Five: Who Establishes True Worship?
Is there anything in Scripture that leads us to believe that God doesn’t care when or how we worship him, or that any type of worship is acceptable to him? Is there anything that leads us to believe that a church or pastor or pope or any other human being should determine the way we worship? No, there is not. Quite the opposite, in fact. If you believe that God is really God, then you should also believe that he has the right to dictate how he is to be worshipped.
God specifically tells us that we are not to worship him the way that pagans worship their gods. Deuteronomy 12:30-32: “Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”
Every bit of your worship should have a “Thus saith the LORD” after it, no adding or subtracting. It should clearly not be something that God calls “the way of the heathen” (such as Christmas trees in Jeremiah 10:2-4) or “greater abominations” (such as sun-day worship in Ezekiel 8:15-16).
If your worship can be traced to manmade tradition, it is worship in vain. (Matthew 15:3-9 and Mark 7:6-13). God doesn’t make an exception for people who say, “Oh, but it doesn’t mean that to me. I’m doing this to honor God.” Our worship either pleases him or it doesn’t. The purpose is not to please ourselves. Look at what God did with the sacrifice of Cain. (Genesis 4:3-5) Cain brought the sacrifice that was pleasing to himself, that seemed like it would be pleasing to God as the firstfruits offering, but it was not the type of sacrifice that God wanted.
If you really want to worship God, and really let HIM be Lord, then you will worship him when and how he wants to be worshipped. Put yourself in his shoes for a moment. If you are celebrating a special event, are you going to feel honored if people show up a day late, bring you gifts you don’t want, and serve you food you don’t like? Then why do you think you can treat God like that and he will be pleased?
The pagan roots of most of what passes for Christianity today is widely known. Isn’t it time you stop bringing a sacrifice that is not pleasing to God, and say you are doing it to him? The same God that brought captivity for unpleasing worship in Amos 5:21-27 is the same God you claim to worship. Are you doing it your way, or His? Only one way is right.
John 4:23-24: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
The Father is seeking true worshippers. Will you be among them? Or will you be like Cain and seek your own way?
***For more information on this topic, click here: http://nailedtocross.com/index.php/articles/living-by-scriptural-principles/87-sanctified-glorified
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