Closer: How To Worship Instead of Worry
Psalms 105:4 ESV – Seek the Lord and his strength(Help); seek his presence continually! (Worship)
Worship is more that just music. Worship is when we elevate God in our lives. There are several different ways we can elevate God in our lives. Every aspect of your life can be an act of worship. Worship is the first purpose of life. You were created to know and love God. That’s called worship.
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV – Do not be anxious (Worry) about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Pray and let God Worry – Martin Luther
The Bible says you’ve got two alternatives – worry or worship. You can decide what you’re going to do this next week. You’re going to have problems this week – I guarantee you. You’re going to have problems. You’re going to either worry or you’re going to worship. The antidote to worry is worship. The antidote to anxiety is to adore God, to ask God. The antidote to panic is prayer and praise. Worship is Asking, worship is Believing, worship is Confessing, it is Depending, it is Expressing and it is Finding.
Anxiety – Uneasiness about future uncertainties; to divide, to rip, tear, or part
Worry – To strangle or choke, suffocate, always examining what can go wrong. It’s destructive.
•Dog with a bone; “worries” on it, gnaws, bury it, dig it up, growl at you
I Peter 5:6-7 NIV – Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you
Corrie Ten Boom said; “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God”
Swedish proverb – Worry gives a small thing a big shadow
We are not designed to carry stress, anxiety, or worry. Remember this – The shadow of a dog never bit anyone
“Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bare; All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer” Joseph Scriven
Worry is rooted in suspicion, doubt, insecurity, and fear. When we choose to worry, we’re relying on ourselves to face whatever happens alone. We focus on our own limitations and lose confidence in the ability of God. No matter what the source of our worry, the Bible addresses it directly:
Worry is Unreasonable, Unnatural, Unhelpful, Unnecessary
Matthew 6:25-30 NIV – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
Do not worry about your life. It’s not a suggestion, it’s a command. God did not design us to worry, He designed us to worship. So, how can we choose to worship instead of worry?
5 Ways Worship Will Remove Worry
2 Chronicles 20:1-2 NIV – After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites[a] came to wage war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom,[b] from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar”
Ask God for help FIRST!
Asking God for Help is Worship
2 Chronicles 20:3-4 ESV – 3 Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.
Ask – to want or desire something for which you are willing to sacrifice. Asking helps us bring clarity to our direction and desire.
Matthew 7:7-8 ESV – 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
God Makes Outrageous Promises About What He Does WHEN WE ASK
John 15:7 ESV – If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Anything: any thing whatever; something, no matter what: a thing of any kind. in any degree; to any extent; in any way; at all:
What is the “Anything” you are worrying about? ASK God First!
I John 5:14-15 ESV – 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
2. Believe God Can Handle Your Situation
2 Chronicles 20:5-7 ESV – And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, 6 and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. 7 Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?
When we are worried, we must focus on God’s strength thru worship
“Faith is the art of holding on to things in spite of your changing moods and circumstances” CS Lewis
Romans 4:16-17 ESV – 16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
”Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe” –Augustine
Ephesians 1:17-19 NIV – I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength
Ephesians 3:20 NIV – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, (The MSG: “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!”)
There is no situation in your life too difficult for God to turn around. Only believe! We get what we believe for!
3. Depend on God to Help Me
When we say, “I’m depending on you, God,” God says “Good, Relax! I’ll help you!”
“Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude — an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God.”- Arthur Pink
2 Chronicles 20:12-17 ESV – O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 13 Meanwhile all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 14 And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”
“We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.” Oswald Chambers
“Worship isn’t crawling though a small hole to some theological wonderland. It is falling back upon God and finding that He is everywhere and anywhere you can fall.”
4. I Express Thanks To God
Before the problem is solved we must start Thanking God in advance for Victory
2 Chronicles 2:21-22 ESV – And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.” 22 And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.
“To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us — and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.”- Thomas Merton
Psalm 100:4–5 (ESV) — 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! 5 For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Sometimes the circumstances of our lives are not always the best. In fact, they may be downright bad, but still, we are to look for something to be thankful for! And there is ALWAYS something positive for which we can be thankful!
I Thessalonians 5:18 NIV “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
God says “I want you to be thankful in all circumstances.”It does not say “for all circumstances”. You cannot always be thankful for the circumstances, but you can be thankful in the situation. I know that God is working all things for good. He has a pattern and He fits even the bad things in our lives into that pattern for good. God’s purpose for my life is greater than my problems, so in everything I can give thanks. Not “for”, but “in”.
Ephesians 5:19-20 NIV – “Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When you look at the whole of the Bible, you’ll discover that it’s not people-centric. It’s God-centric. Everything points back to who God is. And our reasons for being thankful begin, and ends, with God.
example: We were watching an amazing movie the other night, A Theory of Everything, about Dr. Stephen Hawking & his first wife Jane. I told the kids he is an atheist. Evan asked, “what is that?” I said he doesn’t believe in God. A few moments later I asked Tricia, “at 73 he is still alive, how can he have lived this long with ALS?” Evan responded out loud with the answer, “God”. You are brilliant son, absolutely brilliant
“It’s not happy people who are Thankful, It is thankful people who are happy”
“He who forgets the language of gratitude can never be on speaking terms with happiness”
5. Find Blessing in the Bad
God wants to give us blessings in the battle. In every trouble and trial God has a blessing for us.
2 Chronicles 20:24-27 ESV – When Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked toward the horde, and behold, there[a] were dead bodies lying on the ground; none had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found among them, in great numbers, goods, clothing, and precious things, which they took for themselves until they could carry no more. They were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah,[b] for there they blessed the Lord. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Beracah (Blessing) to this day. 27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies.
Charles Dickens said, “Reflect upon your present blessings…not your past misfortunes”
No Struggle is ever Pointless
Romans 8:28 ESV – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.
God Has a Blessing for the Battle
“Stay battle ready! When things go badly, it’s not the end of the world. When things go well, it’s not the end of the battle.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NIV “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
“God who foresaw your tribulation, has specifically armed you to go through it, not without pain, but without stain.” CS Lewis
I Peter 1:3-9 NIV – 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.