15 Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven. 16 “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that 17 I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. 18 And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”
- Service of Worship Vs. 16-18
Abraham took the fire and the knife and put the wood on his son and climbing the mountain together he bound him and placed him on the altar. Then he raised the knife fully intending to sacrifice his son to the Lord, willing to hold nothing back, Abraham yielded every ounce of self to the perfect will of God. God intervened and provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice in the place of his son Isaac and in the end, Abraham’s worship served to glorify God alone. Abraham’s faith and act of selfless worship delighted the heart of God and brought a statement of appreciation from Him. When we devote ourselves to selfless worship we bring glory to God. Psalm 50:23 quotes God as saying, “But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” True biblical worship gives God the place of absolute preeminence in our lives. He alone is glorified in genuine worship and that is how worship serves the Lord.
- Satisfaction of Worship Vs. 16-18
God will be no man’s debtor and after Abraham’s demonstration of absolute faith He gave Isaac back to him. Abraham ascended the mountain with a heavy heart knowing the high cost of honoring God yet his obedience was rewarded. He might have climbed that mountain questioning the ways of God, but he came down with a deeper understanding of God. He might have climbed that mountain expecting to give yet he received, instead of taking there was thanksgiving. When Abraham placed Isaac on the altar, God gave him back and Isaac became even more precious than before. One of the greatest blessings of real worship is that it brings the manifold blessings of God back to the giver. God will honor those who honor Him through worship but this is not why we worship. When we are willing to sacrifice all that we have, all that we are, and all that we care about on the altar of His glory, He will respond by blessing us and using us in greater ways than we could have ever imagined. Abraham learned the reality that the sacred mountain of sacrifice always brings satisfaction. God’s power and presence is manifested in our lives through real worship, if we would only be willing to take all that we are and yield it to all that He is. When we respond in worship to all that Jesus is, as He is revealed in the Word of God, God responds by doing for us what he did for Abraham. He gives us the Son in greater measure, giving us a greater appreciation for the Person of Christ. When we worship Christ in light of His death on the cross, the cross becomes more precious. As we worship Him in His resurrection, His resurrection becomes more precious. As we worship Him for grace, love, salvation, eternal life, heaven, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, the church, and everything else He has given to us in Christ, those things become infinitely more precious to us.
Ephesians 1:3 tells us that God has already “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” When we give God pure worship for Who He is and what He has done for us, He responds by giving those things back to us in greater degree. It is not that we have more of those things, it is that those things become more real and precious to us. One of the greatest benefits and blessings of true worship is that it enriches that which we already have.
Abraham’s worship involved placing all that he was and all that he had on the altar of submission. Today we need to ask ourselves a question that may help us to reflect and discover where we are at. Only the Holy Spirit can search our hearts, so cultivating, carving out, and creating a space for this to happen as we ask this question is vital: When you examined your worship in light of what you have discovered from Abraham are you
• Worshiping Him as He is revealed to you in the Word of God, the source of worship?
• Absolutely submissive to His will?
• Is your worship sacrificial?
• Are you practicing self-denial and separation?
• Does your worship serve the Lord by glorifying Him?
• Does your worship provide satisfaction as he becomes more precious to you?
Sadly for many today we have reduced worship to a half hour of music but worship is more than a time slot and it is not about the lyrics it is about our lives. When worship becomes a performance it becomes a problem, nothing more than a chore and a means to an end. Powerful worship lives in the moments, every moment where we discover a God who loves us. Has God spoken to you about your worship, will you come to Him today and let Him work in your heart to bring you to a place of powerful and pleasing worship?