Sunday, September 24, 2017

Prayer Warrior: Praying Your Way To Victory - Session 9 Engage In The War Knowing Time Is Short

The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group is going through
Prayer Warrior The Power Of Praying Your Way To Victory by Stormie Omartian.  For a copy of the book, click or touch this LINK or the image, of the book at the end of the notes.

No one can sit on the sidelines today when it comes to spiritual matters. A war is going on between good and evil, and every believer is involved. For every Christian who wants a meaningful prayer life that is more than just asking for blessings.  Bestselling author Stormie Omartian shows how to pray with strength and purpose―prayers resulting in great victory, not only personally but also in advancing God's kingdom and glory.

These are my notes for the study. The audio of the study is at the end of the notes.

In the last couple of months in this study we’ve talked about a lot of things:

We started by recognizing that we are in a war.  A spiritual war against Satan and all his forces.  It doesn’t matter if we believe in Satan or not, or believe that we are in a war or not, or believe that we have an enemy or not. Once you make your confession of faith and are baptised by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ you immediately become an enemy of Satan and subject to attack.  That also makes you a prayer warrior like it or not.  Of course we are to pray for ourselves but as prayer warriors we are to pray for the world.  That includes believers, unbelievers the entire creation against God’s enemy.  We have talked about who the true enemy is.  It’s not other people or nations although they are used by our true enemy who is Satan.  He is God’s enemy which makes him our enemy.  We also know that our true enemies are spiritual.  

Isaiah 14:12-15 (NKJV)12  "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!13  For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;14  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'
They use people and material things but they are spirits.  

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)12  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

We talked about the authority that we have in prayer.

The basis for our authority in prayer is that Jesus gave it to  us.

John 16:23-24 (NKJV)23  And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.24  Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

2 Corinthians 13:3-4 (NKJV)3  since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you.4  For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.  

So we don’t have to depend on our own strength or authority it’s really all on Jesus’ shoulders.

We have to make sure that we stay in condition to fight.  We said, last week, we have God’s armor  and weapons all of which are spiritual, as are our ememies.   

Ephesians 6:10-18 (NKJV)10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.11  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.13  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,15  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;18  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--

2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (NKJV)4  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,5  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,6  and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

The weapons we talked about last week are; God’s word, worship, grace, prayer with fasting, faith, and prayer alone.  

None of the things we have talked about this entire study matter if we are not willing to engage the enemy.  This is from our book on page 103.

Engage” means to pledge. To promise. To give an oath. To pledge one’s word to assume an obligation. To enter into conflict. It also means to bring troops into conflict. “Engage” means choosing to involve oneself or commit oneself to something. It means you have pledged to be involved in entering into conflict. It means you recognize that a war is going on and you understand God is calling you to pray.
For us as prayer warriors, “engage” means to pledge to God that you are choosing to oppose the plans of the enemy by praying for God’s will to be done on earth.

We shouldn’t be afraid to engage because as we’ve seen we have authority, armor, and weapons, and if we’ve trained in their use we are more than a match for the enemy.  If we use our weapons which are powered by God’s word what happens?  The enemy will flee.

Matthew 4:10-11 (NKJV)10  Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "11  Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

James 4:7 (NKJV)7  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

We can look at those who in the past who have engage the enemy, some even having lost their lives, but have continued to fight the enemy. Look at the heros of faith in Hebrews 11.

Stormie makes a very good point beginning on page 104.  We can’t always be putting out fires.  We must become proactive.  We must pray prayers of protection from the enemy for ourselves, our families, and all the people whom God puts on our heart. But first we have to deliberately engage in the war.

Engage Because You Don’t Know All That Your Prayers May Accomplish

We talked about this in our last study “Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference”.  The author constantly encouraged us to pray even when things didn’t appear to be changing or that our praying made any difference.   We pray for peace in the world, and there is no peace, we pray for healing for friends and family and they don’t recover, we pray that hurricanes don’t hit or that earthquakes don’t happen but they do.  But Jesus taught us that we should still pray and pray that God’s will be done, and then don’t question or complain when His will is done.  But perhaps the most important thing is that through prayer our focus changes.  Remember what we said in our last study?  When we pray the view changes from our view to God’s view.  Things may not change but we change.

