Win the Worship War

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What could be the last message in this place that we’ve called home for a few years? What? What is it that the Lord would want us to look towards as we worship him? And, and, and over the last three weeks, we’ve had time just to talk about some messages that would be significant for us as people to understand in the Lord as we seek to pursue him, knowing that we’ve gone through a lot in the last ten months and everything that we’ve done, I can’t wait. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get my life back. I haven’t had a free Saturday since October, so this is going to be this is going to be great for me and, uh, getting back into a normal routine. And so the things that we’ve discussed are, are two weeks ago, we talked about how we can serve the Lord, how we can find joy in following after God in our life and serving him. Last week we looked at what type of leader and how do we how do we live our life according to Christ? What? What type of life does Jesus want us to lead, and where can we find that in Scripture and today? What I want to talk to us about. It’s worship. As God has created you, so he has designed you to be a creature of worship. From the very beginning he created this world displaying the magnificence of his glory.

It says in Psalm eight and Psalm 19. The purpose of the display of his glory is that when he created you as a creature, he put his spirit within you so that you may see the handiwork of God and His magnificence being displayed in creation. And your response in that would be to give praise and admiration and glory to God. You are a creature created for worship. When you study the word worship within Scripture, it’s a it’s a very complex word. There’s just not one. We have one English word for it worship. When you study in Scripture, it has a a plethora of understanding many Hebrew and Greek words through which this word worship derives. And so whenever the word worship in Scripture is mentioned, the question you should ask yourself is, what type of worship are they talking about here? When we say the word worship, what we’re thinking is what? Sing a song, right? Let’s just sing a song. That’s what worship is. But when the Bible talks about worship, it could. It could mean an array of definitions for us, the, the, the popular word in the Hebrew Old Testament. There’s there’s two. One is Chaka, which means to bow down. It’s an attitude of reverence before God. When when you come before the Lord and worship, you have this idea of submission to his authority over your head. When you talk about worship, it’s not something that you do once.

It’s something that you can do every day in your life in recognition of God reigning over you. There’s the word abad, which means to serve. In light of the infinite worth of God being displayed in your world, your response is to turn to this world and proclaim his glory and serve. The third is this. It comes in in the Greek text. And Jesus used it at the woman at the well in John chapter four. He says to her, he who worships me must worship me in spirit and in truth. And it’s a beautiful text on which Jesus is saying to this woman, because she’s been ostracized and outcast for her whole life, not feeling like she’s a part of anyone in community, and she’s all by herself at this well, because her community has turned her, her, their back on her. And Jesus comes to her and talks to a woman, which doesn’t happen. And he talks to a Samaritan as a Jew, which doesn’t happen. And he says, you need to worship me in spirit and truth. And the word Jesus chooses for worship is a word that literally means to kiss toward. It’s a word of intimacy. And closeness. And so when we talk about the idea of worship, for us, it can carry just this vast understanding within our minds of how we display the worth of God in this world, whether it be to reverentially bow before him or proclaim his goodness, or serve him because of the display of love that he’s demonstrated to us, and the goodness in which we’ve seen in him, or to just be intimate in our understanding of God, knowing he’s created us, to know him and enjoy him for eternity.

You exist to worship. Bible has some thoughts just on worship. I’m going to zip through these very quickly, but Isaiah 43 and verse 21, it says, the people I formed, they may proclaim my praise. God has created you for worship. You think about the idea of us as human beings? We’re after the spectacular, the things that are mesmerizing, the things that are huge, the things that captivate our imagination and lets us run wild with the thoughts of goodness and glory, such as grand canyons or fireworks on the 4th of July or whatever water park you enjoy. Those things that are fun and glorious are. Our lives are built for that. I don’t know about you, but when summer comes, I can’t wait for fall because football is amazing and I don’t know. I don’t have a sport for the summer, but watching an athletic body. So in tuned to do things that I can only dream of doing but never possibly do, it’s it’s captivating. It displays the glory of God as being our creator. Worship is also about all of your life. First Corinthians 1031 do all to the glory of God.

It literally says, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God and thought. Sometimes we tend in our worship to compartmentalize God and say, okay, God, you had Sunday. I did my good deed for you and now I’m taking over Monday. But worship, as it’s understood within the Bible, is God created you as a creature who is to know him and enjoy him both now and for eternity. And your life is all about worship. In addition to that, worship is life giving. Jesus says in John 15, and John 16, and in John 17 that the desire for him is to take his joy and impart it into you. Jesus is beckoning your worship as if he’s this needy being. There’s nothing that you can give to God that he can’t give for himself. But God is calling you to worship him because he knows the greatest for which he has created you is found solely resting within him. And so worship for us becomes very life giving to our souls and expression for our lives that will be enjoyed both now and for eternity. So you might as well learn to enjoy what it means to worship this glorious God. And Jesus says in John 15, my joy in you and your joy will be made full. We understand the idea of worship. Worship is intended to be an expression of your heart.

