Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

4 The Heart of Worship Part 2

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Genesis 22:2-5

2 “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” 3 The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day of their journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.”

  • Sacrifice of Worship Vs 2, 5

Abraham reminds us that worship isn’t cheap but costly and for Abraham it required the cost of his precious son. God asks Abraham to give what he loved the most, the light of his life that represented all of his hopes and dreams for the future. He had waited 24 years for the promise to become a reality and now God wanted him to give it all back. To Abraham, Isaac was life itself and God calls Abraham to take and sacrifice what is the most precious. Today we have traded costly worship for cheap, convenient and comfortable worship. When Abraham spoke of “worship” he knew that true worship involved him making the greatest sacrifice possible and he willingly offered God the treasure of his heart. David understood the cost of worship when he said, “I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24. Mary knew this, and John 12:1-8 describes the sacrificed of her pride, her glory and her treasure for the opportunity to worship at the feet of Jesus. Worship is why the wise men journeyed on, so they could kneel in humble honor and offer their treasure before the child King Matthew 2:1-12. Through the ages many have given it all, even their lives, as sacrifices of worship for His glory. Hebrews 13:15 tells us: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” yet for many selfishness holds us back from the sacrifice of worship. It always costs something to worship the Lord, yet are we really willing to give it? Maybe it’s the cost of time to study His Word so that truth can be discovered. The cost may include the loss of prestige the acceptance of friends, family, and society. What treasure are you willing to offer to God through worship? Romans 12:1 tells us to offer our lives as a sacrifice. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” What would you offer today would you offer your will and your ways?

  • Separation of Worship Vs 5

When this small band of pilgrims arrived at the place God revealed to Abraham, a separation took place.  “Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants “The boy and I will travel a little farther, we will worship there, and then we will come right back.”  Those two servants were not part of the worship experience because they would have hindered and possibly stopped him from doing what the Lord had called him to do. So they had to be left behind and only Abraham and the treasure of his heart were allowed in the place of worship. There is an important worship lesson for us here and that is that there are many things in life that would hinder our worship. Like those two servants there are many things that would intrude themselves into our worship that have no business being there. We must say to those things, ““Stay here while I go and worship.” What things compete for your attention while you seek to worship? Anything that would hinder us, the problems of the flesh, the mind, the world, must be banished when we go to seek the Lord in worship. Anything that distracts the mind and detours the heart from Him is a hindrance to genuine, biblical worship. Often we find ourselves pondering problems and people instead of being passionately engaged in the privilege of personal worship.  Heb. 10:21-22 says, “and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings”  We have the privilege of a “High Priest” and the responsibility to “draw near with a true heart.” We are called to approach the Lord with a heart that is fully focused on Him. We must detach from anything that would distract and leave it behind so that like Abraham, we can go from “here” to “there”. For Abraham, the place of worship was not “here” in the valley with the servants it was “here” on the mountain with the Lord. If we are going to worship, we too must move from “here” to “there” as we separate ourselves from any that would hinder us from being totally given over to God. What has your attention and occupies your mind when you come to worship?

  •  Self-Denial of Worship Vs 5

When Abraham told the servants that he was going up to “worship”, he knew that it meant the sacrifice of his son. Abraham yielded himself to the will of his Father not his wants and that is self-denial. Absolute self-denial required that he sacrificed his opinions, his desires, his will, his preferences, and his very future to the glory of God. Self-denial allows us to let go of self so we can get lost in the Savior. Abraham’s worship was not about him, it was about the Lord. We must deny self because worship is never about us and we will never really worship as long as we are focused on self. Abraham did not seek to worship in a way that would allow him to be exalted; he worshiped in a way that brought all glory to God. If we want to worship the Lord, we must cease to exalt self and we must focus on exalting Him and Him alone! Real worship happens when we forget about self and get lost in His glory for His glory!

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