by Pastor Tim Burt
The world is filled with dog lovers. In my childhood, we always had one in our family. My grandchildren love theirs. My granddaughter recently sent me a picture of her painting her dog's toenails while he laid perfectly still letting her do so. No wonder dogs are so lovable. Like children, they are a great deal of work but, like little children, they have this incredible innocence and give a great deal of love. I think of all the traits that most people universally love in their dogs. The most commented are their endless out-pouring of love, their loyalty, and that they absolutely know their masters.
In John chapter four, we read a story about Jesus encountering a Samaritan woman at a well. After engaging in conversation with Jesus, she knew that there was something special about Him. Supposing He was a prophet, she switched gears and began to seek answers to spiritual questions—one of them being, Where is the right place to worship God—our mountain or Jerusalem? Jesus told her that it would soon be understood that it wasn't about worshiping God in just a place. It was about having a heart attitude of worship—everywhere all the time. He spoke these words: "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." (John 4:23 NIV)
Learning to worship God has two effects on your life that are immeasurable. The first is, worship creates an intimacy in your relationship with God that is more beautiful than anything you will ever experience on this earth. Secondly, it accelerates our personal life-transformation in becoming Christ-like.
What is worship and how do we worship God? Countless sermons have been preached and books written and on this subject so for me to help you understand in the limited space I have will be difficult, but the Holy Spirit will continue to help you if you ask Him to.
In today’s Fresh Manna verse, the word worship is the Greek word proskyneo. It means to prostrate oneself in reverence and adoration to. The picture that this word also paints is that of a dog kissing his masters hand. It also paints the picture of a dog wagging its tail and whining for its master’s attention. This is an accurate picture of worship. Not that we are dogs in any sense, but in this way—understanding that dogs know their master. There is never any question about that. Dogs also seek the approval of their master. Dogs want to please their master. Dogs have an attitude of dependency upon their master. And dogs want to be loved by their master.
Whether you understand this or not, everything in the earth and the heavens—any and all things that were created, were created by God to teach us about Himself. Everything was created to point to God’s magnificence, His power, and His majesty. Words simply cannot properly describe God’s greatness. But, from micro-organisms, to nature around us, to the stars and galaxies—they were all created to reveal not just science, but insights to us about God that reveal His majesty!
Dogs actually help us understand what people often fail to acknowledge—that we all have a master. God is our God. Jesus is our Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to help us know Him and His ways, and to equip us to live our life for Him. We worship Him because of who He is. We worship Him because of His love toward us. We worship Him to acknowledge our need for His help and instruction, leading us in every thought, word, action, and facet of life.
When we are willing to humble ourselves to this truth and prostrate our hearts in worship to Him, something happens. Our heart begins to become properly aligned in humility and dependency for Him. A closeness and intimacy begins to form within us that only causes us to hunger for more. Transformation is accelerated because the desires and lust of sin loose their grip and instead become repulsive that we may easily cast them off. Strength to obey the leading of the Spirit of God increases and strength of spirit to resist temptation and refrain from fleshly activity surges. Our hunger for walking righteously after God's ways is increased and our appreciation for Jesus being our righteousness by grace—not by our ability to live perfectly, takes on its greatest thrust within our lives. The word of God begins to open up to us as never before and deliver greater understanding and insight to things that remain mysteries to others. Again, transformation takes on its greatest thrust within our lives. All this is a direct benefit of worshipping God.
1 Chronicles. 16:28-30 (NLT) says, “O nations of the world, recognize the Lord, recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. Give to the Lord the glory He deserves! Bring your offering and come to worship Him. Worship the Lord in all His holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before Him.”
If you have never really tried or known how to worship the Lord, don’t let that stop you. Don’t let the awkwardness of your initial efforts stop you. You were created to and it is within your DNA to worship the Lord. Greater intimacy is there for you to have and remember Jesus said that this is the time! "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." (John 4:23 NIV) There is a vast supply of beautiful worship music in any Christian bookstore to help you if you need help. It will come easily and naturally in a very short period of time if you are sincere. Open up the Bible to the Psalms and read how David worshipped God. Launch from there and your life and intimacy with the Lord will never be the same!
Psalm 103:1 “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!“
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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