And Abraham rose early in the morning and sat on his donkey and took two of his young men with him, along with Isaac.
Then he cropped wood to build a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place where God had told him to go.
On the third day of the journey, Abraham saw the place in the distance.
"Stay her with the donkey," Abraham told the young men. "The boy and I will go yonder. We will worship there and come right back."
Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac's shoulders, while he hiself carried the knife and the fire. As the two of them went on together, Isaac said, "Father?"
"Yes my son," Abraham replied.
"We have the wood and the fire," said the boy, "but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?"
Look at verse 5:
"Stay her with the donkey," Abraham told the young men. "The boy and I will go yonder. We will worship there and come right back."
I want to talk from the subject go yonder to worship.
I am an advocate for the church, I have always loved the church, and there are some people who don't love the church. But I love the church. I loved the church before I was in it. I always had respect for the church, ever since I was little. When I was little I'd walk along the road swearing with my friends, and when we got to the church, I'd tell my friends to shut up til we got past the church. We would kinda tip toe past the church, because we didn't want to wake God up, and when we got to the other side, we'd continue where we'd left off. But I always had respect for the house of God.
There are some things that I think could be improved about the house of God, particularly the inhabitants, also the methodologies of teaching, because the church makes the terrible mistake of being so focused on taking people in that we don't disciple people once they have arrived. What happens is you get an influx of people coming into the church who basically have never been discipled and don't understand what church life is all about. So they come in here and puke up the same kind of lifestyle they had out there, they just santize it a little bit, and they try to do the same things that we do over here.
There are certain clique's that are born out of the church and we just assume everybody knows what they mean, like "anointing", "he's anointed", and people don't necessarily know what the anointing means. Someone was "slain in the spirit." But they don't always know. I didn't realize that people didn't know what that meant unitl a reporter was writing about a service and it was talking about how the pastor touched the people and they fainted.
And it occurs to me that people who are in the church, not all, but some, really don't understand what they see. And it can be confusing, because if you came from a club where there was loud music, and it had a nice beat, and people we're movin' to the music, and they were clappin a little bit, and the music had phraises, cliques, that stuck with you, you came from a club like that, and then you came into the church, and the church had that kinda "thump" associated with it also, I mean you could easily mistake the church for the club. Before long you're in it, and you're swaying, and you're grooving, and you're just gettin down for Jesus.
But the truth is that church is not the club. And though we use terms like "this is a worship service", suddenly I begin to realize everybody doesn't know what that is. Even amongst those who have been in church for years, because after you've been in church for awhile you are expected to know, you are expected to have some understanding when in reality you intimidated to say " I don't know what that means", and after awhile you grow up not knowing what that means, and you teach bad information, because you never get the chance to learn what any particular statement means. So it is with the term worship.
It occurs to me that millions of people leave home on Sunday mornings and come out to the synagogue, or the church, or the church of their choice, to enjoy a worship service. Most of which will not be worshipping at all. That is not to say that by any vain, lofty, imagination, that in the however many people in my church that chose to my make my church -home, know what worship is. To the contrary, I am very concerned, that a large percentage of people, who belong to my church, may not know what worship is. And though I am called to the body at large, I am assigned to this local assembly, and it is very very important, that in the place that I am assigned, if nothing else, you have a good working knowledge of what worship is.
It is not just dressing up, putting on your sunday clothes, coming out to church, let us entertain you, enlighten you with religious connotation. Worship is not that, worship is not the resitation of a song, or a hymn, or the repeating of a scripture, or the bowing of your head, or the lighting of a candle, or the smelling of the incense, or skipping, or dancing, or however you express. It is more than that. Worship is not an external issue at all, it is a matter of the heart, it is an issue of the spirit, it is the deepest part of you, reaching out to the deepest part of God, and it is challenging because there are no other areas in our lives that ask of us what worship asks of us. Worship requires that you worship from your spirit, when you marry people you don't marry them from your spirit, when you marry it's a fleshly covenant, it's cut through the flesh, its consumated through the flesh, marriage is for this world, it's not for the world to come. There will be no marriage's in heaven, according to scriptures. When you get a job, nobody hires you for your spirit, if you don't believe that, stay on for a week, and tell them that your heart was there. They hire you for what you think. Your intillect, or what you can do with your body, so you didn't get your degree because you were spiritual.
So you have probably never had to use your spirit, for anything before, and most of you come to church for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks, and I'm really glad to see you, you come in here, draggin your body like a corpse you set it down, set it on a pew, sit for an hour and a half, look important, get up, drag your body back to the house, put away your brain, never use your spirit, and walk outta here.