Stormie give the example about the Berlin Wall.   Our last author gives the example of the fall of the Soviet Union, and apartheid in South Africa.   People prayed for years and nothing happened then one day those prayers were answered.  The point is we may never know what our prayers accomplish, but we never stop praying.

Here’s what Stormie says on page 106;

You might think there is no immediate benefit to you if you are praying for other people or situations in other places, but that’s not true. As long as you are praying, you are receiving blessings from God that might not be there if you were not praying.  First of all, you are drawing close to God, and that is always a good thing. Being with the Lord is a reward in itself. I know you are not praying just to get something out of it, or hesitating to pray because you think there is nothing in it for you, but some people do think that way. We think we are sacrificing for the Lord by praying, but we are the biggest benefactors of all. We can be in a group praying for other people and nothing for ourselves, and we will walk away fully blessed by God. Not only are our prayers accomplishing much for others, but for ourselves as well—more than we even realize.

Engage Because You Serve God

When we talked about worship being a weapon, last week, we said that worship wasn’t about us it’s about God.  Our complete focus is on Him when we worship.  Our engagement in prayer doesn’t have to be perfect.  We’ve talked about that in our studies this year too.  Prayer is communication with God where we are and in whatever mood we’re in.  We realize that He is the only one that has permanent solutions to the world’s problems and our enemies tactics, and we serve Him.

Engagement and prayer are constant even when we don’t see the results.  Engagement is both persistent and specific.  The scripture that Stormie uses is

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV)58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

We don’t need to talk about persistence  today because we’ve talked about it a lot this year.  There are the two parables about persistence. The one about the woman who kept bugging the judge, the other about the man asking a neighbor to give him some bread so he could feed his guest.  We talked about Jesus three times asking God to take the cup of suffering from Him.  We know that Jesus said

Matthew 7:7 (NKJV)7  "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Here’s what Stormie says on page 107;

Whenever you pray for your own needs and the things heaviest on your heart, ask God to show you what else He wants you to pray for right then. God will show you by bringing a person, a people group, or a situation to your mind. He will reveal to you His heart for a person or situation. The Holy Spirit in you will help you to pray, and you will feel a passion about it—even moved to tears if it involves the suffering of others. You may be sensing the grief the Lord has over the situation, or you may be actually feeling that person’s pain. You will know when God is calling you to pray for something or someone in a profound way because of that passion you feel while you are praying.

In our last study we talked about creating a “God space” and stopping time and that when we did this we would often have the same kind of experience that Stormie had about praying for a young man and his mother.  

Her conclusions were

1. God hears your prayers.
2. God is answering in His way and His time.

Engage Because You Know the Time Is Short

With all the things that are going on today a lot of people believe that Jesus’ return is imminent.  That may or may not be true.  Much of what’s happening appears to be fulfillment of prophecy, signaling the tribulation and Christ’s return.  I’m not sure that you can make identical comparisons to the specific things happening although I do believe that we are living in the last days.  I just don’t know and am unwilling to say that those days are going to end soon.  Many people say that the position of Virgo, the sun, moon, and Jupiter were foretold in Revelations 12:1 and that yesterday started the final countdown.

Revelation 12:1-2 (NKJV)1  Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.2  Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.  
In my opinion, in order to believe that you have to stretch the imagination to the breaking point.    

Back to my point.   I do believe that we are in the last days, and if we are then our emphasis should not be on ourselves because we’re good.  We should be concerned about those not saved.  We, just like God, should not want anybody to perish.  

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)9  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

No matter who they are or how they have treated us.  That’s hard to do so we must rely on the Holy Spirit to help us do that.  We have to rely on His praying for and through us.

