What’s Required for Authentic Worship? (Podcast)

Worship Q&A


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Dwayne Moore: How can we know if we’ve worshiped?

Remember, we talked about that and we talked about John 4, one of the places that Jesus talked about worship, one of the few places. Jesus replied, “Believe me dear woman the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about Him for salvation comes through the Jews.”

So he’s talking about worship. “But the time is coming, indeed it’s here now when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit in truth. The father is looking for those who worship Him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.” Remember we zoned in on that passage? “Those who worship must worship Him,” how? In spirit and truth.

Now there’s so much depth in here, one conversation and one class is not going to cover it all. You can read books on this and you’ll get so many different insights. I’m only one guy among and I’m not even an expert like some of them. I’m not a theologian, but I have my two cents to add to this. As I told you about that day at the lake when I was working through this, the qualifications that hit me about it that there are authentic experiences years of worship that every moment of my life can be an expression of worship even in the most mundane of ways. I’m writing about that right now. I’m going back and rewriting about it because I’m rewriting Pure Praise. It’s being re-released this fall. I told you that. Our publishers re-releasing it, which is very cool, and so were going back and re-vamping it a little bit.

We say in there, and I think it’s a Biblical idea hopefully. That everything we do can and should be worship. But the reality is, it isn’t necessarily if we haven’t confessed or sins, amen? If we haven’t committed it fully to God. If we’re not communing freely with God, we’re not worshiping. So everything I do is not necessarily worship unless I have that kind of heart behind it. Now that’s important. So what’s the qualifications that make it authentic? We need to know this. If we’re going to lead other people in worship this is a big, big deal to get, okay? That worship, first of all, has got to be initiated and led by the Spirit.

All the connotations of that, “In spirit in truth,” stuff there’s so much to it is hard to understand it all, but one thing I think it least we can take away is that if it’s going to be inside my spirit where it happens, my spirit needs to bear witness with His spirit and He needs to be the one that initiates the worship. Tell me if you disagree, but I can’t make people worship. Can you relate to that?

Student 1: Yes, very much. Very much.

Dwayne Moore: I mean I want to shake them sometimes and wake them up, but it doesn’t work. Sometimes I want to slap them or yell at them, it don’t matter. They don’t worship because I want them to. Doesn’t work that way.

Student 1: When I went, I’m working in a small church, a small country church, and I got real discouraged after about nine months into being the Music Director and I just said, “Lord, I look out there and these faces are just really like stone!” I said, “I’m just so discouraged.” And the Lord told me, He said, “What are you doing?” He said, “Are you worshiping Me? Are you looking for approval from them?” He said, “You worship me and forget about those that are out there and then they will see worship when you’re heart is truly connected to Me.”

Dwayne Moore: That’s good! Man, that’ll preach.

Student 2: Well, the Lord looks at the heart, he says. That’s what meant. He doesn’t look at the things man looks at.

Student 1: Right, right.

Dwayne Moore: That’ll preach.

Student 1: And so I just … I just worship now. I mean, it’s like, whether you’re going to worship along with me you’re going to see that my heart is towards God always while I’m worshiping.

Dwayne Moore: I wish we all got that, Rose. That’s good. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that.

Student 1: But it was hard, it was hard! It was hard learning that.

Dwayne Moore: It was a hard lesson.

Student 1: Yep.

Dwayne Moore: Yea it is! Well, yeah that’s what we’re saying right here is directly related to that idea that He has to do this and we can’t. So that’s the first thing. We got to worship in spirit so, therefore, it’s got to be by His spirit.

The second thing is that we set another qualification is it’s going to be authentic. He said, if you’re going to worship, you’ve got to worship in spirit and truth, therefore that’s the only way you’re going to truly have an authentic experience of worship, amen? I mean, that’s it! This is how it happens. It’s got to be led by the Spirit. It’s got to be motivated by the truth of God’s Word. It’s got to be truth.

We talked about this a few weeks going, I’m not going to harp on it again, I think I used the illustration then about seeing the sunset over the lake and thinking how beautiful it is and how a lot of people around like probably acknowledged it, but some didn’t do it in the truth of God’s Word, therefore for them it wasn’t worship. “Oh, I had a worship experience!” Not a true, authentic, Godly worship experience! You may worship the sun. You may have worshiped that Budweiser you raised up in the sun, but you don’t worship the one who made the sun unless you understand that He made it!

The truth is the heavens declare the glory of God. That’s the truth. The sun only shines to remind me … well, it’s one of the reasons it shines … is to remind us at that moment that our God is awesome! And the worship comes out of the truth. That’s why we’ve got to cling to the truth, man. We got to be rooted in truth. We got to make sure our worship is clearly supported and motivated by the truth. If you want to lead other people in true worship you got to give the truth. The truth is what will set them free, amen?

Student 1: Amen.
Student 2: Amen.

Dwayne Moore: “For God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth,” minus the drama that I got into last time. I like to be dramatic. You’d better be patient with me on that, but I’ll try to skip the drama this time and remind you of what I said. That I walked around with the ducks and the squirrels for a while before I finally figured out that there was a third requirement for authentic worship. That those who worship, not everybody in the room was going to worship, those who worship, though.

Those who worship. Jesus himself acknowledged not everybody will worship. “Those who worship must worship in spirit and in truth.” So, there is a third qualification that’s that is got to be humbly, deliberately, allowed by the individual. I believe this with all my heart and you may not. You may be of the school of thought … and I had a guy on my staff that felt this way, so I respect it if you feel this way … that if you’re in a room of worshiping Christians, somehow you get kind of sucked into that moment and you also are worshiping. Nah, I don’t think so. I just don’t see that.

I believe that there’s something extremely powerful and unique and special about being together with the corporate body. I am a big proponent of gathering together. I’m not a fan of livestream worship on a regular basis. Can we talk? I mean, I love it I think it’s a wonderful tool and thank God for people that are shut ins that can see the service. I’m not putting it down, my point is, if you can gather with the saints, Hebrews 10 says go do it because there’s something powerful about gathering the coals together because they did they just get hotter when they get together. Amen?

Student 2: Yep.

Dwayne Moore: However, we’re not coals, we’ve got a soul! And we’ve got a spirit and we’ve been we’ve got a brain that decides whether I’m going to be there or not and if I’m going to enter into worship.

Worship is a choice. I believe that. I believe it’s part of the theology I understand about worship is that I confess my sins, I commit myself fully, and I commune with God freely. I cannot be made to do that and just because I’m in a room of them … my friend says just because human you were born in a Baskin Robbins does not make you a flavor of the month … doesn’t make you automatically that because just you are there. You can be there and not be a worshiper. I believe that, you may not, but you have to figure out what you believe. This is very important. It will affect the way you lead people in the future. It’s a big deal. Go figure it out.

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