1 Chronicles 16:8-14
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of Israel his servant,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
Where are we spiritually as the church in today’s culture? Are we, the church, blending in with the culture, engrossed in its entertainment, daily consuming what is antichrist in nature? Are our conversations primarily about what is worldly and fleshly and even what is immoral and impure?
And, what about our children and our grandchildren? What are we teaching them? Primarily, what are we modeling to them with regard to what a Christian should be or how a Christian should think or speak or act? Also, what are we allowing to come into their young minds via TV, movies, games, and the internet? Is it for the glory of God, or for the glory of flesh? Or, is even some of it demonic?
Is our praise and worship of God only something we do in a song service in a building called “church” once a week, which may be in form only, or which may be just an emotional high? Or, do we truly worship our Lord in spirit and in truth every day of the week, all throughout the day, by how we live our lives for his honor, glory and praise?
Please know this! Our worship of God and our singing of songs to him in praise and worship of him is not something we do only once a week, nor is our singing and our praise something we do with our lips only. Our hearts and our minds must be fully engaged in our worship of God, as must be our lifestyles and our attitudes and the things we think about and talk about throughout each and every day.
If all we do is occasionally sing praise and worship songs, but Jesus is not on our lips and in our hearts and minds continually, which is revealed in our attitudes, our words and our behaviors, then we are not truly worshiping God.
For the worship that he requires first of all is to give our lives to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him. He requires that we no longer be conformed to the ways of this world, but that we are to be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from sin, and away from worldliness, and to Christ’s righteousness (See: Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 12:1-2).
1 Chronicles 16:23-27
Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his place.
As Christ’s followers, if that is truly who we are, we are to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Pet. 2:9). But, we can’t proclaim what didn’t happen. We can’t proclaim, in all honesty and sincerity, what is not a reality in our lives. There will be those who will fake it, surely, yet if we are truthful, we should only proclaim what is true in our lives, not what should be true (not theory only).
So, first of all, we must die with Christ to sin. We must come out of the world and be separate (unlike and different from the world). And, we must turn away from sinful practices and idolatry, and we must make Jesus Christ our only Lord; the only one to whom we give our worship. And, we must then follow Jesus Christ with our lives, doing what he says and obeying his commandments.
And, then, Jesus will be in our hearts and on our minds continually, and we will be giving him honor, glory and praise by how we live our lives daily. And, we will want to share him and his gospel of salvation with others so that they can also be set free from their slavery to sin and be able to walk with Christ in his righteousness and holiness.
Then, too, we will be sensitized to the voice of the Holy Spirit now living within us, and we will be grieved over the spiritual condition of the world and of the worldly church, too. And, we will be sensitized to what is evil, immoral, wicked, perverse and demonic so that, not only will we NOT want to participate in any of what is against our Lord, but we will grieve and pray over those who are trapped by sin’s deceitfulness and by what is of Satan.
I have just recently been exposed to the world of “Pokemon,” which is a game, but which also has trading cards for children, and which has become an idol in the hearts and minds of many children throughout the world. I have been sensitized of the Spirit of God to the evil lurking in this game and in these trading cards, which also seems to invoke little demons and which glorifies violence. I don’t completely grasp it yet, but I am in the process of doing research on it. But, the Lord has put a burden in my heart for all the children (including my own grandchildren) who are hypnotized by this game.
But, this is just one small example of the kinds of things which have become idols in the hearts and minds of children and adults alike, and among many who also profess faith in Jesus Christ. But, these things, like this game, pull people away from Jesus and, in fact, seem to be very antichrist, which is what idols are. Idols, whatever they are, are intended to distract us and to lead us away from God, not to him. So, we need to be sensitized to this, and we need to pray and ask God what idols exist in our lives, and then we need to surrender those idols to the Lord so that we can worship him 24/7.
1 Chronicles 16:35-36
“Save us, O God of our salvation,
and gather and deliver us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!”
Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the Lord.
If we are honest, especially for those of us who live in America, we will admit that the church is in a sad state of affairs these days. We will confess that the church, overall, though not including everyone, is far from the God they profess, and is caught up in the world and in entertainment, and even in what is immoral and wicked, and also in what is clearly involving demons.
So, the worldly church of today, which is so engrossed in the world and the flesh and in immorality and even in what is demonic (of demons) needs to be rescued! So, first and foremost we must grieve over the spiritual condition of today’s worldly and fleshly church, and we must begin to pray for revival in our nation (or nations). But, we must realize that the only way the church is going to be revived is if something happens to get the church’s attention and God brings her to her knees in repentance and in obedience.
The church needs to be delivered from the nations (from the world) where they have been scattered via idolatry, witchcraft, demonic influences, and the like. And, they need to be gathered together in humility, in repentance and in true faith and obedience to Jesus Christ as her only Lord. Then, they can, in truth, give thanks and praise to God, not in lip service only, but by how they live their lives day in and day out for the glory and praise of God.
We, who are believers in Jesus, and who have come out of the world, and who are not living in idolatry, to the best of our understanding, need to be daily lifting up the church to God in prayer. We need to pray for her deliverance from the nations, i.e. from worldliness and godlessness, and from idolatry and what is demonic, and from what is fleshly and immoral.
But, we need to be praying for ourselves, as well. For, not one of us is perfect, and we must be careful if we think we stand, lest we fall. We must, too, have our hearts guarded against idolatry and immorality, and against following after the thinking, values, attitudes and behaviors of the world. And, daily we must put on Christ and his holiness and righteousness, and walk in his Spirit, so we don’t gratify the sinful cravings of our flesh.
An Original Work / May 30, 2011
“Fill me with Your Spirit;
help me to love others;
Let me know Your power;
be an overcomer.
Show me how to follow
Jesus Christ, my Savior;
Be His faithful servant
to obey Him always.
“Lead me with Your presence;
help me know the right way;
Teach me love and kindness,
Give me grace and courage
to be Jesus’ witness,
Teaching His salvation
to a world who needs Him.”
Won’t you come and follow
Jesus Christ, your Savior?
He died so you’d be
free of control of your sin;
Free to follow His ways
in complete surrender;
Living sacrifices –
let His grace transform you.