Romans 8:26 (NKJV)26  Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

We have to realize, as Stormie reminds us, that those people aren’t the enemy, Satan and his army of demons and evil are.  As she says on page 110;

Otherwise, we are battling people in another political party. People of another race or social level. Or the boss at work. Or the unpleasant neighbor nextdoor. Or the coworker from hell whom you have to deal with every day. If we start fighting with them, it not only exhausts us but doesn’t accomplish anything. If we are battling people instead of the forces of darkness, then we are only defeating ourselves.

Engage Because You Are Engaged

When I first looked at this section title I said that doesn’t make any sense however when I read it again it makes perfect sense.  In other words we don’t have time to spend with anyone other than our Savior.  We don’t have time to be concerned with the world’s issues, only our interceding for the world, but when we’re doing that we are talking to God who we are, in a sense engaged to.  Because of our relationship with him our focus is on Him which is worship, and worship is a spiritual weapon.

We can pray alone, and we should all have our own personal time with God when it’s just the two of you in your “God space”.  But there is a lot of power when we pray with others who are engaged to God.  Here’s what Stormie writes on page 111.

Jesus said you can pray alone—just you and Him in private devotion. Or you can pray with another person—a prayer partner. Jesus said, “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19). Or you can pray with two or more people—a prayer group. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). No other grounds are needed for praying with other people. The unity of believers praying together has power because of the presence of Jesus and the assurance of answered prayer.
When you pray with someone else, the Holy Spirit in you is connected with the Holy Spirit in them and your prayers are powerful because of it.


LORD, help me to engage with You in prayer every day in a powerful and effective way.
I want to see Your will done on the earth, so I choose to engage in this war against our enemy. I commit to hear Your call to pray for people and situations as You lead me.
     Thank You that You have given me protective armor, powerful weapons, and the promise that You are always with me. Help me to “cast off the works of darkness” and “put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). I know time is growing short because the enemy knows he has only a short time left to accomplish his evil plans. I know that as the time gets closer to Your return, the enemy wants as many hearts and minds sold out to him as he can get. Help me to always keep that in mind so that no matter what is happening in me, around me, or in the world, I am praying for Your will to be done.
     I am grateful to be part of Your great army of prayer warriors who have heard Your call to pray and are listening every day for Your instructions. I am excited to see what all You will do through our prayers. Help me to not sit in judgment on my prayers for Your answers. I commit to simply praying and leaving the answer in Your hands to accomplish in Your way, in Your time, and according to Your will. I want to serve You and Your plans because I love You and am grateful to You for all You’ve done for me and will do in the future.
Help me to stand strong in the simplicity that is in Christ. Teach me to identify true spiritual power and not feigned spirituality. Help me to not succumb to spiritual or theological quarreling with people because Your Word says it is never productive.  Enable me to always hear Your call to pray. Give me Your heart for people and the struggles they are in. Help me to pray right on target every time. I engage in the spiritual war because I am engaged completely with You and want to serve You well.
In Jesus’ name I pray.
Rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earthand the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knowsthat he has a short time.  REVELATION 12:12

Bible Study Audio

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday Night Bible Study At CDG - Your Worship Is A Weapon In Spiritual Warfare

In our Sunday morning Bible Study we are doing a study from a book written by Stormie Omartian, Prayer Warrior:  Praying Your Way To Victory.  In that study one of our sessions was Put On Your Protective Armor Every Morning.  That protective armor is the armor of God.  We’ve talked about the armor many times.  It’s described in Ephesians

Ephesians 6:11‭-‬17 (NIV) Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The armor of God protects us against the enemy in spiritual warfare but sometimes in order to protect ourselves we need to fight back to get the enemy off of us and to take territory from him.  For example if the energy  has created a situation that has caused us to worry or become anxious we need to take that territory back so that we have peace.   So in order to not become casualties of war or lose territory we have to become skilled at using our weapons.  Now since this is a spiritual war our weapons must be spiritual.  

