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Facing the Wall Sermon Notes

November 2, 2009

Here are the notes from the message I gave at church today regarding worship.  The title is drawn from Don Potter’s book and his story of how he learned who worship is really for.  I also drew some insights and quotes from Matt Redman, John Mark McMillan, Richard Foster, Bob Kauflin and Mark Driscoll.

Facing the Wall – 11-01-09

We’ve been talking about things (vitamins) we need in our relationships over the last few weeks.   One of the key things we need in our relationships as a body and in our relationship with God is worship.

God is so serious about it that the first two commandments are to Serve and Worship God only.

This is a vast and sometimes divisive subject and I want to deal with the heart of the issue.

  • Don Potter intro and story
    • Book “Facing the Wall”
    • His story
      • Pro Musician – Judds
      • Saved and decided to serve God with gift because he was good at it
      • God kept him from that for 15 yrs
      • During that time God had him “face the wall” – spending alone time in worship to learn who worship is for and what it is all about.
      • We have specific images that come to mind when we hear the word worship
        • Music, lifestyle, expressions, lack of expressions, etc.
        • I want us to take a look at some questions today regarding worship and prayerfully make some discoveries as people who are called to worship
  1. Why do we worship?
    1. Why did you get out of bed and come to church today? You didn’t have to.
      1. i.      Is it routine? Is it the cultural norm?
      2. ii.      Is it fear? Is it pride?
  2. 6 people in 3 situations
    1. i.      Habakkuk 3:17-18 – He is distraught over the evil in his day among his people and wants God to do something about it. God is going to raise up the Babylonians who were more wicked than they to bring judgment upon them. It’s going to be rough, but he knows it will be God’s mercy upon them for their good. So, he gives this worship/praise to God.
    2. ii.      Acts 16:16-40 – Paul and Silas deliver fortune teller girl from spirit and shut the business down.  Owners complain and they are beaten and thrown in jail.  At midnight in prison, in stocks, they are worshipping.  The other prisoners were listening.  God moves in power, brings salvation, and sets them free all bringing glory to Himself.
    3. iii.      Daniel 3 – Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego – In the face of Death would not worship an idol, but God alone.  God saved them from death brought glory to himself.
  3. What is it that they understood that drove them to live sacrificial lives of worship even when it was hard, painful, costly?  THEY UNDERSTOOD THE WHY
    1. i.      It wasn’t about their circumstances, their personal ideas of what God should or shouldn’t do for them.
    2. ii.      It was about God – It was about His nature
      1. Matt Redman says, “Worship is about God, to God, and for God.”
    3. iii.      GOD WAS THEIR GOD – First Commandment. There was no other option because nothing else was God!
  4. Why? He is God!
    1. i.      Talk about our idol problems  – what is your God? What drives your decisions? Who are you seeking approval from? What’s your goal in life? What’s your savior?
  5. Why? Because of mercy!
    1. i.      Romans 12:1 – “Because of mercy”
    2. ii.      Romans 5:8 – “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us”
    3. iii.      We were lost, hopeless, no future, no way out and He came and had mercy on us!
    4. iv.      Bob Kauflin’s perspective – nothing about our worship is acceptable, but in Christ God receives it as if His own Son is offering it.
    5. What should worship look, sound, and feel like?
      1. Define Worship
        1. i.      Greek word – proskuneo – to kiss the hand
        2. ii.      Hebrew word – shachah – to fall or bow down
        3. iii.      Psalm 95:6 – Subject to the king!
        4. iv.      English word literally means – worth-ship to ascribe worth to
  6. We all worship – the question is what.
    1. i.      Examples car, church, church methods, person, money
    2. ii.      Story of my panic about flying with Joe guitar
      1. Stewardship versus idol
      2. Fear or freedom
    3. iii.      What do you sacrifice for and what are you sacrificing for it?
      1. Family for job? God for girl? Offering of praise for dignity?
  7. If worship is giving or ascribing worth to – then worship costs.
    1. i.      2 Samuel 24 – David and altar
      1. God was angry with Israel and David and punishes them
      2. David goes to worship God after realizing his mess, he comes to the realization that he is sinful and he has to give God all
      3. Read 21-24
    2. ii.      It’s about sacrificial giving “Living Sacrifice”, “giving a sacrifice of praise”
      1. Singing is important and part of it, but it’s about your whole life
      2. That will impact our time, talents, finances, physical expressions, relationships
      3. It’s not about how much do I have to, it’s about first.  Give first – the upmost.
      4. It’s obedience even when it’s costly.
  8. We all have preferences. That’s a great thing!
    1. i.      Problem is when we decide our preferences are God’s
    2. ii.      Tell Pharaoh Pharaoh story
    3. iii.      John Mark McMillan quote “Our common expressions (of worship), even the most traditional, still look relatively nothing like those of the bible . . . and that’s ok because “it” (the way of worship). . . seems to be more about the level of our authenticity not the precision of our mimicry”
  9. God’s not after our ritual and repetition he’s after the authentic based on His word lived out in community.
    1. i.      A.B.C.
      1. Authentic – overflow of private
      2. Biblical – scriptures are our guide (psalms, Jesus “rejoice”)
      3. Community – cooperate expression – gathers, teaches, encourages
  1. What are the results?
    1. Worship Declares – 1 Peter 2:9
      1. i.      We are His, He is our God, We Declare – this involves every area of our life
        1. How you living out there?
        2. How you living in here?
    2. ii.      He is glorified on the earth
      1. The world will see
  2. Worship encourages and teaches – Colossians 3:16
    1. i.      Want to know God more?  Then do it!
    2. ii.      You will grow more by practicing what you know, not just hearing more of it  – James – “Be doers”
  3. Worship transforms lives
    1. i.      We are changed by what we declare, are encouraged about, and teach. The presence of God changes us
    2. ii.      Isaiah encountered the presence of God and discovered his true self
    3. iii.      We discover the love of an adoptive Father – we discover our identity
    4. iv.      Richard Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline, “If worship does not change us, it has not been worship.  To stand before the Holy One of eternity is to change.  Worship begins in holy expectation and ends in holy obedience.”
    5. Close
      1. Habakkuk worships because he sees the mercy in God’s correction
      2. Paul and Silas worship because they know God, God moves in power in their lives, saving people and setting people free
      3. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego have no fear, even of death, because they know their God and He is faithful
      4. We worship because He is our God, because He has shown us mercy
      5. It will cost us everything but we gain everything

It declares God to a lost and dying world that needs him desperately, draws us together, and never


From → Worship

  1. Tim York permalink

    Thank you so much for that sermon and for the notes. It was an awesome Word! You are a great pastor and as awesome friend.

  2. Thanks buddy, it was a great study for me this week. The Lord really worked though some major things in my heart as I studied through it.

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