Sacrifices & Trust

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Psalm 4:5 - Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord

I have an amazing wife. She is truly God’s gift to me, and I know I out-kicked my coverage with her!  One of the things I so admire in her is her decisiveness. If I say I’d like Chinese for dinner, typically I mean Chinese sounds good, but I can easily be swayed into Mexican food and be just as happy with it. But, if my wife has Chinese on her mind, I’d best not bring home Mexican food. She knows what she wants, and if I want to please her, I need to get what she communicated to me.

Do you know, that in worship, God is much the same? Hebrews 9:1 says, “...the first covenant had regulations for worship.” AW Tozer said, ‘Nobody can devise their own pattern of worship or worship God in any way they please. The pleasure here belongs to God alone.”

For many, the time of worship in a church service is a time for THEM. It is for them to be refreshed, filled, recharged. It’s a time for them to connect with God, to be comforted and blessed.

There is nothing wrong with any of those things. As a matter of fact, they are all good things. But in real worship, they are to be the RESULT of worship not the REASON for worship.

Worship is first and last about God. We were created and designed to worship Him. This is so deep in our DNA that we will always worship something. Harold Best, the dean of Wheaton School of Music calls it “unceasing worship”. He says that we are wired in a way that we will always worship something.

In our society we often call people we worship Idols. (God calls them the same thing.) Or we may worship work, family, social justice, politics, or if you live in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Steelers. All good things, but not things that deserve our ultimate allegiance.

Only God, the maker of the universe, redeemer of humankind, can claim that place. He alone deserves our ultimate allegiance. And, therefore, only He has the right to dictate what that worship should look like.

In the old testament law, He gave the priests, Levites and the people very specific mandates on exactly how worship was to be performed. And if it wasn’t done to those exacting standards, it was not accepted.

If we enter worship for our pleasure first, neither God nor we will be fully satisfied.

For us in the New Testament times, we are no longer bound by the letter of that law, but God still demands we worship in very specific ways.

He is however, little concerned with the outward adornment-liturgical, contemporary, charismatic, Emergent or whatever methodology we choose to embrace for our worship. But, He is profoundly interested in the state of our heart toward Him in worship. He desires that we worship Him in Spirit and truth. Led by the Holy Spirit and aligned correctly to the truth in His Holy Word-of who we are (imperfect, fallible, but beloved children), and Who He is (Holy and worthy of our praise).

That we lay ourselves as living sacrifices at His feet. That we bring a SACRIFICE of praise-sometimes it is difficult to praise, but we are to bring that sacrifice none-the-less. We are to rejoice in the Lord always, worship Him with thanksgiving and reverence. We are to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude.

If we enter worship for our pleasure first, neither God nor we will be fully satisfied. But if we enter worship with our eyes focused on Him, in Spirit and truth, He will be well pleased, and we will be blessed.

Questions for Thought:

  1. How in church services have you made worship about yourself?

  2. What does Jesus mean in John 4 when He says we are to worship Him in Spirit and Truth?

  3. What is worship that is pleasing to God?


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Dan Shields

Dan began as part of the Music Team in 1995 and in 1998 became a full time member of staff.

He is known for his skills on lead guitar. Dan leads the band by recruiting musicians and creating the musical excellence that is a cornerstone for Orchard Hill. He has a BA from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA from Duquesne University in Music Performance (Jazz).

Dan and his wife, Lidija, and their three children live in Wexford.