We talk about the heart in our culture. What we mean is the the throne of your life the centerpiece of who is in charge of you. In Mark chapter 12 and verse 30, the verse that we mentioned very often here, because it carries a theme for us of what we’re about. Alpine Bible Church love the Lord your God with all of your heart. That’s why God’s made you. And in case we forget what exactly that means, the passage goes on. With all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength. Whatever else I need to say to be all inclusive of you as a being, being created in the image of God, all of you. Jesus desires that so that in John 15 his joy may be in you, and your joy may be made full. And the seriousness of worship. As you think about. To worship the wrong thing. What that might lead to. Bible tells us in Second Corinthians 11. For if one comes and preaches another. Jesus. This is scary for me to even think about or consider when I look at this text, because Corinthians was just written within a couple of decades after Jesus’s death. And what Paul is saying here is that within just a couple of decades, people are already teaching about a Jesus that isn’t the Jesus that we all came to know. So if anyone comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached.

Are. You receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted. You bear this beautifully. Paul’s looking at this church and he’s understanding people are teaching a different Jesus, people are teaching a different message, and the church is rejecting that message. And he’s saying to God, knowing that this is taking away from the beauty of God and the salvation of souls and enjoying him forever. You guys are rejecting this. It is beautiful to God because God created you so that you may know him alone for eternity. And he goes on to says, you want to know where that comes from? Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Literally. It’s demonic. And so when we take the attributed Word of God and the display of his glory, knowing that we’re creatures of worship and we move that to anything else in this world. Other than the one who is worthy of it. It’s demonic. And Paul is encouraging the believers here that worship attributed wrongly becomes costly. And the idea for all of us in our understanding this morning is that all of us. All of us are engaged in a worship war. You being a creature created to worship God, have the liberty to choose if you if you would want to worship him. In Ephesians. It says this in verse 18. Chapter four they are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, due to the hardening of their hearts.

Be made new in the attitude of your minds. Don’t be like the past and you just took the the worship that God has created you to honor him with, and you worshiped other things. Don’t be like that. Renew your mind in Christ. And he goes on saying, put on the new self. Created to be like God and true righteousness and holiness. The idea for us is that we don’t want to get paranoid about failing in our worship, or we don’t get too obsessive with just doing good. What what we’re talking about here is seeing the goodness of Jesus and pursuing that with our lives, loving God with all of your heart, and the Lord takes care of the rest. I thought, as we’re getting ready to make this transition for us as a church family, what? What is simple? What is good? What what do I need? What what do we need within our lives? What is what was my goal going in that building? And it’s simple. It’s just this. I want to love Jesus. A building is just a building. But I want to love Jesus, be in love with Jesus, and just pursue his goodness with my life. I want to worship. You think about within our lives, all of us engage in a worship war.

All of us have the choice as to what we will and won’t worship. Worship for us isn’t always an easy thing. Sometimes we we we know that the Lord is worthy of our praise, but we’re unable to praise him because we’re in a struggle. You’re in a rebellion from the Lord. You’ve taken a sabbatical from his goodness or. Or within your own life. You’re just getting beat up. Or you’re in a dry season or you’re just engaged, you understand? In a worship war. How do you honor the Lord? I got to tell you in the book of Psalms. Book of Psalms is a beautiful book all about worship, and one of the things that I appreciate most about the Book of Psalms is the candidness that’s expressed within those pages of Scripture. Whenever I’m struggling in my own worship of the Lord. The place I love to turn to is the Book of Psalms. I love, especially to see the expressions that David carries towards his God in the mountaintops and in the valleys. David’s just honest. And he shares with the Lord his struggles, and he talks about the Lord’s goodness. And this week, as I was studying for for this series or this message on worship, I got to Psalm 63. If you know the history behind Psalm 63, I would say if anyone in their life has been in the middle of a worship battle, it’s David writing Psalm 63.

