by Linda Grabeman
Don’t judge me. I confess I’ve left church with these nagging thoughts:
I heard the sermon.
I read the verses.
I sang the songs.
But I didn’t really meet with God.
So I left bearing the shame of these labels on my chest: poser, worship imposter, FAKE.
Maybe that dull ache wounds your heart too.
Maybe we all need to re-set our God-settings.
No more going through the motions.
No more assuming the service-critic role.
You know – I don’t like that song.
Do we really need that screen?
I wish so-and-so had preached.
This isn’t the way we used to do it.
When we leave church exactly as we came –
For all those leave-the-Lord’s-house-empty moments,
It’s not time to change churches, pastors or singers.
It’s time to make the main thing the main thing.
GOD thinks the main thing is WORSHIP.
It’s all about Him.
Nothing else. Time together with God.
Enlarging our thumbnail shots of Him
Drawing near, amazed
that GOD is drawing near to us.
Did you know that the FIRST time a word is used in the Bible is called First Mention?
It’s important because it sets the definition of that word.
Maybe we need to understand the First Mention of WORSHIP.
Don’t click off here or you’ll never learn the cure for wimpy worship.
Let’s travel back to ancient history: Abraham and Isaac, specifically.
God has just told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Gulp.
Abraham tells his servants to stay behind as he takes Isaac to the sacrificial site.
His words are emphatic and they are recorded in Genesis 22:5.
“We are determined to go, we are determined to worship, we are determined to return”,
is the exact Hebrew translation.
Determined to worship. Through sacrifice.
That’s the bottom line of worship in God’s mind. Worship is all about sacrifice.
There is no worship without sacrifice.
For Abraham, it was gut-wrenching until God provided that ram in the bushes.
Just as He would provide the Perfect Sacrifice for us on that same mountain.
Two other heroes of the faith reinforce that connection between worship and sacrifice.
David, repentant after his affair with Bathsheba says these words in II Samuel 24:24, 25 –
“Nor will I offer burnt offerings…with that which costs me nothing.”
Moses heard God say this in Exodus 34:20 –
“And none shall appear before me empty-handed.”
God expects something in our hands when we come to worship Him.
The PROBLEM: We bring nothing to the table when we come before God.
The SOLUTION: The Substitutionary Lamb.
Jesus was that substitute for us.
He became sin for us so that we could become righteous in Him.
We need to remember that indescribable gift.
And here’s how we show the proper gratitude —
We present ourselves, our souls, our bodies as a Living Sacrifice.
No more UNMOVED.
Because of WORSHIP.
Spirit and Truth worship.
Experiencing the Lord of the Church
in the midst of His church.
Lifting up my hands and heart to the One who is worthy.