FREE TO WORSHIP
"Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the water. Wait on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. Then say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert.'"
Everything God does He does on purpose for a purpose, and He very often reveals that purpose in His Word. In this passage we see that God wants His people free so that they will be able to worship Him - "Let my people go, so that they may worship me. . ."
Did you ever wonder why it's so important for us to worship God? Here are a few possible answers to that question:
1. When we worship God our honor, respect, praise and glory goes to Him and not to ourselves or to gods that are false.
2. Authentic worship reminds us of the worthiness and holiness of God. It causes us to acknowledge His majesty and greatness and power.
3. It impresses on us our great need for His mercy and His grace.
4. It keeps us connected to what is true and pure, wise and beautiful.
Because worship, freely given, is so important I want to go over some things that can keep us from worship or make it harder for us to worship freely.
Unbelief - "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Heb 11:6 )
Hidden or un-confessed sin - "Your iniquities have separated you from your God" (Isa. 59:2)
Self-condemnation - "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 8:1)
Discord or unforgiveness - ". . . Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." (Matt. 5:23-24)
Religiosity - "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain . . .'” (Matt. 15:8-9)
Self-consciousness or pride - "I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever." (Ps. 86:12)
Disorder or distractions - "All things must be done properly and in an orderly manner." (1 Cor. 14:40)
Carnality - "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!" (Mk. 7:9)
- Worship is about what pleases God, not what pleases you.
- Don't let tradition or personal preference overrule the guidance the Holy Spirit.
Lack of biblical understanding - "A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth." (Jn. 4:23)
So, if you are in Christ, understand that God has set you free on purpose for a purpose. And part of His purpose is so that you can declare His praises and worship Him with an undivided heart. So shout for joy to the Lord, worship with gladness, come before Him with singing; give Him thanks and praise His name.
Pastor Keith Andrews