Understanding the. The background of the psalmist has become a popular psalm for many people. But David is the King of Israel at this time, and he’s leading the nation of Israel. And his son Absalom rises up within his kingdom, and he begins to divert the people’s attention away from David. So much so to the point that Absalom takes over the kingdom. And it tells us in second Samuel chapter 15, David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, arise, and let us flee. For otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go in haste. Or he will overtake us quickly and bring down calamity on us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword. In verse 30 it goes on. And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives. And wept as he went. His head was covered and he walked barefoot. Then all the people who are with him each covered his head and went up, weeping as they went. When I read the history behind the psalm. I cracked my knuckles and say, well, this is going to be good. You think about the moment that David’s in? Knowing that he’s a creature created to worship his God. And the devastation that’s being expressed on this very heart in these moments. How distant and dark and separated he must have felt. Passage of Scripture says literally, David is weeping on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus and his future would weep for you and for I.

David is walking from the city that he has given so much for, and he’s weeping, knowing that his very son has turned his back on him. What’s it going to do? And within the soul there is war. How do you win that war? David then opens Psalm 63. And he begins to pen. And I love the beauty of what David does here, because you can imagine when he’s on this journey and he’s in this dark place within his life that he’s not alone. And they’re looking to the king who’s led the people thinking, oh, what’s he going to do now? Is he going to abandon his God? Is he going to kill his son? What’s what’s David’s heart pursuing in these moments? And he says, guys, grab me a pen, I’m writing a song and I’m talking to my God. David just begins to worship. You think about the failures of our own lives when we get to those moments that we would just call stress filled, how the tendency in our lives is to lose the battle by not starting that battle, by coming to our Lord. Now, I would say very, very pointedly, when we talk about winning the worship war within our lives, the first step is so simple. Seek God. You’re serious about the Lord? Paul said in Ephesians, renew your mind. Meaning, you’ve got to learn to train your worldly mind to first think about God and His significance in your life.

And David immediately in Psalm 63 says, Oh God, you are my God. In this moment I’m taking ownership of what I know is important, what will carry me through regardless of how I feel. And God, you are my God. It’s just open. He’s open in that moment of what he’s going through, and he says, I shall seek you earnestly. My soul thirst for you. My flesh yearns for you. In a dry and weary land. Where there is no water. In order to win the warship war. The first thing David does is he just seeks God. When you get to verse two, you have this understanding that there is a history to what David is talking about in this passage of Scripture between verse one and verse two. This life of David has been lived out in his experience with the Lord. You can imagine if David could say, you know, to get to verse one and into verse two of my life, there’s just this history I can express to you about what God has done. But he says this thus I have seen you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory. As David seeks after the Lord. David’s desire is to see the glory that he has understood God to to possess as he has worshiped God within the place of worship for the nation of Israel.

Is entered into the sanctuary. And he saw the display of God’s worth. And I would imagine, as David gathered, where he sees that display as as the body of Christ gets together and they proclaim the goodness of God, and they’re serving the Lord and helping one another, he’s seeing the hand of God move and the lives of people. And he’s saying in this passage of Scripture, God, I’ve seen your power and I’ve seen your glory, because I’ve seen it moving through your people. Could you imagine if David were to add to this passage of Scripture, the things that he could share within his own life? He would gather at the sanctuary and see the goodness of God. He would walk out into this world and worship of that God and see God’s handiwork displayed throughout his life. History tells us a vast story of the life of David and his sin with Bathsheba, and finding the grace of God, his defeat of several armies, his conquering of Goliath, watching the Lord bless Israel. David learned no matter what. There’s value. And worshiping the Lord. The idea is, if we desire Psalm 63 and verse two to be our reality. We use our adversity to learn to trust in the Lord no matter what. To simply seek God and worship. And David goes on to explain to us in verse one and verse two what his heart’s desire is in the middle of this adverse situation, seeking after God.

But then he goes on to the rest of the Psalm, and he simply explains to us why. Why, in the midst of this trial, are you placing God first and why are you seeking his face? Let me just sum it up this way. As we get ready to read this passage of scripture, somebody might check on whatever that was the worship. The worship of God motivates your worship of God. I mean, the English word for worship literally means worship. We see the worth of who he is, and the response within our lives is to honor and glorify and magnify that goodness that we see in Christ. So, so the worship of God motivates your worship of God. Expressed in a different way. The more you get to know the God who has displayed his glory, the more you’re going to want to sing his praises. He is that good? And David says in Psalm 63, I’ve come to this point in my life and it’s dark and it’s difficult. And the thing that carries me through is that in my past I have seen the glory and the worth and the goodness of God being displayed to me. And so when I get to those moments, I cling to the hope and the promises of Christ that I have already seen. And so David says in Psalm 63, in verse three. Because your loving kindness is better than life.

