WORSHIP & GLORY
Bill, Jim, and Scott were at a convention together and were sharing a large suite on the top of a 75 story sky scraper. After a long day of meetings they were shocked to hear that the elevators in their hotel were broken and they would have to climb 75 flights of stairs to get to their room. Bill said to Jim and Scott, let’s break the monotony of this unpleasant task by concentrating on something interesting. I’ll tell jokes for 25 flights, and Jim can sing songs for 25 flights, and Scott can tell sad stories the rest of the way. At the 26th floor Bill stopped telling jokes and Jim began to sing. At the 51st floor Jim stopped singing and Scott began to tell sad stories. “I will tell my saddest story first,” he said. “I left the room key in the car!” A lifestyle of worship picks up after the message and the singing stops. ~funny-stuff-central.com
Ephesians 3:14-21 Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 2:1-13
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Here at FloodGate, we say that worship is our calling card. It something we highly value and it a practice we put time, energy and money into. We believe that our worship answers the question: Why has God poured out His Spirit in us? To praise Him wherever we go during the course of the day, to lift up our voices with thanksgiving, to sing, to pray, to live in His presence, with the weight, the “kabod” there. So that it will never be said of us, “Ichabod,” the glory has departed, but “kabod,” the glory has come to dwell with us.
- I) Worship is the fountainhead of all power
The Church was commissioned in a worship service, Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:16-20). Jesus is the Kabod and He says the capacity for Him to be with the church is forever. After the disciples worshiped the resurrected Lord in that Galilean encounter, Jesus told them, All power is given unto Me and I am commissioning you to go in My name with that power.
- Commission preceded infusion: They would receive the infusion of that power shortly, but the commission to go with that power was being given now. Following this event:
The Church was born in a worship service, When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 … we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” 13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine (Acts 2:1-13).” At Pentecost, it was the worship of the Lord (not the proclamation of the gospel) at a miraculous dimension that both ushered in the power of God’s Kingdom and offended the taste of people.
- Even today, there are those who will move in the profusion of the power of God released through worship, but there will be people in the midst of that who either doubt or mock.
- Doubt doesn’t disqualify: Even among the Lord’s closest, “some doubted.” Doubt, while a hindrance, is not necessarily a disqualification for being God’s chosen servant.
This shows us that true worship of Jesus releases the power, the pathway and the purpose of what He wants to do in His Church. Throughout Scripture, whenever the Church is at prayer or in worship, there is great release of divine power. The most notable episode is in the outflow that took place at a worship meeting at Antioch, that determined the flow of history and the course of Western civilization Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away (Acts 13).
II) What is the power of worship?
Worship fabricates a place for the reign of God to be reinstated. Man not only lost fellowship with God at the fall of Adam, but he lost the partnership and dominion God intended for him to exercise over the earth, and ceded rule to the Prince of Darkness. Father restored Adam’s potential to rule through Jesus Christ, breaking the powers of hell. Where we worship, divine power flows, penetrating the darkness and counter-attacking the operations of hell. It is through heart connecting worship that the glory of God’s presence, lost with Adam, is restored to men.
Worship generates the power for God’s reign to be extended — for evangelism, for sacrificial, generous giving, for intercession, and to break up the strongholds of hell.
Something I have noticed in life is there is substance and bearing to people that has learned to live in the glory of God. What welcomes that glory is a worshipping heart, worshipping lips—a worshipping person who comes before the Lord and lives and walks in the spirit of worship. This is the person who rejoices with the people of God, as David taught Israel; who walks in obedience, as we learned from Moses; and who walks in faith with the living God who created all the universe, as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did, because the Person of Jesus, Who is the image and the glory of God, has come to dwell with us.
The glory comes to dwell among the Lord’s people and rests upon the church, but then Scripture says that the glory abiding in the church is to return to God in worship. It only takes viewing the magnificent spectacle of ocean waves crashing against rugged cliffs to become conscious that all creation praises God except man, the rebel—and even man, the redeemed, is slow to grow in the understanding of what worship is about. Scripture calls for us to ascribe worth to Him, to offer an appropriate response to the living God of the universe, to respond with the full weight of recognition of Who it is we approach.
God doesn’t need my commendation, but I need what happens in me when I recognize Him for Who He is. The Lord wants the light of His glory to increase in us, and it does so when we live in a posture of worship and openness toward Him. As we do, we are constantly being strengthened with might by the riches of His glory in the inner man, and with that comes the weight of His person in us. We become people of substance in the face of circumstance as He begins to wipe out your superficiality and fraud, and transform you into someone who is filled with joy, living in the glory of God.
III) Worship restricts carnal pride
Fear and pride are close traveling companions. He is a self-made man and worships his creator (John Bright). We are born with inherent fear; we enter life with our fists clenched and we spend the rest of our life learning how to let go.
- The “faces” we wear to hide our fears are facades of pride.
- Worship confronts pride because it requires openness, forthrightness, acknowledgement of need, and presentation of self.
God’s love for us is not in proportion to our worship. Saving grace was released at Calvary, worship is not directly responsible for salvation, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (Ephesians 2:7-9). However, Jesus releases His power and His glory to us in proportion to our worship. At Calvary, our relationship as sons and daughters was restored; through worship, Kingdom and the rule of Kingdom are added to our lives.
Understand, you can get to heaven without worship. But with worship, you (and the Church) become(s) a center for the power of God to be released and shake up the kingdom of darkness. Wholeness, dimension and substance are increased in people who worship.
Herein lies the whole commandment
Worship and fellowship are the substance of everything—communication with God and communication with people, The Scribes: Which Is the First Commandment of All?
34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets…”Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? (Matthew 22:36).
- We only become truly restored in ourselves when we worship God; and
- When, brought into communication with other people, we confront pride and fear;
- This is followed by the release of divine power and purpose in our lives.
CONCLUSION: What will power your eternity?
We are only the distance of worship away from the throne of God. “The chief end of man is to worship God and to enjoy Him forever.” (Westminster Catechism). There is high purpose and destiny of things we will do in partnership with the Lord forever, but the dynamic of it will be generated because we live in an eternal, ongoing true worship relationship with Him.
Marked with Favor: When we walk in the shadow of the Almighty, a stamp is placed on our hearts, which demonstrates favor, as we chose to worship Jesus and live cloaked in His glory.