Ephes. 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
1 Thes. 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
Grieving the Spirit or Quenching the Spirit, both are sins that can keep us from walking hand-in-hand with the Father in deep worship.
We are continuing with the discipline of true worship. We said in the first few studies that “we need to deal with sin correctly”. What are the two main ways in which we as believers sin? We can grieve the Holy Spirit or we can quench the Holy Spirit.
To “Grieve” the Holy Spirit means to commit sins of commission. This basically means that we are DOING WHAT WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO. To “Quench” the Holy Spirit means to commit the sins of omission. This basically means that we are NOT DOING WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING.
An example of grieving the Holy Spirit would be getting drunk. An example of quenching the Holy Spirit would be to neglect prayer or Bible reading. This is why we ask the Lord to search our hearts and our thoughts to see if there is any sinful way in us. Because we know from Jer.17:9 that our hearts are wicked and will lie to us. In asking God to search our hearts He will show us our method and motive in worship and if it is pleasing and acceptable to Him or not.
Let us remember what worship is. It is not emotional, although emotions can be involved. It is not a song or music or a music team, although these can be used. It is not a certain activity, although activities can be involved.
The reason I say this is that I hear all the time that we have a worship team or a worship time and it is always tied to music and a song. Worship is this. It is bowing our head, or our body in a place of reverence and communion with the Father. It is kneeling or laying on the floor in obedient reverence before the Lord. These are the Biblical accounts of worship.
Like most words or Biblical activities we tend to departmentalized Biblical disciplines into a religious structure involving only certain people. Like we say, “they are the intercessors”. We are all intercessors by calling, just not all intercessors by deed.
CHALLENGE: I challenge you to find one place in the Bible where people were called to worship or were in the act of worship when music was involved. Let us not grieve or quench the Holy Spirit so that true Biblical worship is achieved and maintained.
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
In these past 15 lessons on worship I pray that we have seen that it is God’s heart that we worship in Spirit and in truth. He is concerned in how we worship, what we bring as an offering when we worship, where we worship, why we worship, and who we worship.
We have seen in the past 15 lessons that worship is not just an emotion or just a religious activity and it is not music. The terms "worship time," "worship teams," and "worship songs," are not Biblical and have served as a distraction in that these religious activities have robbed the Father of true worship.
As we studied before and we will see again throughout the Scriptures that worship means to BOW THE HEAD, THE BODY, or to LAY BEFORE THE LORD on the ground. It is physical posture of the body representing a spiritual position of the heart. Worship is not about music, a song, or a band. All of this we will explore later.
Worship is connecting with the Father and walking in deep relationship and fellowship each day, and enjoying that fellowship time no matter what is happening around us. We saw that true worship happens when we...(1). Deal with sin correctly, (2). Bring the acceptable offering to the Lord, and when (3). Complete obedience is observed no matter how great the personal cost.
We also learned that true worship comes forth from a heart of gratefulness and thanksgiving. In studying the lives of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, and Abraham and Isaac we saw that true worship was taking place BEFORE the Tabernacle was even built by Moses.
Therefore, worship did not need a building or structure to happen. When our Lord Jesus Christ met the woman at the well, she asked the question about where one should worship. The “where” that God is seeking is not necessarily a physical place as it is a “heart place.”
John 4:20-24 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.  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.
It doesn't take much for us to see the salvation and deliverance the Father is working in and through us. It is Scriptural for us to worship God from a grateful heart.
Exodus 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
God and man meeting in true worship at the point of obedience and deliverance. In this devotional I will just give some Old Testament Scriptures revealing the worship of God’s people when they came through a point of salvation and deliverance.
Exodus 3:12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
Exodus 4:31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.
Exodus 12:27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.
Exodus 17:14-16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.  And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:  For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
We live in a day that says we should build a house and make it permanent but spiritually we should pitch an altar and make it temporal. However, in the Old Testament we find that the saints of God pitched a tent and saw their dwelling place as temporal, and built an altar for they saw their spiritual worship as permanent. This world is not our home, we are only passing through, therefore we shouldn't make such an effort sacrificing the eternal on the altar of the temporal. When we reflect of how the Father delivered us from the power of sin and the world, we should be moved to bow our heads and worship the king of Glory.
Let me set the stage. God told Abraham that he would have a son, and that son would be a "promised son" from his own bowels. Abraham was 75 years old when he received this promise. Remember that Abraham was called a "man of faith." The first promise of a great nation coming out of him was what we call the Abrahamic Covenant in Gen.12:1-3. In Gen. 14 any thought Abraham had of Lot being the heir vanished when Lot departed. God reaffirmed His promise to Abraham after Lot left.
