This is a sermon my Dad, Jerry Trammell, Preached on 2.22.2004.
Worship that Pleases God
Psalm 95:6-7 (NKJV) – 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. 7 For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.
How are we to worship Him? It is unfortunate but worship has become an issue that has divided many churches over the past few years. Its ironic that something that should be bringing believers together has divided many. The younger people in a congregation normally likes the more contemporary form of worship. And though I’m not exactly young any more, I too like the contemporary for of worship. Some of the new choruses are beautiful worship choruses. The older people in a congregaton normally like the hymns and some of the older choruses, and I too like the older choruses and the hymns also. God forbid that we forget the old hymns of the church, because within many of those old hymns Christian doctrines are taught.
However brother and sister, true worship is not about music or worship style. Its not about the contemporary style, nor is it about the hymns. Both can be apart of the worship service of a church, and yet that church not be truly worshipping the Lord. I repeat, worship is not about music. Music is just an intrument used in worship. It is unfortunate, but I think that sometimes people worship the worship style more than they worship God. Again, I say to you true worship is not about music.
Matt Redman, who had served as a worship leader in a large church in England, tells of how their church became divided over the worship issue. Some within the church wanted nothing but the contemporary worship form in their church, while another large group wanted nothing but the traditional hymns in the church. As the Pastor of the church struggled and prayed about the worship controversy within his church, the Lord spoke to him and told him to ban all music and singing within the church for a period of time. During that time Redman said that the Pastor preached on worship in every service, teaching his people what true worship was. After a period of time, music and singing was restored, and the controversy was gone, because the people learned what true worship is. Out of that period of time, when there was no worship music in the church, Redman wrote the classic song, “Heart of Worship.” The words of the song say, “I’ll bring your more than a song, because of song in itself is not what you have required. You search much deeper within than the way things appear, you’re looking into my heart.”
Oh friend, when it comes to worship, the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart. Jesus said, True worshippers worship the Father in spirit and truth. For the Father seeks such to worship Him. Oh church, lets do as my text has admonished us to do, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. I believe that the implication of Scripture is that we fully give ourselves to worshipping Him.
The worship that pleases God is the worship that is fully given. When we worship Him He asks for all of our heart, all our soul, all of our mind, and all of our strength.
The first commandment is one of the giving our all to Him.
Mark 12:30 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
If the Lord expects us to love Him with such intensity, then I believe that He expects us to worship Him with the same intensity. For the natural consequences of such intense love is a worship of equal intensity. God wants all of you. He is not interested in the worship of those who have a half-hearted commitment to Him. He cares not for the worship of those who walk in just partial obedience to Him. He’s not interested in the leftovers that some people want to give.
There is a right way and a wrong way to worship. Hebrews 12:28 – Let us be grateful and worship God in a way that will please Him.
The kind of worship that pleases God has several characteristics.
Number 1: God is pleased when our worship is from the heart. When Jesus said, love the Lord with all your heart and soul, He meant that worship must be heartfelt. When we worship the Lord its not just a matter of saying the right words, we must mean what we say. When we worship, God looks past our words to see the attitude of the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 – Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. So then true worship must come from the depth of your heart, for God looks on the heart. A part of that worship from the heart is to be authentic in your worship. I think its a terrible mistake when people try to be like others in their worship of the Lord. Be original, be yourself in your worship. It can’t be worship from the heart if your mindset is that of copying someone else’s style, or mode of worship. Be yourself. There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to worshipping God.
Number 2: God is pleased when our worship is thoughtful. the command of Jesus to, Love God with all of your mind, is repeated four times in the New Testament. God is not pleased when we thoughtlessly sing worship choruses and hymns to Him. If our thoughts are not on what we are doing, then our worship is useless and in vain, and is unacceptable to the Lord. If we offer praise unto the Lord, but our thoughts are not into what we are praising the Lord for; it is nothing more than empty words unto the Lord. If worship is thoughtless, it is meaningless. You must engage your mind in your worship of the Lord for it to be acceptable. Its sad, but we all have witnessed people go through the forms of worship when their minds were far from truly worshipping the Lord. Christians sometimes have learned to go through a certain form of worship without their minds ever being engaged into what they are doing. We know just when to say, “Glory to the Lord.” We know when to say, “Praise God,” or “Thank you Jesus.” I’ve seen people who say the right things while looking around to see if anyone is watching them. Such is not true worship and is unacceptable to the Lord. Engage your mind into what you are doing when you worship Him. Worship is not a mindless activity.
You truly can’t enter into worship until your heart and mind is set on Him as you exalt and praise Him.
I believe the Psalmist understood how sacred an act true worship is. When we bow down, when we kneel in His presence, we often think nothing of it, for it has become a common place thing that we do. Let’s return back to the sense of awe as we bow and kneel in worship.