WORSHIP OUR GREAT SACRIFICE
By Dan Luehrs
There is no doubt we are living in what I would call a worship revival. Everywhere you turn some church is putting out a New Worship CD after the great successes of Hosanna Music and Bethel Church in Redding, California. I am very grateful for all the true worship songs that are coming out of the hearts of God’s people and is lifting the spirits of so many saints into the presence of God.
"But the time is coming — indeed, it’s here now — when the true worshippers will worship the Father spiritually and truly, for these are the kind of people the Father wants worshipping him. God is spirit; and worshippers must worship him spiritually and truly.” John 4:23-24 (CJB)
I take this verse to mean, [God is everywhere and can be worshipped anywhere and at any time. However, He wants to be worshipped from the heart and not just us mouthing words that have not heart felt emotions.] True worship is the attitude of the heart continually and spontaneously! I am not sure about all of God’s people, but my heart is always singing a song to the Lord no matter what is going on in my life.
A PROPHETIC EXPERIENCE
I was awakened in the middle of the night by an Angel that called himself, The Revelation of Jesus Christ. He taught me about the Tabernacle in the wilderness, and how we personally are the daily sacrifice being offered up. I exhort you, therefore, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer yourselves as a sacrifice, living and set apart for God. This will please him; it is the logical “Temple worship” for you. Rom 12:1 (CJB). Another version says, “This is our reasonable service to God.” What this means is, as the priests serviced God in the Old Testament temple, they offered up daily sacrifices; so now we also are doing the same thing unto God in the temple that we are. He does not want dead animals sacrificed any longer, no He wants living sacrifices that worship Him with their whole heart! This is truly amazing because we are the ones who truly get blessed when we enter the presence of God and receive His joy, strength, and anointing as we soak up His presence. We enter His heavenly realm through thanksgiving and praise. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. Ps 100:4 (NASU).
Our daily sacrifice is when we choose to give up our own will to do His. Choosing to do the will of the Father is our daily bread just as the priests ate the show bread in the temple each day, the bread of His presence gives us life when we partake of Him, the Blessed Bread of Life. Give us each day our daily bread. Luke 11:3 (NASU). We receive His life in our temple that we live in as we spend time partaking of His presence and word.
The fire on the Brazen Altar was to never go out, there was always wood to burn the sacrifice on hand. I was shown that the fires of our life are our daily trials that test us and they will not go out until the day we die. Jesus said that each day has enough trouble of its own to deal with, and that is the truth!
I was shown that the cross of Jesus is a type of wood that was upon the altar and that it is still the center of God’s attention when it comes to true worship that touches the heart of the Father. I saw Jesus on the cross with His arms spread apart as the symbol of true worship and sacrifice. In fact, I cannot get the picture of Him on the cross out of my head. Today we see worship as someone holding their hands up singing. But the true worship is going on in the heart of the one singing, saying to God, “I don’t understand why I am going through this, but I choose to worship you as Lord of my life no matter what!” Job is a picture of what true worship looks like.
“Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Job 1:20-22 (NKJV)
It was through this hardship that Job received many times more than he had before the trial. I can tell you first hand that I have found God faithful in this when I have chosen to worship in the midst of the storms of life. He is a faithful God! I don’t understand all His ways, but after 35 years of serving Him He has never failed me even though I have failed Him over and over.
I was shown that greatest worship was done on the cross and when we do the will of God we also are worshipping on the cross with our arms open wide. This is the cross that we are called to carry as we are the living sacrifice on it. And He was saying to them all, " If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. Luke 9:23 (NASU). The cross simply is the will of God for our lives. And when we hang our sin and will on the cross continually we are dying to self and becoming more like Christ. It’s the cross, it’s the cross! We must stay focused on the cross of Jesus in our heart to keep us focused on the goal of our high calling, which is us coming into the very likeness of Jesus Christ.
PRESENTING OURSELVES BEFORE THE LORD
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. Job 2:1 (NASU)
Again there was a day, today is that day when, we, the sons of God can come (present) ourselves before the Lord of glory. The word (again) means to do something more than one time. Because of the blood of Jesus we can again and again present ourselves to the Lord anytime we desire for just one purpose, which is to spend time with God worshipping Him and getting to know His heart.
We live in a most amazing day because of Jesus’ death upon the cross, we have forgiveness of all sin and have access to the throne room of God. All Christians pray in one form or another for themselves, family, and friends. However, I do not believe most Christians present themselves before the Lord and take the time to enter the presence of God just to seek His face because they are hungry for more of Him. One must make the time to want to spend with God, we make time for what we love, if we truly love God we are going to want to know Him more and more.
