Chapter 30: Cultivating a Life of Worship

God’s Timing

The first thing we need to understand about God’s timing is that it is perfect, just as all of God’s ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30Galatians 4:4). God’s timing is never early, and it’s never been late. In fact, from before our birth until the moment we take our last earthly breath, our sovereign God is accomplishing His divine purposes in our lifetimes. He is in complete control of everything and everyone from everlasting to everlasting. No event in history has put so much as a wrinkle in the timing of God’s eternal plan, which He designed before the foundation of the world.

Patience is a spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22), and Scripture makes it clear that God is pleased with us when we display this virtue: “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7), for God is good to those who wait for Him (Lamentations 3:25). And our patience often reveals the degree of trust we have in God’s timing. We must remember that God operates according to His perfect and foreordained eternal schedule, not ours. We should take great comfort in knowing that, when we wait on the LORD, we receive divine energy and strength: “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). The psalmist reiterates: “Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14).

When we question God’s timing, it is often because we are looking for guidance or deliverance from a difficult situation. We can rest assured, however, that our heavenly Father knows exactly where we are in our lives at every moment. He either put us there or is allowing us to be there, all for His own perfect purpose. In fact, God often uses trials to strengthen our patience, allowing our Christian faith to mature and become complete (James 1:3-4). And we know that all things – including these difficult trials – work out for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28). God does indeed hear the cries of His children and will answer those cries according to His perfect will and timing. “A righteous man may have many troubles; the LORD delivers him from them all” (Psalm 34:19). The plans God has for His children are good plans – to help us, not hurt us (Jeremiah 29:11).

What is God’s Grace?

We experience God’s grace because God is gracious. In Exodus 34:6, when God is showing himself to Moses, we read “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Gracious is used here as an adjective describing God. It is one of his attributes.

Gracious, the Hebrew word channun, in its verb form, means to be considerate, to show favor. That God is gracious would mean that he is favorably inclined toward us. That he wants to show favor to us. To do what is best for us.

God is gracious. Graciousness is not something that he puts on and takes off depending on the situation. He is always gracious. He does not decide to show us grace. Rather it is just who he is. Because he is gracious he demonstrates grace in everything he does.

Grace is the Hebrew word chanan or the Greek word charis, meaning “the state of kindness and favor toward someone, often with a focus on a benefit given to the object.” (Strong’s Greek 5485).

Grace is what God does because he is gracious. Every action of God toward us involves his grace. His creation, his providence, his conviction of the sinner, his gift of salvation, his equipping of the saints, and the future he has prepared for us. All of this is due to God’s grace.

It is impossible to discuss adequately God’s grace without also mentioning love and mercy. These three attributes are closely related. And it is common to see them used together.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Because of his love, God, who is rich in mercy, saved us by his grace. Where does love end and mercy start? Or mercy end and grace begin? I don’t believe you can really draw a line between them. They are not really three different attributes. All three are simply different ways that we as humans see God.

The Unfathomable Riches of Christ

When anyone accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Savior they are instantaneously enriched with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3) and declared to be complete in Christ (Col. 2:10). In fact, the Apostle Paul refers to these blessings as “the unfathomable riches of Christ” in Ephesians 3:8. “Unfathomable” is the Greek anexichniastos which means “past finding out, unsearchable, not to be tracked out.” The idea is that the believer’s blessings in Christ are “too deep to be measured.” Many of these blessings, however, are clearly defined for us in the Bible.

  • In the eternal plan of God: Rom 8:29
  • Reconciled: 2 Cor 5:18-19
  • Redeemed: Col 1:14
  • No condemnation: Rom 8:1
  • Related to God through propitiation (the satisfaction of God’s holiness): Rom 3:24-26
  • All sins removed by His efficacious blood: 1 Peter 2:24
  • Vitally joined together in Christ for judgment of the old self “unto a new walk”: Rom 6:6
  • Free from the law: Rom 7:4
  • Children of GOd: 1 John 3:7
  • Adopted (placed as adult sons): rom 8:15
  • Acceptable to God by Jesus Christ: Rom 3:22
  • Justified: Rom 5:1
  • Forgiven all trespasses: Col 1:14
  • Made near: Eph 2:13
  • Delivered from the powers of darkness: Col 2:13-15
  • Translated into the kingdom: Col 1:13
  • A gift from God the Father to Christ: John 10.29
  • Partakers of the holy and royal priesthood: 1 Pet 2:5
  • Chosen generation, a holy nation, and a people of God’s own possession: 1 Pet 2:9
  • Have access to God: Eph 2:18
  • WIthin the “much more” care of God: Rom 5:9-10
  • His inheritance: Eph 1:18
  • Our inheritance: 1 Pet 1:4
  • A heavenly association: Eph 2:6
  • Heavenly citizens: Phil 3:20
  • Of the family and household of God: Eph 2:19
  • Light in the Lord: Eph 5:8
  • Vitally united to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: 1 Thess 1:1
  • Blessed with the “first-fruits” and the “earnest” of the Holy Spirit: John 3:6
  • Glorified: Rom 8:30
  • Complete in Him: Col 2:10
  • Possessing “every spiritual blessing”: Eph 1:3

The Sovereignty of God

The sovereignty of God is the same as the lordship of God, for God is the sovereign over all of creation. The major components of God’s lordship are his control, authority, and covenantal presence.

