Tag Archives: true worship

The Golden Calf of Religious Service

Deuteronomy 9:15-17
15
“So I turned and came down from the mountain while the mountain was burning with fire, and the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands.16 “And I saw that you had indeed sinned against the Lord your God. You had made for yourselves a molten calf; you had turned aside quickly from the way which the Lord had commanded you.17 “I took hold of the two tablets and threw them from my hands and smashed them before your eyes.

Here we have two scenarios side by side: a mountain burning w/ fire, Moses the prophet, and the law. Right next to it you have all of the nation of Israel caught up in idolatry and false worship. In the midst of the Lord revealing His glory and His Holiness you have a rebellious people doing their own thing and calling it worship. The people did not want to stand before God, they wanted Moses to go to the mountain and hear God on their behalf. Perhaps deep down in their hearts, they knew that if they got a revelation of a Holy God that they would have to change and quite simply they didn’t want to do that. There is something within man that prefers religious duties over being transformed by God. It is part of the sinful, Adamic nature to follow the path of least resistance. Change requires discipline, discipline can be uncomfortable, difficult, very challenging, it costs! However the price to remain the same cost us nothing and if we add a little religious activity to the cost of not changing then we can get a false sense of working for our salvation. We can walk out of the church, prayer meeting or Bible study feeling like God is really proud of us, after all look at how much of our time we just sacrificed for Him. However, God’s will is not directed to how much time we sacrifice in religious activity, the measure of true spirituality in the sight of God is always obedience, “…to obey is better than sacrifice.”

Romans 12:1-2

1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Our true worship does not lie in how many church services we attend, not how many hours we spent in prayer or even how much we witnessed to the lost this week. Obviously all of those things are very important, however our true worship lies in the discipline of learning and obeying. Learning not to be conformed to this world, learning from our divine mentor Truth that transforms our thinking and transforms us! That is true Worship a transformed Life, lived in holiness before a holy God!

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Gideon vs. Baal – The Restoration of True Worship

A few random thoughts inspired by the Biblical account of Gideon

It is interesting that baal the false canaanite god is often symbolized as a bull. There is also a prominent part of our society that is also symbolized by a bull:

A bull market tends to be associated with increasing investor confidence, motivating investors to buy in anticipation of future price increases and future capital gains.

It is known to us through Scripture that in the last days man will be totally corrupt. So much so that it is actually compared to the days of Noah. It was in the days of Noah that God become grieved that He had created man because the thoughts of man’s heart had become evil continually. Also Scripture tell us in that day that they would begin to call that which is evil, good and that which is good they will call evil.

It is interesting that in the Scripture God gives us types of this phenomenon happening. For example Gideon was told by an angel to destroy the altar of baal that was worshiped by the people.

The altar of baal represents a false god and a false spirituality that was worshiped and held in high regard by the people. Just as Gideon who was a prophet of God was commanded to destroy this false worship, in the same way God is raising up prophetic voices to bring restoration and reformation in the Body of Christ. The prophet is so powerfully anointed and equipped with God’s Word in His mouth that His delivery of that Word is the embodiment and manifestation of the true and living God to the hearers. The man indeed becomes his message.

As soon as the news traveled throughout the community of what Gideon had done, the townspeople whom consisted of mostly Israelites wanted to stone Gideon. Isn’t interesting that in their own law, which they professed to adhere to, it says that idolaters must be stoned to death. Therefore we have the scenario of the Israelites wanting to stone the one who exposed their idolatry, which in fact was the very punishment that they deserved for such a sin. Surely we can hardly find a better example of calling evil good and good evil.

The life call and mission of the prophet is to restore true and genuine worship of God as He in fact is.
-Often the false has to be destroyed first
-Then the genuine can be rebuilt

Gideon had such favor from God for the task he was called to that even the Midian armies whom God was sending him against, knew his name. So it is with God’s favor today, that we do not need to promote ourselves, but only allow the Lord to promote us to where He wants us to be.

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The Gospel is Power

atomic blast, powerful explosion 1 Corinthians 4:19-20 (NASB)
19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power.
20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.


1 Thessalonians 1:5 (NASB)

5 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

2 Corinthians 3:5-6 (NASB)
5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,
6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

The gospel is not the presentation of an idea, it is a demonstration of power. It seems like there is a lot of presentation going on in the church, yet no demonstration. If we are to return to an apostolic model for the church, then there must be a return to a demonstration of power. I am not speaking of our flakey charismatic services, I am speaking of the wind of the Spirit sweeping through our lives bringing it’s fire and producing, not a pseudo-spiritual experience, but bringing a lasting and eternal change. The one thing that contrasts idolatry with true worship is that people cling to idolatry because it demands no changed life. True Worship of God demands a changed heart! The worship of a false Jesus has prevailed in our land because it is a Jesus that demands no change, cost us nothing to serve and therefore people can temporarily relive the soulish burden and guilt of sin and religious obligation until the following Sunday or Wednesday night. People go to church and receive a bible “presentation” although everything they hear may be doctrinal, factual etc.., however as correct as the presentation might be, if the Spirit does not breath on those words and give them life, then the presentation actually dulls the hearer instead of enriching them. We need foundational ministers, vessels filled with the very life of God, to be restored into the body to bring back the demonstration of the Gospel and shame those who have clung to the dead presentations. Only then will God be glorified in the church, because currently with our dead presentations, we have only succeeded in bringing reproach to His name.

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