I believe why most people do not want to spend time with God is because they have to be quiet and take a look at themselves, and we do not always like what we see inside or in our past. Even as Christian’s we are just broken human beings that need love every day to keep us going, even though we may not feel like we deserve the love of God. I see love as an invisible spiritual energy that keeps our spiritual heart alive as we worship and if we do not get love we will find ways to cover the pain that is in our heart. You see, when we have quiet time we look over our life and are reminded of all our short comings, but when we know the heart of a loving God we can breathe in His love and forgiveness. “He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Rom 8:11 (NKJV). His Spirit is the life energy that we can gain or lose every day by us taking the time to get in His presence and just soaking up the life/love of God, for this is what we are created for, LOVE! This only comes from getting our eyes off of ourselves and on to a God Who loves us, this is true spiritual worship. Worship is God’s way of escaping the battles of life to breath in His presence that gives us strength from day to day. The enemy has stolen true worship from much of the church.
AN ENEMY COMES ALONG
We have an enemy that wants to stop us from coming into the presence of God. “Another day came when the sons of God came to serve Adonai, and among them came the Adversary to serve Adonai.” Job 2:1 (CJB). The word, (adversary), means to stand against, to hinder, or stop. We know that Satan wants to stop us from spending time in the life/love of God any way he can, he has in league with him the human heart of sin that is not totally dead to sin and selfishness. The unregenerate heart is the accuser of the brethren that stands in the midst of all of us. “…The accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night” Rev 12:10 (NASU). Our own heart will keep us from worshipping God and receiving His love if we do not know the Scriptures and the endless love of God that He has for us no matter what is going on in our life. He know all, sees all, and hears all that is inside of us from the very beginning of time, yet He calls us to be sharers in His life giving presence daily.
Every time we come into God’s presence the flesh is looking at it self and telling us that we are not worthy to be there. In ourselves we are only worthy of hell, but we are not talking about coming to God through our own works, but only by the cross/blood of Jesus.
When I was a teenager I would receive Lutheran communion on Sundays and would pray, “Lord forgive me of my sin, I will try to be better this week.” The truth of the matter is, that unless we see ourselves in the presence of God through the blood of Jesus we will never be good enough, we will always be striving in the flesh to somehow make a better showing so that we feel better about ourselves. We need to get over ourselves, God accepts us just as we are! Just as the old song goes, “Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that Thou bidst me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, and waiting not.” This is a daily thing we get to do, otherwise we will not come to God to receive life/love from Him. Just as we all need encouragement throughout our day from one another we must run into the Father’s arms to receive His love and not the condemnation of the adversary and our flesh. God takes you just as you are, this is true worship in spirit and truth of seeing who we are and Who He is!
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. Zech 3:1 (NKJV)
Joshua was a high priest that was called to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, He would have been the first high priest of this new Temple. However, he was not just called to be a priest alone, he was called to be a King and High Priest! (See Zech 6:13). What is so interesting about this is, only Melchizedek and Jesus had this title. What we have in Joshua the High Priest, is an Old Testament type of Jesus building the Temple as a sign of what Jesus would come and do for us, however, we are the Temple of God that we worship in, not some building somewhere.
Why is this so important? Because we the sons of God are called to this very same office as Jesus, King/Priest. “And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth." Rev 5:10 (NKJV). Even though Joshua was called into this high office, Satan opposed him, and in fact, if we are called into this high office with Jesus we can take it to the bank that Satan will oppose us anyway he can. He works in conjunction with our flesh to wear us out over our own faults and uncleanness just as he did Joshua.
And the Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes." And I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by. Zech 3:2-5 (NKJV)
This is such good news for us! If you are like me and look at your own uncomeliness and are asking the Lord, “Why do you love me?” Then I think we are in the same company as Joshua, yet he was called and appointed by God to be a king/priest.
"Take silver and gold, make an ornate crown and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. "Then say to him, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts, "Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord. "Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.” Zech 6:11-13 (NASU)
This is like the story of Joseph from rags to riches, one who came from the pit into the palace. And that is what God has done for every one of us, we just don’t see it or understand it fully yet. It is interesting to note, Joshua’s fathers name is Jehozadak, it means, (the justice of God). This is the justice of God, when we deserved hell Jesus died for our sins to welcome us into His kingdom, and not just to serve Him, but to reign with Him upon the throne.
When I read for the first time and heard the story of Joseph I was in my twenties. When I read that he was placed on the throne I shouted and cried because of the goodness of God to this young man. And somehow I knew that we also are called to such and office but did not have the understanding as to why. But now I have greater understanding that the God of love wants to share His throne with us because of His great love for us and wants to be with us. That truly is amazing! No wonder why Satan opposes us, because we are such a threat to his kingdom of darkness. That darkness was on Joshua the High Priest, but the God of glory cleansed him and prepared him for the office of priest and king. Worship no matter what, no matter how you feel about yourself at the time, for God has cleaned you and has put a crown of glory upon your head as you receive the justification of Jesus Christ.
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