The sovereignty of God is the fact that he is the Lord over creation; as sovereign, he exercises his rule. This rule is exercised through God’s authority as king, his control over all things, and his presence with his covenantal people and throughout his creation. The divine name, Yahweh, expresses this sovereign rule over against the claims of human kings, such as Pharaoh (Exod. 3:14). Because God is tri-personal, however, his sovereign control is not impersonal or mechanical, but is the loving and gracious oversight of the king of creation and redemption.

His control means that everything happens according to his plan and intention. Authority means that all his commands ought to be obeyed. Presence means that we encounter God’s control and authority in all our experience, so that we cannot escape from his justice or from his love. When theologians talk about “divine sovereignty,” they usually have the first of these in mind, his control. Indeed, the Bible teaches that God controls all things. He has an eternal plan for all of nature and history (Eph. 1:9–11).

So even though Scripture teaches that God controls everything, we should not think of his sovereignty as an impersonal, mechanical determinism. God’s sovereign lordship is deeply personal. As Lord, God not only controls everything (efficaciously, universally), but also utters commands, words of life, that graciously govern the ongoing life of his creatures. And as Lord he has made a sovereign commitment to be “with” those who are his. Indeed, God’s sovereignty is a broad concept, including all that God is and all that he does, even embracing his love.

The Power of Our Praise and Worship

The word praise means “the offering of grateful homage in words or song, as an act of worship: a hymn of praise to God”

Worship on the other hand in the New Testament the Greek word most often translated “worship” (proskuneo) is “to fall down before” or “bow down before.” Worship is a state (an attitude) of spirit. The nature of Christian worship is from the inside out and has two equally important parts. We must worship “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).

Worship is a deeper form of praise. Everyone can praise God, but not everyone can truly worship as when you worship every part of you is involve: your mind, body and spirit. You get personal with God as you come from the outer court to the holy of holies where you physically or spiritual prostrate before God

  1. Worship pulls down the glory of God. When you worship God the Bible says he inhabits the praises of his people, or he sits enthroned on the praises of his people (Psalms 22:3). What this means is that when you starts to praise God he comes down in your midst and inhabits your praises.
  2. Praise and worship breaks yokes and brings deliverance. One of the first thing the enemy does when we are facing difficulties are going through our trials is to play with your mind as our mind is where the battle is either won or lost. He will come and play with your mind, tell you that you’re worthless, you cannot accomplish this or that or he will come and remind you of what you are currently facing. He loves when you focus on your problems, what someone said or did to you and not upon God as that is when he can infiltrate your mind and put thoughts in it that will hold you captive. That is why the Bible says that the weapons God has given us or not of this world, they are not carnal, weak or powerless but they are powerful spiritual weapons given to us by God to “…demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”– 2 Corinthians 10:5. What this is saying that when a thought comes we should not sit idle and sup every thought that comes into our mind but we should hold them captive to see if they are God or not. If they are not of God we should destroy them, not to mediate upon them not even for a second but destroy them. ‘No devil I will not accept this thought. I am the head and not the tail’.
  3. We receive breakthrough by praising and worshiping God. One of the power or effect of our worship is that we can receive breakthroughs in our lives when we learn to worship and praise God despite what we may be facing. Sometimes the enemy will stand as a fortress before us stopping us from receiving breakthroughs in our finances, relationship, ministry, job and so forth. The enemy is not our friend and his job is to stop us from receiving what the Lord has for us, but God is raising up on army that will not accept defeat or let the enemy robs them of what is theirs but will worship him for their breakthrough.

We Can Live Victorious Lives

We do not have to live defeated, but we can live a victorious life. Praise and worship is one of the most powerful weapon God has given us against the enemy. When we worship God even demons tremble and yokes began to be broken.

That is why the Satan is afraid of a worshiper because he cannot sit on a worshiper very long as when a worshiper gets into the presence of God he have to take his leave. Worship is so powerful that it can bring healing to the physical body, mind and spirit. Sometimes there are yokes on you, things not happening in your life and you need a breakthrough, you are weak in the spirit or body, spirit of heaviness is upon you, depression holds you captive and so forth, you can be free from them by praising and worshiping God.

Chapter 30 – Questions

  1. Pg 228: Share what dreams /desires that you have put in God’s hand and you are waiting on His timing.
  2. Ephesians 5:20: “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
    • What are you thankful for?
    • Have you ever really meditated on this verse
    • Have you ever continually praised God all day long !!
  3. Read the following verses , then discuss the blessings found in the verses.
    • Eph 1:3-14
    • Romans 5:1-11
    • Romans 6:1-23
    • Romans 8:1-31
  4. Share thoughts on the sovereignty of God.
  5. Share your experience / or thoughts on how worship is a spiritual battle.

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