2 Corinthians 10:3‭-‬6 NIV 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. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
We know that the Word of God, or the Bible, is a weapon because as a part on God’s armor, it’s described as the sword of the spirit, but there are weapons, they include  worship, grace, fasting with prayer, faith, and prayer alone.  What is common about these weapons is that their ammunition it ion or use if you will is through the sword of the Spirit.  The weapon that I want to talk about tonight's worship.  If you want to know how to use the others, the word, grace, fasting with prayer, faith, and prayer alone, you’ll have to get the book we’re using or read the notes in my blog.  

I’ll give you just a glimpse of the main weapon, the sword of the Spirit, and the I’ll get to our weapon of the night, which is worship.

The best example of effective use of the sword of the spirit are Jesus’ responses to Satan when he was tempted after 40 days of fasting in the desert after His baptism.  In Matthew chapter 4 Jesus drops quotes from the scripture, at that time, which would have been what we know today as the Old Testament,  and after dropping the third quote time Satan left Him!  

Matthew 4:1-11 (NLT)1  Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.2  For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.3  During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”4  But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”5  Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple,6  and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’”7  Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.’”8  Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him the kingdoms of the world and all their glory.9  “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”10  “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’”11  Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.

Satan left, but he came back later to harass Him through others.  If Satan kept coming after Jesus he will certainly come after us so we have to stay on our toes to make sure that we know how to use our spiritual weapons.  
To be proficient in the use of the sword of the spirit we have to know it and use it.  6When you read God’s Word and use it by repeating it often enough, it will become second nature.  You won’t have to think about it.  It will become second nature.  Having a weapon and not knowing how to use it can be like not having a weapon at all or even worse injuring yourself with your own weapon. We’ll have to talk about that someday.   

Now back to our spiritual weapon worship.  

The enemy despises our worship and praise to God so much that he cannot even be in the presence of anyone who is actively doing that. So whenever you want the enemy to flee, worship God. It is one of our greatest weapons in the war against him. And it is our correct response to God for all He has done and is doing in our lives.

The enemy hates your worship of God because his own greatest objective is to get you to worship him instead.

To be most effective this weapons has to be used the way that it was designed.  Just like a physical weapon is designed to be used in a specific way so are spiritual weapons.  Jesus who is the commander of God’s spiritual army, the Church, said that worship must be used in spirit and in truth.

Turn in your Bible to John 4:23-24
We all remember the story of the conversation that Jesus had with the woman at the well in Samaria.  If you don’t know the whole story you can read it in John chapter 4.  In the conversation, Jesus revealed that He knew this woman she had been married 5 times, and the guy she was living with now with was not her husband. This made her uncomfortable, so she changed the subject from her personal life to religion, asking why the Samaritans worshiped at Mount Gerizim and the Jews at Jerusalem.  Jesus’ response was that a day was coming when that it didn’t matter WHERE a person worshiped God.  What mattered was HOW they worshiped Him. He said they must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

John 4:23-‬24 NLT But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.  For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

So the question is just how do we worship God in spirit and in truth?  
Let’s first look at a definition for worship; it’s “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity”.  To Worship then, is to show reverence and adoration for (a deity); to honor them with religious rites.
Of course the deity we are talking about is God.

Eugene Patterson the creator of “The Message” Bible translation says that worship is “A tribute to God when He comes.”  

Worship is our response to God’s greatness.  It’s us, the created, responding to Him, the Creator.    It’s our spirits being energized in His presence.   
We worship when we come into God’s presence. God’s presence makes us who we are. His presence sets us apart from others. And every time we draw near to Him, He draws near to us.
We don’t have to be in a church or any specific place to feel God’s presence and worship Him.  Psalm 139 says that God's presence can be wherever are.
Psalm 139:7‭-‬12 NIV Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,  even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”  even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

We know that God isn’t confined to a church building or only available at certain times of day. So we don’t have to wait until we come to church or a certain time of day to worship Him.  We don’t even have to wait until we feel spiritual, because He’s alway present.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

The very last thing that Jesus said to His disciples, before He returned to heaven was that He would always be with them.
Matthew 28:18-‬20 NIV Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

There is nowhere we can go, no situation, no challenge, no relationship, no conversation where God isn’t present. Because of His great love for us, and His spirit at work in and through us, worship of Him will invade every nook and cranny of our lives.
When we worship God, we must understand and acknowledge how mighty He is and how insignificant we are. God is the King of the universe and all creation inevitably bows down before Him.

