If You Hear His Voice

Psalms 95:6-7 ESV

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.”

What does it mean to worship God? Some people believe they are worshiping God when they attend a worship service at a local institutional church where they sing praise and worship songs. But is that worship? Or can it be worship? Is it possible that it is not worship?

Jesus told the woman at the well that a day has come when people will no longer worship God at this place or at that, but that we will worship God in spirit and in truth. And that is true. For, if you believe in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God lives within you, so you can worship him anywhere.

But to worship him in truth has to do with sincerity of heart and not in performance and ritual, and it has to do with personal relationship with our Lord, heart to heart, listening to what he teaches us, and doing what he says, following him wherever he leads us, and desiring to know his will.

For, the Scriptures teach that the worship God accepts is to give our lives to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made into the likeness of Jesus. We are now his possession, and he owns us, so we live to do what he says.

We are to be no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are to be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from sinful lifestyles to now walking with our Lord in obedience to his commands. By God’s grace, daily we are to die to sin and to self and live to God and to his righteousness.

So, worship is not something we do once a week for maybe 20 minutes in a worship service by singing praise and worship songs. This is not saying that we are not worshiping God if we do this, but that true worship has to do with how we treat God and with how we live our lives in surrender to him.

True worship of God is something that takes place 24/7 in the life of the believer, and it means we show him love, honor, and respect by bowing to him as Lord and by obeying his commands and by leaving our sinful practices behind us so that we can do what he says, in reverence to him.

And then worship is also expressed verbally in prayer, in spoken or written word, in song, in praise, and in thanksgiving to our Lord for all that he has done for us. But if our lives are not surrendered to Jesus, and if we are living to please our flesh, and we are doing what we want, we can’t truly worship God in spirit and in truth because we don’t revere and honor him as Lord.

[Jn 4:21-26; Rom 12:1-2; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17]

Psalms 95:8-11 ESV

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your fathers put me to the test
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation
and said, ‘They are a people who go astray in their heart,
and they have not known my ways.’
Therefore I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest’.”

So, this call to come and to worship the Lord and to bow down to him is not a light encouragement. It is a strong exhortation not only to bow to the Lord in submission to him and to worship him in spirit and in truth, but this is also a warning against falling away, and against the hardening of our hearts.

I can definitely see how this applies to the lukewarm church of today, at least here in America, which is being taught that they don’t have to forsake their sins, and that they don’t have to obey the Lord, or else these things are not being stressed or taught as necessary but more as a suggestion.

Far too many people professing faith in Jesus Christ today, at least in America, do not truly worship God, for they don’t honor him as Lord of their lives. They don’t honor him with their bodies. For, they assume that a mere profession of faith in Jesus secures them forgiveness of sins and heaven as their eternal destiny. And many stop there.

So, we need to take these biblical warnings seriously, and we must not take God’s commands to us lightly thinking they are optional or not mandatory. For this one is repeated for us at least three times in the New Testament in Hebrews 3 & 4. And in case you think this only applies to Jews, please know what the Scriptures teach in other passages of Scripture.

For, the Scriptures teach that we are slaves of the one we obey, and if it be sin, it ends in death, and if we walk in sin, and if we make sin our practice, we will not inherit eternal life, but we will die in our sins. For we will all be judged by what we do. And if we sow to please the Spirit, we will reap eternal life, but if we sow to please the flesh, we will reap destruction.

So, make certain that the word of God you are being taught is in context, and that it is being taught in truth. Test whatever you hear against the word of God (in context), and in prayer, for there are many liars and deceivers out there in the gatherings of the church and in the world whose goal it is to deceive you and to lead you astray.

So, be grounded in the truth of God’s word, and worship him in spirit and in truth, and be careful that you are not led astray by wolves in sheep’s clothing who are giving out feel good messages which tickle itching ears, but which leave people still bound in their sin without God and without hope.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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