It’s been a while since my last blog but I’ve finally managed to sit down for half an hour and put some thoughts down!
We had another worship evening at Biggleswade Baptist last weekend, which was great! We’re planning another one, probably for Saturday 1st July, although I’m just waiting for confirmation that the church is free on that day. Please come along if you are local (or even if you’re not!). It’s a great opportunity to spend time together without too much time constraint, and without any agenda or programme, other than to spend time worshiping God and being in His presence.
On the recording front, I haven’t got much to report! It’s ground to a bit of a halt but I hope to get back on the wagon after a much needed holiday to France. My good friend Ed Sneller is designing some artwork for the EP and it looks amazing! I can’t wait to get the it finished!
I preached at church on Sunday on “Frontline Worship” . I really enjoyed preparing and speaking about the story of Jehoshaphat from 2 Chronicles 20 and you can listen to my talk by clicking on the link above. (Starts at 30:00)
I’ve been thinking recently about why God has made us to worship. Here are some thoughts…
We were made to worship God. That is our purpose above everything else.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism says…
“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
When God made Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden it was perfect and they worshipped Him simply by being in his presence and having a relationship with Him. (Genesis 1:31) However, they were enticed by Satan to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – they wanted to be like God and for their world to centre on themselves. They broke the perfect relationship with God and from then until now, man has sought to replace worship of God, with worship of self – power, money, sex, religion, ambition, human relationships, sport, music, art…the list goes on and on!
We all worship something, because it is a basic human need that God wove into our DNA (Psalm 139:13-14).We worship the things that we spend most of our time, money and energy on, and the things that we get most excited and passionate about. The problem is that we often choose to worship things that have no eternal value and only temporarily satisfy our human desires. Like Adam and Eve, we eat the fruit that tempts us and promises much, but fails to bring fulfilment.
Although the perfect relationship with God was broken in the Garden of Eden, God established a covenant with his people because he wants us to worship him (Exodus 24). He allowed his people to have access to Him through a system that involved keeping commandments, worshipping at the temple and making sacrifices to atone for sin, in order for them to enter into his presence and praise him. This was the pattern throughout the Old Testament, but we also read frequently that above law-keeping, sacrifice and ritual, God desired heart that was devoted to him and a lifestyle that pleased Him. (Hosea 6:6; Psalm 40:6-8; Isaiah 1:11). He desired genuine worship from a place of love and reverence. A good example of this is King David, who had “a heart for God” but also made some monumentally bad decisions, and didn’t always follow God’s commands. Despite this, God blessed him and used his worship to achieve great things. (1 Samuel 13:14)
This old covenant was replaced by the new covenant when Jesus came to earth to demonstrate perfect worship (Hebrews 8). He and the father were in perfect harmony and he made the ultimate sacrifice by dying as a perfectly innocent man and rising to life again to allow us permanent and unconditional access to God. There is nothing we can to do earn God’s love and there is nothing He requires from us, other than to worship Him – not by being religious and following rituals, and not by earning a place in His Kingdom by hard work, nor by achieving a goal or accumulating spiritual credit. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
Worship is happening all the time in heaven (Revelation 4), and when we worship here on earth we join in the heavenly realms, praising God and finding purpose and meaning for life, entering into the presence of God and finding that the Holy Spirit has power to bring freedom from our sinful ways. Worship brings breakthrough of God’s Kingdom to earth and brings healing and deliverance from sickness, pain and suffering; worship changes the spiritual atmosphere and is a weapon that we have in the spiritual battle, because God’s presence brings light to dark places and releases people who are captive to fear, addiction, and in bondage to evil. (Ephesians 6:10-20). Worship brings love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control – these are the fruits of God’s spirit and ours to enjoy as we spend time with Him. Who doesn’t want these things?! (Galatians 5:22-23) Adam and Eve took the forbidden fruit and turned their back on God, but through his incredible grace he allows us to have these fruits instead.
There is no greater thing in life than to worship God and the most amazing thing is that it is completely free. All we have to do is grab hold of the gift and enjoy it because it is what we were made for!
That’s it for now!