PREPARING OUR HEARTS TO WORSHIP

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   This article was written in Spanish by my good friend and brother in Christ, Heiner Montealto. He asked me help on the translation into English which I gladly did. Two Costa Ricans, one back in Costa Rica, the other in Panama, both Gospel preachers, one studied at Brown Trail, the other in Memphis, but with the same love for our heavenly Father, and for the church which His only begotten Son bought with his own blood. Hope you enjoy this great article written by Heiner. God bless you!
   ​I am very happy for this opportunity to write, and particularly, about this important topic. You might probably be heard the phrase “let us prepare our hearts to worship”. There might not be anything wrong with the phrase but, in these few lines, we wish to watch this phrase a little more closely. One Sunday morning, very early, a sister called me urgently and told me the following: “Brother, today I’m not going to church because I feel a little bit sad!” I will not provide more details about our sister’s affliction, the problem was not about attending that Sunday, the real problem was, as simple as it might seem to be, the same that hundreds of Christians experience today, they have not been able to understand the biblical concept of worship, and it is for that reason that I hope the following lines can be helpful.

   Let me start with a couple of examples and then we will walk together towards the definition. It is very interesting to be able to observe how, in the Old Testament, David bowed toward Saul (1 Samuel 24:8). David recognized the authority of someone who was superior to him: in power, in majesty, in dominion, in positions, etc. The act of bowing before him is evidently an act of self-humiliation and recognition of his own condition. Cornelius, even before he heard Peter preach, bowed before Peter to worship him, but Peter did not allow that to happen (Acts 10:25). Therefore, in both examples there is a combination of a physical act with a spiritual one. W. E Vine[1] helps us to define worship: shachah is the Hebrew term and proskuneo the Greek term that denotes the action of prostrate oneself, bow down, do reverence to. Now, what is the point of all this with our subject? Dear reader not a single time in more than 170 occasions in reference to adoration, the Bible shows that it is an act carried out with the heart in the emotional sense. In fact, in many passages the authors as inspired by the Holy Spirit exhorts us not to trust the heart (Jeremiah 17:9). We do not “go” to the church because we are sad or because we are happy, we “meet” with the Church (I think this phrase is better because we are part of the Church and not only “goers” to it) because we recognize the Lordship of God, because regardless of the state of mind or tribulations that we are going through, God is still superior to everything, to everyone, and in that everything I am also included. Every Christian should attend every meeting of the Church with this one premise in mind, God is undoubtedly superior to everything and therefore I bow, willingly, to his majesty and his infinite greatness, moreover, let me suggest that when a Christian decides to change church services for a football game, or for a family dinner, etc. … such an individual has not known the true God of the Bible.

   True worship is vividly captured in Exodus 34:8 which says, “And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.” I ask myself, how many times did Moses heard the voice of God? Without fear of being wrong I am sure that many and repeated times, however, it is shocking to observe through this short verse that Moses was still impressed to hear God and he was overwhelmed to contemplate his majesty in contrast to human imperfection, such knowledge causes Moses to worship. In Revelation 4, in my humble opinion, is the most sublime expression of worship. There were 24 elders, thrones, living beings among other interesting symbols to represent the worship of heaven towards the great white throne; the angels, their armies, the archangels, all these spiritual beings, powerful and superior than us in power, all of them worshiped, bowed, and humbled themselves before the Almighty being. So beautiful! If they, being powerful beings, rendered such tremendous worship, how much more we must do? If they worshiped so impressively as created beings, how much more do we, the ones for whom the second person of the deity (Christ) offered himself in ransom and remission of our souls?

   Worship has nothing to do with the mood of the heart, it has to do with the position of the heart in relation to the Lord, Isaiah expressed the following,

“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).

   To prepare the heart to worship as Isaiah did, the one whom also said “Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Isaiah worshiped, just like Moses because they had previously seen the Lord. If you can pick up the above verse, note the phrase “mine eyes have seen the King.” In order to prepare the hearts to worship (and I dare to go a little further), to be able to carry out the act of worship itself satisfactorily in spirit and in truth you need; to see the Lord, you need to contemplate with your eyes his majesty, his greatness, his glory. Of course, this is not carried out through an emotional “trance”, much less an epiphany or night vision. Your eyes can see the Almighty Lord when you study His written Word correctly; the Bible. You can contemplate the majesty of God through the Gospel, note:

“Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:5).

   Only one verse before this one, it is written “… when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge …”, the written word of God can reveal who God is and what He wants you to do.

  Let us prepare our hearts, let us get to know the God who has made Himself known (Acts 17:11-30), not only read but study, not only listen but apply. The God of the Bible can be known, and I assure you when you really get to know Him you will fall down, your heart will crumble before the Creator and you will want to worship Him just like John did, just like the spiritual beings did, “to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever” (Revelation 4:9).

ENDNOTES
[1] ​Vine’s Concise Dictionary of the Bible

Author

Heiner L. Montealto, Costa Rican. Graduated of Brown Trail School of Preaching, class of 2014, in Bedford, Texas. Since his return to Costa Rica, he worked as the local evangelist in Bagaces, Guanacaste, and directed the 1st Biblical Conference “Estad Firmes” (Stand Firm). A writer for the digital magazine “La Palabra Publisher” and also write articles in Spanish on the blog http://churchofchristarticles.com/

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