WorshipBro. David Chancellor
5/16/2004 11:00 AM
1 Kings 18:25-29
And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
We want to consider what worship is about and what it means to worship and serve God. Many things are done in the name of religion. We know that falseness is out there, and we want to find the true. There are many false ways that we dont want to be taken up in.
These priests were really involved in their religion. Many today are involved in their religion. The question is, does it meet the need of the soul. Elijah mocked the practices of this religion. It was an empty religion. These put on quite a demonstration, but it didnt meet the need of the soul. Leaping, jumping, and shouting can be quite a demonstration even today, but it doesnt meet the souls need. Self-mutilation doesnt take care of the need of the soul. Mankind needs that which can take care of the need of the soul.
Matthew 6:7-8 (Vain Repetition)
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
The prophets of Baal cried the same thing from morning to noon. Vain repetition doesnt apply only to prayer. Other things can be repeated over and over, too. Some chant, some have repeated forms, etc. Repetition doesnt meet the need of the soul. Singing the same chorus is used to pump up people in the Pentecostal movement. This wont meet the need of the soul. Emotional stuff doesnt take care of the souls need. Christ knew that religion could be reduced to repetitions. Humans are creatures of habit, but worship doesnt have to be repetitious. Yes, we read and pray daily, but we dont read the same verse or pray the same prayer every day. Repetitions dont have in them what the soul needs. God already knows your needs. The communion with God in prayer gives us what we need.
Colossians 2:20-23 (Self-Sacrifice)
Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as thou living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
This isnt speaking of self-denial. This form of worship is dwelling on outward forms and rituals. The forms and rituals wont meet the needs of the soul. This political year, theres a pull between the Catholic church and the Catholic politician. They use communion to signify their spirituality and salvation. These Catholic politicians claim to believe like Catholics until it becomes a political issue. Just taking communion doesnt make you spiritual. Something has to happen in the soul. Some people put their hope in self-sacrifice. Self-sacrifice wont meet the spiritual need within.
1 Corinthians 1:21-24 (Signs and Wisdom-Seeking)
For that after in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
You could enter into great intellectual sophistication without meeting the need of the soul. Did the message intrigue your mind, or did it satisfy your soul? For some, the essence of their religion is intellectual stimulation. The main concern is, Does it meet the need of the soul? The truth goes beyond something for the mind and gets down into the heart.
Some want the supernatural. They want great visions and signs. Where is the need of the soul met? The real supernatural experience is when God saves you and removes your sins. Some are placing their hope of heaven in the fact that they were physically healed at some point in their lives. The question is, Has God freed you from sin? Has the need of your soul been met? People get into witchcraft for the seeming supernatural experience. Witchcraft is simply modern paganism. Supernatural experiences arent what you build your salvation on.
Does it change the condition of your heart and the direction of your life? It takes a relationship with God to meet the need of your soul. Until we humble ourselves and repent, and seek Gods forgiveness, our need wont be met. We pour our heart out to him, and he fills it with something better. The blood of Christ is the answer for the soul. We need to rest in what HE did, not in what we have done. It requires a work in the soul. Religious forms wont meet the need of the soul. Christ has provided a way to deal with the needs of the soul.
Theres a true religion and a vain religion. The vain religion doesnt meet the need of the soul. The true religion is that which changes you. The true religion comes from God and Christ, and it meets the needs of the soul. We want to have what God has for us.