Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

THE WORSHIP CULTURE

 

 

             The Worship Culture

                                   September 21, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

John 4:19-24

 

 

The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:19-24 NKJV)

 

The preconceived notions of worship come largely from religious custom. From our church services to our rites and rituals, we have departed from the objective of pleasing God and entered into the process of constructing a thing that is pleasing to man.

 

Undoing this process is as simple as the concept of “waiting upon the Lord. The more we are in his presence, the more we are able to shut out the noise and hear His heart. As His desires become revealed we become acutely aware that we must ever be at his feet to know his desire for a deep meaningful relationship with The Father.

The woman at the well gave us such an insight into the heart of Jesus. We learned that while Jesus knows our every fault, he does not hold us to them. We learned that He will cause an opportunity for His heart to touch ours if we but only show up. And we learned that worship is not at all what we thought, but what it is can be found inside these vessels that he has fashioned for himself; these temples that can not only receive from heavens, but are temples of His Glory. We learned that The Father is not looking for religious custom...His heart desires a worship culture.

 

 

 

Pressing in for relationship

 

 

2 Chronicles 5:11-14

 

 

 

And it came to pass when the priests came out of the Most Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without keeping to their divisions), and the Levites who were the singers, all those of Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, stood at the east end of the altar, clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets— indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,” that the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God. (II Chronicles 5:11-14 NKJV)

 

When you worship, you are initiating a response to a call from God to enter into a relationship. In this passage of scripture in second Chronicles, we see three elements that cause worship to become an encounter with the living God. We see sanctified priest....signified by standing at the alter in white linen. We see musical instrumentation by which we move and vibrate the air around us not simply in disarray, but in a unified reverence to God. And we see verbal praise lifting up the Lord and declaring His goodness. These three together yield the presence of God. It’s not simply a formula....it is a foundation.

 

Any earthly relationship must have certain elements. Whether it’s common interests, emotional attachment, physical attraction, or platonic feelings...relationships do not simply happen, they are built.

The same holds true for a worship relationship with God. And it, like any other relationship begins with DESIRE to see the relationship flourish.

 

 

A flourishing relationship with God is one that is fruitful. James 5:16 tell us that the prayers of a righteous man avail much. Righteousness is not free, but it is a byproduct of relationship. A loveless relationship is one that has no communication. It lacks positive reinforcement found in praise for one another. It is one-sided and feels never ending in its frustrations rather than endless in its ability to reveal new and even more amazing facets every day.

Our relationship with God should be the “hub” of our lives. From it every spoke of goodness that pours from our existence has its origin.

 

 

 

 

Signs and wonders through presence and not performance.

 

                                           

ACTS 5:12-16

 

 

 

And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed. (Acts 5:12-16 NKJV)

 

 

 

When the presence of God is in the room, things are happening all the time that we don’t even understand nor are even aware that are happening. Many are the time that we have had intense showings of the Presence of the Lord here in this place and people have called us hours or days later to tell us that they had been healed of a sickness or delivered of a bondage. They would come the next week with a tithe and offering and tell us of how after the service, God sent unexpected blessing to them out of nowhere. Worship is relationship...and relationship is the place from where God moves in your life.

 

Peter had his shadow, Paul had cloths sent to those who were sick and they would recover just having a cloth that Paul prayed for laid on them. Anything or anyone that has been in His presence has the positive charge of His Glory upon it. This principle is not about religious relic...it is about proximity. This is why people who do not necessarily believe in healing will be in the room filled with worshipping believers and get healed. God’s presence is far more powerful than even our faithlessness.

 

 

God wants to touch your life. His desire is to bless you. You are his child and he wants to show it in your life. But just like our earthly relationships, to see that flourishing occur, we must be a part of the reaching out process. You can receive from someone else’s overflow. But as Billie Holiday sang... “God bless the child that’s got his own”.  Receiving directly from God’s hand is an experience that only comes from having a worship culture in your life.

 

 

 

 

 

Revival becomes the combined fire of many rather than many ignited by one. 
 

 

Acts 2:1-4

 

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4 NKJV)

 

There is a glimmer that comes into people’s eyes when the word “revival” is mentioned. Some of those are skeptics. Some are looking for inspiring messages from out of town preachers. But the true essence of revival is not in the services but in the power of God that is summoned into one place by the unity of believers. That unity does not come from “decking the halls” and tweaking the microphones and loudspeakers. It comes when people who are in one accord and in one place begin to worship and believe that God will do exactly what He says he will do.

 

Most people’s concept of revival is to wait for a church to bring in a special speaker who will have “a revival anointing” and come to those meetings in hopes of “catching his fire”.  This is a fruitless misconception. While God will use a minister to display signs and wonders to unbelievers, the task of receiving revival fire is a personal experience born from seeking God’s face and lingering in His presence.

True revival does not come from exposure to revival. It comes from desperation for his presence and saturation in his love through worship.

 

In the book of Acts we see one hundred twenty in the upper room. One hundred twenty was who showed up. I can most certainly assure you that more than that were invited, but that is all who were willing to put their lives on hold and go to the upper room. Many were called, but few were chosen. The way you can determine the called from the chosen is in how you answer. Don’t expect any more than you have now if your desire is to simply take what is within reach. The fast food industry makes billions of dollars a year betting on those who are hungry enough to eat, but not hungry enough to cook. How about you??? Do you desire more??? Are you tired of the religious status quo??? Are you sick of letting program religion lay out a plan of pseudo-spiritual fast food??? Or are you hungry enough to cook for yourself...seek the meat...chew on your own. Do you desire more of Jesus? Are you desperate for God??? If you are...you are one of “THE WORSHIP CULTURE”.

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