Graceful Perseverance: Worshiping from Head to Toe - 08/16
Welcome to this week's blog. Today let's focus on worshiping, a procedure we were taught while growing up, and the difference between how we worship today vs. how God desires us to worship. All of which is backed up by scripture.
Worshiping is offering our lives to God, all of it, not just a small portion of it or only on days it’s convenient for us, or when it fits nicely into our schedules. The Bible describes three main areas for worship, as well as three main appointments that must be present in God’s appointed worship. In order to hear God’s voice, we need appointed access to God first. For starters, we must enter into the gates of thanksgiving. Then we must pass through the courts of praise, and then we enter into worship of His holiness. Without these three components, thanksgiving > praise > worship – we will never hear the voice of God.
Today’s traditional praise and worship in our churches have been passed down for centuries as the precise way to praise and worship the Lord. This is a learned attitude, a learned behavior that has been adopted and accepted for years as normal. But according to the Bible, this is NOT what God wants us to do during praise and worship (today’s learned procedure is incorrect). If you were raised like I was, and you raised your children that way I did, we were expected as children, and set the expectation as parents to go to church every Sunday. We were to sit quietly in a pew with our parents or family. We were instructed not to move, to be completely silent, and imitate the moves, actions and words of the priest or pastor leading the congregation in service that day. In a typical church setting, the praise and worship procedure went something like this: stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, leave, and then return the next Sunday to repeat this procedure all over again. With this praise and worship attitude, it’s no wonder many of us left church service feeling empty, and never did hear the voice of God. The other point is, this learned behavior was never liberating. I can honestly say I have never felt a direct connection to God, as in a deep relationship with Him during a church service. The reason is because with this procedure, none of us are able to truly hear the voice of God because this is a rigid procedure and we’ve been doing it wrong all of these years. But there is hope, for the Bible tells us how we can hear the voice of God.
Scripture clearly lays out for us the appointed access to God, and to how to hear the voice of God. It isn’t by traditional means at all, and is contrary to popular belief. God wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him through thanksgiving, praise and worship toward Him, and only Him. These three components are all good, but we must not substitute one for the other. They all must be present if we are to truly worship from head to toe.
Psalm 100:4 is quite clear - Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. – Psalm 100:4 (NIV).
We must “get into the presence of God” with the totality of our bodies or the attitude of the body! The first step starts with our mouth. Thanksgiving is done by singing out loud for joy, and exalting His name through song and music through our voice. This is a unique act that brings us into the presence of God. We are totally intricate, engaged and absorbed. It is through this atmosphere of worship we can then connect, and begin to hear God’s voice.
Praising is also an important component. Praising blesses His name, and sets aside our prayer requests in the moment. We are no longer thinking of our own situation, but lifting God up by praising His name. God sees this as a selfless act, and He is glorified.
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. – Psalm 95: 1-4 (NIV).
The third, and the greater of the three components is worship. This component uses our entire bodies, from our head to our toes. Kneeling, down on our knees, before the Lord, is the greater act that will bring us into direct contact with the Holy Spirit, with the spirit of God. Henceforth, it is then that we will hear His voice. Worship without bended knees can only be defined as a physical, bodily procedure in public, and not the appointed access to God in order to hear His voice. This is exactly why we’ve been practicing the procedure of bowing down in churches around the world for centuries, which requires a physical bodily motion, but never actually leading to hearing the voice of God.
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice, Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness. – Psalm 95: 5-8 (NIV).
Paul tell us in Ephesians 3:14-15, For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. – Ephesians 3:14-15 (NIV). Paul’s anointed practice of bowing before the Lord is an example of total submission. This is what God wants for each of us, total submission. Which cannot be done once a week, by going to church for one hour and standing up, sitting down, standing up, and sitting down, then leaving. This is considered a rigid posture of the body, and not an act of the body as the Bible describes. This procedure is not a total submission, and is not what God wants of us. God is sovereign. What He wants, when He wants it, the way He wants it, and with NO permission from us is what we need to realize right now. Once we realize this, our lives will be changed forever, and we will be well experienced for the day when every knee will bow.
Whether you believe this or not, it is true. There will be a day that every knee will bow. May I suggest that you acknowledge His total sovereignty and start now. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. – Isaiah 45:23 (NIV).
Let’s also note that King Solomon spread out his hand to heaven, and knelt down. Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. Now he had made a bronze platform, five cubits long, five cubits wide and three cubits high, and had placed it in the center of the outer court. He stood on the platform and then knelt down before the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. – 2 Chronicles 6:12-13 (NIV).
Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. – Psalm 47:1 (NIV). This is the true act of the body, clapping your hands, worshiping and shouting “Jesus Christ is Lord.” This is what the Bible tells us is so very liberating, which is the opposite of a rigid posture of the body.
Worshiping, as the Bible describes it, is the most sacred. Have any of you gone so far in your worshiping that you found yourself “face down” before God? I have many times throughout my life. I know that “face down” was the most sacred worshiping I have ever experienced (whether I knew it at the time or not). When in a moment of sheer despair, and in a moment of worship, I have found myself “face down” before the Lord. It is then that I heard the voice of the Lord. This most sacred type of worshiping is what has forever changed my life.
There have also been many great men and women in the Bible that were “face down” before Jesus. Abraham is just one example. Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety? And Abraham said to God, If only Ishmael might live under your blessing! – Genesis 17:17-18 (NIV). In this parable, Abraham was praying for his wife Sarah to bear a child. But Abraham didn’t believe that after so many years of unanswered prayers, God would bless him and his wife with a child. Who at 90 years old (Sarah), and who at 100 years old (Abraham) could possibly conceive a child? But remember, just as Abraham doubted because his prayers went unanswered for years, we too doubt our sovereign Lord when our prayers go unanswered. Remember, God can do, and will do whatever He wishes with no permission from us. Therefore, it was God’s Will to answer Abraham’s prayer, and bless him and Sarah with a child. The Bible clearly shows us that one of the most used, and sacred means of worship was by those who fell onto their face with total submission. And it was these people who fell onto their faces, in total submission, who then heard the voice of God.
We must allow our spirits to be liberating in our thanksgiving, praise and worship. Many people today are spiritually imprisoned. And, they are only imprisoned because they do not have the complete picture of worship, an appointed access to God in order to hear the voice of God. It is with such critical attitudes that keeps anyone of us from fully enjoying worship.
We must worship with our entire body, from head to toe. We must be spiritually liberating when singing praises, shouting for joy, and dancing before the Lord because He is the only one watching and smiling upon us. We are free to raise our arms, lift up and open our hands to receive God’s majesty. We must always bow our heads in every prayer, for He is Holy, Holy, Holy. And in secrecy, we must learn to fall onto our face, bodies flat to the ground, and arms stretched out before the Lord.
We must totally submit to the Lord, as we can see from the many Biblical witnesses, along with myself, and many other believers, that an appointed access to God is life changing and redeeming. Therefore, there is no church, congregation, religion, occult, priest, pastor, minister or any human being who can provide us with a relationship with God that only God can offer.
Blessings until next week,
Debra M. Pauli
Scripture Quotes: Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV) / English Standard Version (ESV)
Accredited Video: Derek Prince Ministries – Worship
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