My lips will praise you, so I will bless you. As long as I live. I will lift up my hands in your name. Romans eight tells us, nothing shall separate you from the love that’s in Christ. No height, no depth, nothing. Nothing can ever separate you from the love that’s in Christ Jesus. And David, recollecting the importance of God in his life. The first thing David chooses to recall in his worship is the loving kindness of the Lord. And he goes on in verse five, my soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips. When I remember you on my bed, I meditate. You in the night watches. David say my soul is filled when it comes to you, Lord. It gives me reason to praise. Verse seven, he goes on, for you have been my help. And in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. Wings are often seen as a place of protection, as a mother would gather her, him, her, her chickens under, under her wings. And it says, David is saying to us, God has helped him in his need, and he’s protected him. David goes on and says, do you know what reminds me to worship the Lord? In verse eight? My soul clings to you. Your right hand upholds me, saying, God, what else is there that can really get me through this moment? What else can carry me when it feels like this world is falling away? And so, God, I am running after you hard because I know you possess the answers.

You could run and worry. You could run in your own strength. But David’s desire is to run in the strength of the Lord, and so he engages the Lord in worship. In verse nine and ten it goes on and says, but those who seek my life to destroy it. We’ll go into the depths of the earth. They will be delivered over to the power of the sword. They will be prey for the foxes. And David’s reminded as he pursues after the goodness of God, the Lord has promised that he will guard him and protect him. In verse 11. But the King will rejoice in God. Everyone who swears by him will glory. For the mouth of those who speak lies will be stopped. David is saying, even kings. Even kings are required to depend upon God. The idea. For many of us that stalls us in our worship of the Lord or keeps us from the worshiping this glorious God. Is the fact that we lack humility. And recognizing that we have needs. We can’t fulfill those needs because we are intended and designed to find that fulfillment and the one who created us to be satisfied in him. The solution is outside of yourself. And David says in verse 11, if you want to win the worship war within your life, look at the worth of God as it’s been displayed.

As you’re on the mountaintops. When you get to verse 11, remind yourself that you desperately need him. As David worships the Lord, his worship reminds us genuine, structured worship. As what led him to spontaneous worship. Let’s say it this way for us, if you desire to win the warship war, don’t underestimate the importance of genuine, structured warship in your life in order to worship the Lord when those spontaneous, needful moments arise. So David said to us in verse one, God, you’re my God, and I’m owning you. And in verse two, God, the reason that I’m pursuing you and I’m worshiping you in these moments is because I’ve seen your goodness and glory in the sanctuary. Translation for us David gathered together with the congregation and pursuing and seeking after the goodness of God. And as he sits with God’s people. He hears communicated the truth of who God is. So that when David gets to Monday. And Tuesday. He remembers that good hand of God over them. And while he gathered on Sunday to worship God in a structured format. It carried him through to Monday that he could recognize the hand of God moving and the spontaneous flow of the day. To win the warship War requires us not to underestimate the significance of structured warship that comes from a genuine heart, that we could be led into spontaneous worship throughout our lives before God.

When I was a young boy, one of the problems that I had is I came to know the Lord as that my God was a very compartmentalized God. I saw him as a as a god that had this checklist of things. You know, people tell you, I want to pursue the Lord. Well, the Lord’s giving you things to pursue him. You got to read your Bible. You got to pray. You got a witness to people you got to. And I looked at the checklist and I started doing those things right. I read my Bible, okay, God, we had that. And now the Lord’s off to the side and on with the day. And God and his his structured worship of my life became a God of just the structured worship part of my life. And I failed to recognize early on in my Christian life the significance of allowing what I’ve learned on Sunday and in my personal time to bleed into the rest of my life. I have the joy of knowing what I’m going to preach before I preach it right? That’s good that we do that here at church, isn’t it? And spend some time looking over the Scripture. But as we got to Psalm 63, the Lord really used this in my life to just be thankful for where he’s brought me. And to know he still needs to work on.