Have you ever really had, a worship experience? I mean a real worship experience. I don't mean going to a building that has worship overtop of it, and going to a place that has a big cross. I mean have you ever had a real worship experience, mind renewing, heart fixing, gully washing, downpouring, overshadowing, power of the Holy Spirit, that took you outta your flesh, beyond your mind, and into a realm of the spirit, where your heart and mind were taken for a ride, and you went home and just passed out?
And for a lack thereof, we of the pentacostal persuasion, have become very physical, and we have very physical excersises, and we praise God clamborously, but particularly, we are rhythmic anyways, and whatever we do, we do it loud, so we praise God loud. But the moving of the body, does not neccessarily constitute the turning of the heart, and in the book of Joel, it says render your heart and not your garments.
God said I wanna see your heart twisted and not your flesh, I'm not concerned about your external's, I'm concerned about your internal's having a vibrant experience with the Holy Spirit.
And after years of worship, amongst all cultures, churches, races, genders, I am convinced that very few people have had a worship experience.
Worship is important, and it is important to God. I wanna remind you that in the gospel of St. John 4. When Jesus comes down to the well, leaves his disciples, and sits down by the well, to wait on this one woman, to come down to the well, because this woman, potentially could be a worshipper, and there are people that read this, that can be a potential worshipper, and it's not because she is so deep, so spirited, so consecrated, and so holy, no. In fact she is the opposite of all of that, she is a disfunctional, disjointed, discombobulated, confused woman, I have ever seen in my life. Yet Jesus, waits all day to see this woman, who has been married 5 times, and is currently living in sin. And Jesus waits all day. Let me tell you something, on behalf of the business people of the world that a businessman doesn't have all day to wait on anyone. But Jesus waited all day to see this woman. And when she finally shows up he asks her for something. "I thirst give me drink."
The whole conversation started not with what she needs but what he needed. "Give me to drink." She's suspicious, she said you have nothing to draw with. She thought he was trying to hit on her. Woman were continuously at that well, and if you were a distinguished man, and you wanted to meet, a possible candidate, and you were interested in interchaning an intimate exchange with possibilities of granduer, then the well was an appopriate place to do so. She thought he was trying to shake her down, and she said you have nothing to draw with.
Jesus said " If you knew who I was you'd be asking me for water."
And this whole conversation is strange, and this kind of conversation goes on between, often times, people who are interested in each other, about one thing, but you are really talking about something else. Now don't sit there and act like you've never had one of those conversations. Where you were talking about one thing, but you were really talking about something else. They were never really talking about water, Jesus didn't need a drink, and Jesus said woman if you knew who I was you'd ask me for water. In fact if you drink of my water, you'll never thirst again. And they couldn't have been talkin about water, because do you really think that when this woman left the well, she'd never drink another drink of water.
When we got saved, did we drink water?
So in all likelihood they were really not talking about water. But they are using the word water metaphorically to describe a spiritual principle, because in the neccessity of the body, which the body is largely composed of, and I don't have water even above food, I will die. And water is to the body, what worship is to the spirit.
Could it be possible, could it be possible, that you are spiritually dehydrated? Though you are well fed on the word, could it be possible, that you are spiritually dehydrated, because you have not had the water of worship applied to your life, to quench the thirsting of your soul, as though you have gathered information and become more intillectual, and you've got more tapes, than the library of congress, and you've got all kinds of books, and all kinds of study material, could it be possible that you are a beast of burden with a load of books, and you are really not having a worship experience? Could it be possible that you have learned alot about God but you haven't learned God, could it be possible that you know more about God than you know Him, could that be possible?
Could it be conceptually correct, that you'd be in church and be thirsty? Somewhere along the way the conversation progresses from water to worship. And she says "my people worship in the mountain". This is a church woman. She knows what church she goes to, she knows what they believe, she knows where they worship, she's full of it, she's got five husbands, and a thingamajig, but she's a church woman.
She hits him with "we worship in the mountains." Jesus said " you know not, we worship in Jerusalem, but the hour cometh when they that worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth" "For the Father seeks such worshippers."
So in other words if you stay in the mountain and we stay in Jerusalem, we're both going to miss it, because the power of God is not in the mountain, it's not in Jerusalem. It's in the spirit. Then He says God is a spirit, and they that worship Him, must worship Him, in spirit, and in truth.