Isaiah 45:22-23 (NLT)22  Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other.23  I have sworn by my own name; I have spoken the truth, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess allegiance to me.”
In the New Testament in Philippians 2:9-11 Paul writes;
Philippians 2:9-11 (NLT)9  Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names,10  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Worship is all about responding to who God is and what He’s done for us. It’s about being so into God that we can’t help responding out loud or with our actions. Worshiping God is about focusing on Him.

God doesn’t require some kind of perfect, complicated worship act. He just wants it to be authentic and genuine.

Let me give you an example of phony worship.

Isaiah 1:10-15 NIV Hear the word of the Lord , you rulers of Sodom; listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah!  “The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?” says the Lord . “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.  When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts?  Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.  Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.  When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!
He didn’t say they weren’t bringing their sacrifices and offerings, in fact they were bringing them.  They were observing the festivals and feasts that God directed them to keep but because of their lifestyle He didn’t want to have anything to do with their worship.    

Jesus gave us another example of phony worship

Mark 7:1‭-‬13 NIV The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles. )  So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”  He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:  “ ‘These people honor me with their lips,  but their hearts are far from me.   They worship me in vain;  their teachings are merely human rules.’    You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”  And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe  your own traditions!  For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’  and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’  But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)—  then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother.  Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
Here’s what He wants in worship.

Isaiah 1:16-‬20 NIV Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong.  Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.  “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord . “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.  If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land;  but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

We should be so tuned into God that we’re feeling His presence in our lives in big and small ways.  It’s about who He is, what He does, and our response to those things. Worship isn’t about us. It’s about Him.

Still The Question Is How Do We Worship Him In Spirit And In Truth

As I said before worship is not to be confined to a place or a prescribed formula or actions.  Because of Christ’s sacrifice, death, burial and resurrection, worship became a matter of the heart rather than ceremony.

Here’s what Jesus said when somebody asked Him what was the greatest commandment.

Mark 12:28-‬30 NIV One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”   “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

To worship God in spirit and truth means loving Him with heart, soul, mind and strength.
True worship must be “in spirit,” engaging the whole heart which is the source of our emotions.   Unless there’s a real passion for God, there is no worship in spirit. At the same time, worship must be “in truth,”.    Jesus said that the truth makes us free

John 8:31-‬32 NIV To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

That freedom is what allows us to worship in spirit and truth.

We have to know who we are worshiping.  Unless we have knowledge of the God we worship, there is no worship in truth.  We get that knowledge from the Bible, God’s Word.  Remember, the sword of the spirit?  

Passion and knowledge are both necessary for God-honoring worship. Spirit without truth leads to a shallow, overly emotional experience that could be compared to a high. As soon as the emotion is over, so is the worship. Truth without spirit can result in a dry, passionless encounter that can easily lead to a form of joyless legalism. The best combination of both aspects of worship, spirit and truth, result in a joyous appreciation of God. The more we know about God, the more we appreciate Him. The more we appreciate Him, the deeper our worship. The deeper our worship, the more God is glorified.

Make Time

In everyday life, there are so many things pulling you in different directions. So many things fighting for your attention.  Things fighting for your worship.We’re either worshiping God or we’re worshiping something else. But we can’t worship both. Worship is how we respond to the thing we value the absolute most! The thing we spend most of our time thinking about, doing, giving the most attention to, putting all our energy into that's what we worship.

True worship is your response to how great you know God to be. We should worship Him with everything we have, everything we are, and everything we do.