But to sit back in the moments of my life and recognize, you know, as I go out in my day now. Jesus isn’t just a compartmentalized Jesus. Jesus is with me wherever I go. And I go to picnics, or working in a facility in a church building is the opportunity to look at people in the Lord and and continue to ask the question, God, how can I honor you here? Got to see a group of people I don’t know. I’m going to go meet them, but how can I just display your love in this moment? But how can I share your truth of what you’re worth? I can tell you how we take a building that looks like a turd on the inside. And then we redo it for the glory of the Lord, right? I mean, it’s just saying, we’re serious and we love him, and we’re displaying that. When you look at what it was before to what it is now, only God can work that in this church. And there is there is no other explanation. The homeless guy on the street was right. Tear it down. But your spontaneous or your structured worship. Excuse me? The genuineness of your structured worship. God begins to use that to prepare you how to spontaneously sing his praises within this world. It is your regular worship that prepares your heart for worship in trials and temptations that are coming your way.

And David expresses within this psalm he wins the worship war because he gathered together with God’s people, and he lifted up his voice with them. And he learned about the Lord. And as he learned about the Lord, it became a part of his regular life. And as David lives his life for the goodness of of God, he displays that worth. In a trial. David worships intentionally. It’s your spontaneous worship, then. That helps you see God move in all things. So when you begin to learn about the Lord in your church, with your family, and you engage God as you learn those things, you begin to spontaneously praise the Lord. And as you spontaneously praise the Lord throughout your life, giving him your heart, you can see the hand of God move everywhere. Thought that David would say to us in this passage and speaking about worship, if you don’t take time to learn and to understand, not just mentally, but in the heart as well, the goodness of God, you’re not going to give a rip about worshiping God. You’re not going to give a concern about any soul in this world. If you’re not concerned with worship for the Lord, you’re not concerned with displaying his goodness in in the world. Then the question is, do you really care? Do you really care about the Lord? So sometimes we learn the lesson of who God is, right? But it never affects the heart.

And David in the Psalm is expressing to us, I have seen his worth. It’s affected my life, and now it’s affecting the way I’m living my life. I give a rip about what’s happening around me in this moment, because I know of the goodness of God, and so my soul is concerned for myself and for those around me. And so as we’re leaving Jerusalem and tears are flowing from my eyes, and I’m looking at the people gathered around me, I’m saying to them, in this moment, in this darkness, the way that we win this war is we seek the face of Christ because he alone is worthy. I care. And in the structured moments of worship. David learned to carry his Lord into those spontaneous moments of honoring God wherever he was. Can you imagine what the people learned from their king in this moment? All of us aren’t going to be kings of whatever we can be Kings of our little castles, right? But we all go through adversity. Moms, you have stressful days. Fathers, there are times where you want to kill employers and employees and customers, right? But to think about the goodness of the Lord in those moments, and displaying that goodness outwardly as a heart of praise because of the goodness of God that you have seen in your life. Could you just imagine what people could learn from you? In the hard moments of your life.

It’s also an opportunity to say, God, thank you for this moment, that I could take this opportunity and utilize it to recall and remind myself of your worth in my life, that we may give you praise throughout this circumstance. Knowing God, you always provide. There’s a quote that says, I’m going to mess it up. Oh man, I forgot it. Something about God will never leave you where he’s led you, right? He’ll always carry you through it. If the God, that’s it. If God leads you to it, he will carry you through it. That’s right. There we go. It’s important to also recognize if God led you to it. Sometimes dum dum does it right. And so the important part of that is just to say, Lord, I’m off on the wrong track and I want to turn my heart back to you. Remember what leads you to worship. And take time to worship where you are. Use the Sunday morning of worship to carry to Monday morning of worship and take time to worship where you are, or you’re going to miss the hand of God moving as he desires within that moment. Sometimes we come dragging into church on Sundays. Sometimes we we wake up late at night through difficult times with kids. But sometimes we we go to bed tonight at night and we’re just defeated. But David’s desire for us is to recognize the worth of God in our world.

That we may win the worship war. The thought goes like this I don’t know what your future holds. I don’t know who, but. But I know who does. I know who can sustain you. Who can fill you with joy. Who can guide you. And he desires for you to know him. It’s always worship to worship no matter what. And David’s writing the psalm. For worshipers. Worshipers who are asking how? God, how can you get me through this? God, how can I possibly seek you? God? How are you going to to work this out in my life? And when your heart’s being ripped out by your own child and your world’s falling apart and you’re losing your home. God, how do you carry me through this? And I can’t see you over the darkness. Can I tell you this morning? The promises of God. Run deeper than the pain of this world. So David’s response. First just to seek God. And put them in his worth and put them in where he deserves to be in the priority list. Just seek him. Even when you feel like you’ve got nothing to give, just seek him. Remind yourselves of the things that you’ve learned about the Lord and his worth in your life. Recall his goodness in the darkest moments, reminding yourself of the glory that is to come and the God that’s concerned with your life. And worship.