some serious joy, people.
We will worship knowing the cost – Daniel 3:18…True worship costs something. Hebrews 13:15 tells us to continually offer Him a sacrifice of praise. Sacrifice. Daniel had something to lose. He was not worshipping God in the comfort of a church on Sunday morning amidst others who looked like him, thought like him and believed like him. He was worshipping his God out in the open…amidst people who disagreed so strongly that they wanted him dead. Yet, he worshipped anyway knowing that his God was able to save, but also fully aware that his God may choose not to do so. And, because of the risk Daniel took, Nebuchadnezzar declared…there is no other God who can deliver like this. Our worship can not be done in secret. Our lives are a living sacrifice…
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. John 4:23