Worship at the Heart – By Pastor Jeff
Posted on April 30, 2023 by No comments
As we pour over the Scriptures and become more familiar with them in our Christian walk, we see that the worship of God is a matter of the uttermost importance – something that should not be taken lightly. We are commanded to worship Him, but in what manner does He desire this? Our great God is glorious, eternal, all-powerful, all-wise, creator of things seen and unseen, upholder of the universe and does so by the word of His power. He is holy, holy, holy forever and ever and ever and ever. He is not a God to be trifled with. Gratefully, there are numerous warnings and examples in the Bible that show what happens to those who approach God in an unworthy manner – remember, we need to approach Him on His terms, not ours. For myself, I always find it helpful to review and remember the accounts of Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-4), Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:5-7) and Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) as to what happened to them when they approached our holy Lord in an unworthy manner. Each one of them died immediately. No second chance. No redo. How on earth can anyone draw near to such a holy God?! Thanks be to God that our Savior shed his own blood for our forgiveness, redemption and reconciliation with the Father. Even now, our glorious Redeemer, Jesus, lives to make intercession on our behalf (Hebrew 7:25)!
One of the greatest insights into what our God is looking for, in regards to how we worship Him, is found in Mark 7:6-7:
“And he (Jesus) said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of
you hypocrites (the Pharisees and Scribes),
as it is written,
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
Lord, help us to never offer up worship that is in vain!
So, we see it is the heart that Christ is concerned with as we offer up our worship unto him. God even charges and warns us what could happen to those who don’t guard their heart, “Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn and serve other gods and worship them;” (Deuteronomy 11:16). Our hearts can be deceived! But who on earth would our hearts be deceiving? Ourselves and others. Wow, that is scary. God is not deceived. That is why we are told to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23).
Now that we have seen just how concerned the Lord is with our hearts, what type of condition should our hearts be in as we approach him? King David clears up this question for us in Psalm 51:
“For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
- Psalm 51:16-17
The only people who are looking for a savior are people who have had their eyes of their heart opened and finally see their sin for what it truly is. Broken. Contrite. Humbled. That is where we need to be. This is what makes the glorious grace of our Lord’s life-changing gospel so glorious.
Compare the negative examples earlier to some positive examples in Scripture and let their reactions to encountering the holy God be a diagnostic tool in measuring out our own posture as we ourselves come before the God of the universe: Job (Job 40:3-5, 42:1-6); Isaiah (Isa. 6:1-6); Peter (Luke 5:1-8); a forgiven woman (Luke 7:37-50); John (Rev. 1:12-18).
Check your heart. We need a daily diagnosis. Not from a cardiologist (though good!), but from the Word of God. Only when we are able to see our God, who He is and what He has done and to know that He has brought about eternal change to our hearts, will our lips then overflow in praise, thanksgiving and adoration of Jesus, our risen Savior.
Looking to Jesus,