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MB #047: You can't afford to get this wrong

mission briefing Feb 11, 2024

Read time: ~5 Minutes

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What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us...We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian but of the company of Christians that compose the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God. - A.W. Tozer

We have to pursue getting this topic right otherwise so much in our lives can go haywire and we often won’t even know it. 

Why does what we think about who God is matter so much?

Simply put, if you think wrongly about God, you’re going to come up with a version of God in your mind that isn’t true to who he is. When you pray, worship, and adore him, you’ll be worshipping a figment of your imagination, an idol, a false God. 

This is why Jesus tells us in John 15:7 that if we remain in him and his words remain in us, our prayers will be answered. If his words remain in us constantly, we’ll become aligned with the will of God and aware of the character of God. How we worship, think, and act, as well as what we pray for changes as a result. 

Turn to Malachi 1:10. God just rebuked his people for being flippant and half-hearted with their worship. What was God’s response? 

“Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands. My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty."

God prefers that we not engage in worship at all if we’re not going to come with clean hands and a pure heart. Oh that we would shut the doors and quit! 

So that begs the question then, what does it look like for a Christian to have pure worship today and how is it connected to how we think about God?

Let’s start with Proverbs 9:10. It says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Colossians 1:9-11 says “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might”

Ephesians 1:17 says “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”

Did you catch it? We need wisdom and knowledge that comes from The Spirit. We need God himself to give us a richer revelation about who he is. Only then will we know the true God. 

Then, we have to acknowledge his majesty, mercy, grace, and holiness. He cant be some tack-on to our life where he fits in wherever we allow him a small amount of time and space. He must be central, leading and directing us from his rightful place on the throne in the heavenly places. 

Hebrews 8:1 says “…we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places…”

Revelation 22:1 says “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb”

Isaiah 6:1 says “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted; and the train of his robe filled the temple.”

And lastly, Hebrews 12:2 says “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

I want to propose to you the pathway to pure worship that God adores and enjoys from us:

1. Each time you enter into praise, worship, prayer, gatherings, etc., first acknowledge God's holiness and majesty and ask The Holy Spirit to help you to properly see Christ high and lifted up, seated on the throne, above all other thrones and dominions. 

2. Rehearse for a moment, the Gospel of Jesus. For the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross, for you and me. It’s his righteousness that allows him the power to sit at the right hand of the Father and intercede for us. If he didn’t ascend to the right hand of the Father, then you and I are toast. Everything hinges on this final stage of victory. Meditating on your King enthroned will position your heart properly. 

3. We now have set the stage for stepping in with clean hands and a pure heart, to worship God in spirit and truth. Barnes writes in his commentary “A pure, a holy, a spiritual worship, therefore, is such as he seeks - the offering of the soul rather than the formal offering of the body - the homage of the heart rather than that of the lips.”

I suppose the point of this issue is this, men: Stop just going through the motions. Don’t flippantly offer your praises and prayers just so that you can do your duty as the husband, father, and leader of your home. Stop allowing yourself to see our Holy and mighty God as some accessory to your day or week. 

Remember that God says “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands. My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.

Until next week - spend some time here. All the diets, workouts, and mindset hacks in the world are worthless if we don’t first start here. 

Be blessed,

Chris