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The Worship Effect

They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless.” 2 Kings 17:15 (NIV) 

Few would suspect that our first exposure to the word “worship” in the Bible is the story of Abraham and Isaac.  Picture it:  A father and a son trudging up the mountain, the father knowing that he would return alone, leaving the slain, charred remains of his only son behind on the pile of stones.  Did he put his hand tenderly on the shoulder of his son as they climbed?  Did he look longingly at son, trying to fix his image in his mind one last time?  Did he leave pieces of his heart in the path with each step?  Maybe.  Why did he do it?  The key is his statement to his servants:  “I and the lad will go yonder to worship.”  It was not an unreasonable demand of an overbearing deity.  It was worship.  

True worship makes you vulnerable.  It opens you up to the most extreme influence, dominating control and overpowering effect that can possibly be exerted on you.  Jesus said, God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”  John 4:24. Worship is not just physical exuberance, theological orthodoxy or appropriate music genre.  It is Spirit and Truth!  Spiritual transformations happen in worship.  Your mind, your values, your convictions, your understanding—all these come into play in the act of worship.  The worship effect is why it was paramount for Jesus to defeat Satan in the third and final temptation.  If Jesus would have worshipped Satan, He would have lost his identity, His mission would have been forfeited, or He would have ceded His authority and power to another.  

You submit to the authority and power of whoever you worship.  You cede control to the object of your worship.  If you worship the devil or the flesh, you open yourself up to evil influences that exist in the world.  Romans 1:21-25.  If idolatry is dangerous, then true worship of God in Spirit and truth has an equal and opposite effect!  Something transformational happens.  A seismic effect impacts your heart and mind, body and soul.  “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John … they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”  Acts 4:13. It is said that if a husband and wife live together long enough, they begin to look like each other.  While this seems hyperbolic, it often appears that way.  You cannot live in close association with someone without taking on their traits.  Two persons experiencing all the same things draws them closer together.  If we, as the Psalmist said, “dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” we will begin to look like the One we live with. 

Worship causes something of God to rub off on you.  He commutes to you His value and worth.  Worship opens the gate into your soul.  When you worship Jesus, you begin to take on the attributes, attitudes, preferences, sounds, and looks of Jesus.  Apostolics have strong, unflinching beliefs.  We call them convictions.  It has to do with the dynamic of worship.  We do not water down the doctrinal message of the Apostles because we want to worship God in Spirit and in truth!  We do not compromise our message with other belief systems.  We do not change our appearance to conform to the styles and trends of the world.  Why? Because Psalm 29:1-2 says, Give to the LORD, O you mighty, give to the LORD glory and strength.   Give to the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”   

Never discount the act and practice of worship.  It is not to be taken lightly.  You are profoundly different because of Who you worship!  It is the worship effect!

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