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What is it about worship that attracts so much attention?  Why is it that so much tension gathers around this subject? What is it about worship that has the capacity to divide churches? The answer has to be found in the spiritual power and significance that worship has in the realm of the Spirit.

  1.  THE KEY QUESTION

Let me re-phrase those questions in a way that cuts to the real question.  "Why was Satan willing to give the kingdoms of this world and all their glory to Jesus if the Lord would bow down and worship him?"

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.  So if you worship me, it will all be yours." (Luke 4:5-7  NIV)

I think the answer is straight forward. If Satan can secure Jesus' worship, he will have power over Him and all that He has. That's the significance of worship. It's the Garden of Eden scenario all over again. Adam and Eve were given authority over the creation but they were deceived and, in their subsequent disobedience, they surrendered that authority to Satan. That's why Satan can make that offer to Jesus.

"....for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to...."

Jesus did not challenge the accuracy of that statement. It was as if Satan was saying, "There is another way for you to achieve your purpose and this other way does not involve death on a cross. You came to save the world and to recover that which was forfeited in the Garden of Eden. I can give you that if you will bow down and worship me".

Remember, we are the slaves of the one we worship. (Romans 6)

You see, we are not just exploring the styles, forms and preferences of music worship as we unpack this subject. In fact, those aspects are not as important as the spiritual principles that undergird them. Until we grasp that fact our discussion and debate will lack the needed focus and direction. True Spirit-inspired worship links the natural and supernatural realms and somehow empowers Kingdom activity in both realms.

Back at the beginning of this series, we noted that true worship is the total response of our whole being to the self-revelation of God. Without that revelation there can be no true worship; only a human attempt to make us ‘religious”. Religion is the product of any human attempt to reach out to God. True faith is the result of God reaching out to us.

Let’s look at some Biblical examples of this spiritual dynamic or principle. Each of the following biblical characters is an example of the power of worship to change and empower the individual, to give them the enabling to accomplish God’s mission for their lives.

 

Read  Exodus 3/1-6.

God revealed Himself to Moses through that “burning bush” experience. God took the initiative. Moses made the response.

Read Joshua 5/13-15. .

God made Himself known to Joshua in the person of the Commander of Heaven's Armies.  That was God's initiative. Joshua's response? Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence.

Read Isaiah 6/1-5

The same sequence happened here as it did for Moses and Joshua….and many others.

Read Galatians 1/13-17.

Paul describes the revelation of God that he received on that road to Damascus and also his response to that revelation.

Read Luke 5/4-8

Peter receives some kind of revelation down near the boatshed. Whatever it was, it dropped him to His knees in response.

Another that comes to my mind is what happened on  the Day of Pentecost which began, not with Peter's sermon but with worship that was in response to the revelation of the Risen Christ over the 50 days since His Resurrection.

And there are other such examples. Can you think of any?

Nothing much has changed over the years. Like the Hebrew pilgrims in the Exodus, we still have this propensity to take the initiative and create our own gods, expecting that our god/s will respond to our overtures & pleading (Exodus 32). These "gods" might include, as an example, the mighty dollar god (otherwise known to us as materialism). We look to money and possessions for our salvation.

CONCLUSION:

Is the any one aspect that you have looked at in this session that comes to you as a new insight?

In what ways might your life be different if you took seriously the truth we have considered?

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