Genesis 13:14-17 ESV The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, (15) for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. (16) I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. (17) Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.”
In Gen.15:1-5 Abraham tried to help God with His promise of an heir and asked God to let it be Eliezer. God said NO, for his heir must come from his own bowels.
In Gen.16:1-6 we see that Sarah was doubting any word about a heir coming from her so she tried to help God with the promise and gave Hagar to Abraham. Abraham is now 86 years old and has been waiting for the promised seed for 11 years.
At age 99 God re-establishes the covenant promise with Abraham. Now Abraham has been waiting for 24 years for the Word of God to come forth. His son from Hagar, Ishmael is now 13 years old.
Genesis 17:1-7 ESV When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, (2) that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” (3) Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, (4) “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. (5) No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. (6) I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. (7) And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
Abraham has a "crisis of faith" moment. This is his third attempt to assist God. He first assumed Lot would be his heir, then when that didn't happen he presented his servant Eliezer to God as his heir and God shut that down. Now he presents his son Ishmael to God as the heir of promise.
Genesis 17:17-18 ESV Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” (18) And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!”
God answered with a resounding NO! The heir of the promise would come from Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was 99 and Sarah was 90, both well past child-bearing age. Abraham who had been waiting for 24 years for the fulfillment of God's covenant promise could not see how it was to happen.
I love Gen.17:22. It is such a matter of fact verse.
Genesis 17:22 ESV When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.
God finished, ceased, with His conversation with Abraham and left. What can we learn from this?
First, no matter how long we have to wait for God's promise to be fulfilled, His word is always Yes and Amen. He will not accept a "plan B" from us to help Him fulfill His promises. God does not need our help.
Second, somewhere along the line we got the idea that as long as we are talking God is under obligation to hang around to listen. The Father speaks and that is it. There is a lot to be said about the theology of "It Is Finished."
The traits of true worship:
I will add descriptive meaning in parenthesis to certain words within this verse.
Romans 12:1 ESV I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present (a decisive dedication) your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy (that which is devoted and consecrated) and acceptable (that which is well pleasing) to God, which is your spiritual worship.
In offering “true worship” to the Father we have studied three requirements so far in the first 13 lessons.
1. With Adam and Eve we saw that “true worship” requires us to deal with sin correctly.
2. With Cain and Abel we saw that “true worship” requires that we worship God’s way because not all that we offer may be acceptable to the Father.
3. With Noah, Abraham and Isaac we saw that “true worship requires total obedience.
The fourth truth of “true worship” is that it comes forth from a grateful heart. In other words, worship is a logical, natural and spiritual response when we understand what the Father has done for us.
We see in Genesis the list of references to those who built altars to worship the Lord, or those who bowed the head, the knees, or the body before the Lord as an act of worship. These all came from a grateful heart for the great things done by the Father. I have listed some of these references for your own personal study later on.
Those who bowed the head, knees, or body in worship, or those who built an altar.
Gen.8:19:20; 12:7-8; 13:3-4; 13:14-18; 18:1-3; 19:1; 22:4-5; 22:8-9; 24:23-27; 24:48; 24:51-52; 26:24-25; 33:18-20; 35:1-7
A thankful heart is a strong motivator to worship. We don’t have to look very far to find things to be thankful for. If we have dealt with sin correctly, if we have worshipped God’s way and not our way, and if we walk in obedience in word, deed and thought, then out of a thankful heart “true worship” will flow. By the way, true worship has nothing to do with music. Music is an act of praise, among 20 other forms of praising God. The terms worship team, worship time, and worship songs are religious terms brought about to replace what true worship is. There is not one verse in the Bible where music is tied to worship other than when we rightly praise God it should lead us to worship. Don't we question as to how our Lord Jesus Christ worshipped so much. yet without having a music team following Him around? More on this later.
Our God is a MUCH MORE Giver:
Many of us who are mothers or fathers love to buy and give gifts to our children. When my boys were small, I had spoiled them in this way in so much that every day when I came home from work they ran to me overly excited asking, "what did you bring us daddy?"
Sometimes, I felt that my boys took my goodness towards them for granted and that they loved what I brought for them more than loving me. I know that was not true however. When it came to the necessities of life, we always ensured they had plenty of good food on the table. The thought of giving them a stone for bread or a serpent for fish could not even have a place in my mind or heart to do.
