Tag Archives: worship

Worship is War

“Worship is War.” That’s the tagline I saw on an ad in my Twitter feed for a new TV show coming out, about the Greek, Norse, etc. gods living in modern day U.S.

When I saw it, my first thought was “how little do they know exactly how right they are.”

Worship is powerful. Not in itself, and not because of who we are, but because of who God is. When we worship we admit that on our own we are weak, we are powerless to change much in this world, and we are dependent on Him.

Worship doesn’t make God more powerful, as some video games and shows/movies portray other gods – He is already omnipotent, perfect, omniscient, omnipresent; what could we possibly add to Him? And worship isn’t like putting a coin in a vending machine – it doesn’t “activate” God or obligate Him to do something for us; but when we worship rightly (with humility, and in Spirit and truth) we put ourselves in a place where we will see God working in and through and around us.

An interesting, literal, example of worship as war is found in 2 Chronicles 20:1-30.  I wonder if we would see this happening in similar ways, if we were to march through our neighbourhoods and streets worshiping, similar to prayer walks?

When we worship, we proclaim who God is – and that’s a powerful reminder to us, and to the spiritual forces of darkness around us. Because scripture is clear our enemy is never people, it’s Satan, and the world, and our sinful natures (Eph. 6:12). When people appear to be our enemies, we can be sure it’s one of those three things behind them.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

By our worship we submit to God, draw near to Him, and simultaneously we resist the devil (James 4:7-8).

Of course, worship doesn’t just occur on Sunday mornings at a church service.

Worship happens when we pray prayers of thanksgiving. It happens when we pray prayers of supplication (because He is God and we are not).

Worship happens when we sacrifice our time, resources, or talents for Him, in service to others (thereby living out the command to love God with all our heart/soul/strength and love our neighbour as ourselves).

Worship happens when we say “Not my will, but Yours be done” even when we don’t feel like it, see the logic behind it, or have to go it alone.

If prayer is necessary like the air we breathe, and the Bible necessary like the food we eat, then worship is like the water we drink – it blesses God but it also refreshes our soul.

Worship orients our hearts away from this world and the things of it, to the only One who truly matters, and to His agenda and work on the earth, and that must royally tick off the (temporary) rulers of this world.

Worship is war.

Make time to worship Jesus daily. You’ll see the difference it makes.

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The Main Thing: Worshiping and Serving God Only

Recently as I was reading Psalm 2, I noticed something I found quite interesting. In this Psalm David prophetically speaks about the Messiah, Jesus:

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession (Ps. 2:7-8).

God the Father promises Jesus the nations, even to the ends of the earth, as His possession. This idea is echoed throughout Scripture, and culminates in Revelation 19:11-16 where Jesus is depicted as a victorious warrior riding a white horse, with the title “King of kings and Lord of lords” written on His robe.

For some reason after reading these verses in Psalm 2 my mind immediately jumped to the three temptations of Jesus in the wilderness. The third and final of these temptations finds Satan taking Jesus to a very high mountain, and showing Him “all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.” He tells Jesus ‘just bow to me, and all this will be yours.’

ImageIf Jesus bows to Satan, Satan will give Him every kingdom in the world. Every people, every tribe, every nation.

Now, Jesus knows the Scriptures. He’s been quoting them to Satan in response to the first two temptations. So we’d expect Jesus to quote them again this time (which He does), but He doesn’t quote the one we might expect Him to. Jesus could’ve easily said “As it is written, all the nations are already promised to me” and He would have been completely right. But, as we see, He didn’t. He said “it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only'” (Matt. 4:10).

ImageWhy does He do this? Why doesn’t He just tell Satan “those will one day be mine already”? I think the reason is that Jesus is modelling something important here; whatever promises we’ve received from God, whatever gifts, whatever assurances, whatever inheritance, the main thing is: worshiping God and serving Him only.

As humans we have a propensity to worship and serve things that are not God, such as money and power, and even His gifts and promises. And God knows that anything we worship that is not Him is to our detriment. So Jesus lives and models what will bring God most glory, and us most joy; worshiping God and serving Him alone.

May we not focus so much on what we’ve been both given and promised that we forget to keep God first, and serve Him only!

 

 

*images taken from The Brick Testament.

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