Suddenly you recognize it was not about the water, it was always about the worship. And you begin to wonder, whether on the mountain or in Jerusalem, it makes no difference, and be completely dehydrated. Because you've not really had a spirit experience with God. Is it possible that you changed one style of gyration for another style of gyration, but your soul is not being quenched of its thirsting, because you're still approaching God the way you approach everything else, either through your body, or through your mind, and never through your spirit? If that were possible, and I certainly don't want to insult your intelligence, and I don't want to diminish the authenticity, or the legitimacy of your faith, and you may be so anointed that you float to church, and don't even need a car.
And I respect that, and if you did, take center stage, I wanna hear what you got to say!! haha.
But if it is possible, that you've not had a real worship experience, even though you may have been in church for years, even though you come to worship services, could it be possible that you are missing something? That could enrich your life?
One of the signs of this woman not having a worship experience, although she had a church experience, is that she had a series of failed relationships, could it be possible that she had been married 5 times, and had a thingamajig once or twice because she was trying to get something from men, that she could only get from God?
Could it be possible, that some of the frustrations with your job, and with your career, and with your ministry, and with your this, and with your that, and with the other, is that you're trying to get something out of the flesh that only comes out of the spirit? And though you are good enough, and nice, and respectuful enough to come to church, could it be possible that you are coming to a worship service and not had a worship experience? Could we risk the humiliation of admitting that we don't know anything to propose the question of not knowing what real worship is, even to those of us who are "spiritual"?
Could it be possible that we are praise teaming, and leading people into worship, teaching tapes on worship, and writing books on worship, preaching sermons about worship, and not worshipping?
The first time in the bible where worship is used, in this tense is used in the book of Genesis. Chapter 22. When Abraham, has taken his son Isaac, the long awaited son, he has waited all his life to finally get this boy, and now God wants him back. God has a way of wanting your best stuff. The thing you waited all your life to get. But God doesn't want to give you anything that you worship more than Him.
In fact the word worship, comes from two words, worth ship. And when you worship, you give the worth of something, it is to tell what it's worth. And God doesn't want anything in your life to be worth more than Him.
So when you give to God something that is worth something to you, you are saying He is worth more than the something you gave to Him. And people who find it difficult to give God certain things, like people, like money, like time, find it difficult because whatever it is, is worth more to them, than Him.
That's why He said you cannot serve two masters.
Speaking of God and mammon. Mammon means money. Either you'll love the one or hate the other. Sometimes it's difficult for people to bring money, because money is worth so much.
Isn't it? I mean isn't money worth so much?
Until your baby's sick, until a crisis comes, money is really worth something, until you get older and suddenly it really doesn't make a difference whether you have it or not.
What is God worth to you?
Worth- Ship, worship, the hebrew terminalogy that's rendered here is saying that me and the lad are going yonder to worship. Literally means to prostrate yourself. To humble yourself, to lay yourself flat on the floor, and before you get in your mind that everybody who is standing up is not worshipping, understand, its just not a matter of laying flat on the floor, because we could all do that, and still not worship.
But that is a physical rendering expressed with an inner attitude toward God, where you see yourself humble in comparison to Him. You let Him be exalted, and you fall on your face, in humility before Him.
In the old testament, most of the people who had a real God encounter, fell on their face before God, and they didn't get up til God said get up. Not only that, in the new testament, when John heard a voice, it sounded like a trumpet, he fell as if dead, before God. When Ezekiel saw the presence of God, and saw a wheel in the middle of a wheel, he fell flat on His face, in the presence of God, and God had to speak to him, to raise him back up on his feet again. There is something about seeing the magnitude of God, and the worth of God, that makes you lay prostrate on the floor, like Isaiah, and say I am a man of unclean lips and I've dwelled in the midst of unclean people.
Me and the lad are going yonder to prostrate ourselves in the presence of God...we will return.
And here goes Abraham leaving his house, leaving the familiar, because you cannot begin to have a worship experience until you leave the familiar.
To leave the ordinary, to leave the mundain, to leave that which you are related to, to leave that which is your home base, is the beginnings of worship. And I'm not just talking about geographical locations. I'm talking about coming out of your comfort zone. Some of you have never had a worship experience because you must stay within your comfort zone, you must stay with people, who look, smell, act, think like you, and do like you do, and you're never willing to risk the incubation of your atmosphere to have a real God experience because you seek the approval, of those around you, and if everybody doesn't approve of what you do, you're not ready to have a real God experience.
I'm gonna stop this right now, I'll finish later, it's gonna get worse :). If you don't like this so far, don't bother reading the next part. It's gonna get worse.