Serving the community since 1970

The meaning of worship

And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey.

the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”

Genesis 22:5

What a peculiar statement by Abraham! Here he is about to sacrifice his only son on the Altar of God, and he calls it worship! When the story is examined further and thought thoroughly the statement and proclamation of worship makes perfect sense. For in this event in the lives of Abraham and Isaac we find a perfect definition of what is true Biblical worship.

Abraham it seems had elevated his only son Isaac to a place in his life that up to this point had been reserved for God. Abraham had been faithful to build altars for the worship of Almighty God at various places and in particular circumstances throughout his experiences with God in his sojourn. However, Isaac had replaced this experience. So, God asked and received absolute obedience from Abraham in His monumental request to sacrifice his Son to his Heavenly Father.

How does this have anything to True Biblical Worship, you ask? Glad you asked. In this challenging episode in the life of Abraham and his unfailing act of obedience, we can derive a definition of biblical worship. You see worship is more than the singing of songs, hymns and spiritual songs, or the shouting of amen or hallelujah, or even the quiet meditation of prayer.

True Biblical Worship only happens when in the life of the believer he/she puts everything that means anything to themselves on the altar of God and says in obedience “Here Father take these and return only those that will make me more like thee!” (Romans 8:29) The key to this is to place everything that means anything…that can be family, relationships, cars, bank accounts, careers, hobbies, and football teams. It is easy to put liver and lima beans on the altar or anything you can not stand anyway; but what about those things you absolutely adore?

When this happens, and may I hasten to say that this is a daily act of surrender not a one-time event, true unaltered, uninhibited, and free worship will break forth. God will be restored to His rightful place as Sovereign in your life and the wonder and awe of His majesty will flood one’s soul. The small and large things that seem to encumber our lives will be engulfed in the arms of His unfailing love and unending care.

So, do you desire to experience the fruitful existence of biblical worship? Build an altar, put your prize possession upon it and allow your Heavenly Father return and bless those things that will mold you into the image of our dear Savior.

Have a wonderful week preparing for the greatest (my opinion) holiday on the calendar, Thanksgiving, and give thanks for all He has provided.

Jim Neal is pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church in Shafter.


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