I, as so many moms and dads have done, gave the best we had to our children and yet we did so from a heart that was sinful and deceptive. How MUCH MORE will our heavenly Father, who is HOLY and PERFECT give His children the things that we ask from Him?
Matthew 7:9-11 ESV Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? (10) Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? (11) If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how MUCH MORE will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Hebrews 11:17-19 ESV By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, (18) of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” (19) He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
As we have seen in earlier studies, true worship requires...
(1) Walking hand-in-hand daily with God,
(2) Dealing correctly with sin,
(3) Bringing an acceptable sacrifice before the Lord and,
(4) Walking in total obedience.
Of course we cannot separate true worship from faith. It takes faith in a Holy God to walk out all four of these requirements for true worship. Even though Abraham was to sacrifice his only son, he stood on faith that God would raise him from the dead to fulfill His covenant promises.
This is the type of worship many believers are totally unfamiliar with. Abraham told his servants that he and Isaac were going up to worship and that they would both return. Remember, this is the first time the word "worship" is used in the Bible.
It is worth mentioning that although animal sacrifice was the means of a blood covering for the sins of the people, it is totally out of God’s character to demand a human sacrifice, unless He were teaching us something. Isaac was a “type,” or a “shadow” of the New Testament substance, of Christ and the cross. Our Lord Jesus Christ was the only HUMAN sacrifice that the Father approved of.
What He asked of Abraham was a test of Abraham’s “fear” or “Awe” of God. It was the most costly sacrifice asked for by God as a means to worship in the Old Testament. It was a perfect picture of the Father giving up His only Son that we may walk daily with Him.
Obedience is a measuring tool of our “fear,” or reverence for God.
Genesis 22:12 ESV He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”
We find David here on this same mount many years later when he purchases the threshing floor. Hear David’s words as he refused to offer a sacrifice that cost him nothing…
1 Chronicles 21:24 ESV But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
The Prophetic Mantle:
John the Baptist was MUCH MORE than a Prophet. He was one who was a messenger who knew the importance of standing before God first, so that he could stand before men with boldness.
We need those who claim to be Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists, Prophets and Apostles to learn how to be before the throne of God first until they receive a message for the people that causes them to leave their beautiful buildings of worship and go out into the desert places to hear a Word from heaven.
The spirit of prophecy today is starting to raise up a mantle likened unto John. There will be those who have the fear of God as they stand and kneel before a Holy God. Stand fearful before a Holy God and you will stand before man without fear.
Luke 7:25-28 KJV But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. 26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and MUCH MORE than a prophet. 27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
Genesis 22:1-2 ESV After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” (2) He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
What is Abraham to do in obedience to God in Gen.22:1-18? It was a 45 mile walk to Mt. Moriah, which is about a 3 days journey. The name of Moriah has many meanings. Knowing that God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on the Mount, it would be good to look at some of the meanings.
Mount Moriah means,
“Jah” (a name for God),
What a word! Abraham has been called to walk in total obedience and holiness.
Abraham is seen as an intercessor and a prophet. After waiting for 20 years he has become the Father of the “child of promise.” He now has his own son, someone of great worth, who God is going to use to test Abraham's spiritual character. The statement “Thine only son” was the only one born of Sarah, and heir of the promise. The statement “Whom thou lovest,” shows how a child captures the affections of a parent’s heart.
Abraham must have felt the outward struggle between God's command to sacrifice his son, and God's promise that in Isaac the world would be blessed. Many times we might miss the will and plans of the Father because in our mind they don't make sense and it would seem that one thing would cancel out the other.
In faith Abraham believed that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead. When the moment came Isaac made no resistance to his father’s will. The binding with the rope was a sacrificial custom and really was not needed to restrain Isaac. Isaac believed that his father Abraham was obeying the will of God.
This request would be hard for any father, but remember that Isaac was not just another son; he was the “son of promise.” When Abraham laid Isaac on the altar he was sacrificing all that God had promised. He was giving up his vision, his dream, and his future. Abraham laid his whole life and all his life dreams on the altar with his son. True Worship cost something. Genesis 22:5 is the first Bible reference to the word "Worship." One day we will learn that worship has nothing to do with music, but to bow the head, the body, the knees, or to lay before the Father in humility and fear. Not one verse in the Bible about worship is tied to music, a song or a team of musicians. This might be hard, but seek the Word and not your emotions for truth. Remember, true worship is done in Spirit and truth.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.