There is a gospel song, by Richard Smallwood the title is “Jesus You’re The Center Of My Joy”.  

The lyrics of that song are;

Jesus, you're the center of my joy
All that's good and perfect comes from you
You're the heart of my contentment, hope for all I do
Jesus, you're the center of my joy
When I've lost my direction, you're the compass for my way
You're the fire and light when nights are long and cold
In sadness, you are the laughter that shatters all my fears
When I'm all alone, your hand is there to hold,
You are why I find pleasure in the simple things in life
You're the music in the meadows and the streams
The voices of the children, my family, and my home
You're the source and finish of my highest dreams,
Jesus, you're the center of my joy
All that's good and perfect comes from you
You're the heart of my contentment, hope for all I do
Jesus, you're the center of my joy

Worshiping God isn’t just something you do, it’s the way you live. Worship can be as intense as spending an hour every day in quiet time listening and talking to God. It can be something as simple as when you go to work, or to volunteer, or to  just talking to someone on the street or in the store,  and thanking God for the opportunity that He has given you to do whatever it is that you do. You realize that it’s because of Him that you get to do anything at all

To worship God in spirit and in truth is to declare that God is worthy of our reverence. We do this in spirit through our heart, the seat of our emotions, based on the truth of who He is, the truth of who we are, the truth of what God does and has done for us, and the truth of what is going on in our lives. We do it with a heart inclined toward God and in submission to Him. We worship God when our attitudes, actions, and words declare that He is worthy of our praise.

Here’s a quote from the book we are studying “There is nothing more powerful than worship of God. It can shake things up in the spirit realm and in our lives like nothing else can. It causes chains to fall off of people. If prayer in its simplest form is communicating with God, then praise and worship is the purest form of prayer”.
I want to end with the prayer that is at the end of the chapter,  “Become Skilled With Your Spiritual Weapons”

LORD, help me to understand what my spiritual weapons are and to become proficient inthe use of them. Teach me so I don’t forget for even a moment how powerful they are.Grow my faith to believe You and Your Word without doubt. I know that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are Your ways higher than my ways, and Your thoughts higher than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). Help me to think and act more like You every time I read Your Word and spend time in Your presence. Enable me to know Your Word So well that I have Scriptures in my mind and heart that become automatic weapons against the enemy of my soul.
Thank You for Your grace toward me, rewarding and helping me beyond what I deserve. When I face a mountain of opposition by the enemy, remind me to speak grace to that situation. I know that Your grace overrides any plan of the enemy no matter how much he appears to be succeeding. Help me not to be intimidated by the enemy’s force when the force of Your grace far exceeds any efforts of his.
Show me whenever I need to fast along with praying in order to accomplish all You Want to see done. Enable me to do it. Help me to fully understand all You have said in Your Word about what will be accomplished during a fast. I know that in obedience to You, a fast will undo heavy burdens, let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke (Isaiah 58:6).
worship You, Lord, above all things. Help me to worship You “in spirit and truth”   as Your Word says to do (John 4:24). I seek after You and long for You, just as a “deer pants for the water brooks” (Psalm 42:1). Help me to make praise and worship my first reaction to things that happen and the different situations that present themselves to me.
Lord, You have said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock,mand it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10). Help me to ask according to Your leading, seek to understand Your will, and knock on the doors You want opened. MEnable me to keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking and not give up. Remindme how these actions are weapons against the plans of the enemy so that only Your plans for my life and the lives of the people for whom I pray will be done. I thank You in advance for Your answers to my prayers.
Thank You that You are “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20). Thank You that no weapon formed against me or the people for whom I pray will ever prosper.
In Jesus’ name I pray.

Father, sometimes we are too embarrassed to celebrate you the way that we should. Please help us to worship you in spirit and in truth, without worrying about what other people might think.   We will use this weapon in our arsenal of spiritual weapons as we battle our enemy and yours for the souls of all those who have not accepted your Son as their Lord and Savior.  It’s in His name, the name of Jesus we pray Amen.

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