The Men of Steel are getting back together after a long Summer off… well, the summer turned out to include fall and winter… but we’re back. This time we will look at the Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper. I know that the Promise Keeper movement is a bit old, and we don’t hear much if anything about it, but the teaching and challenge is right on target. So, strap yourself in for a great series.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus ends his teaching with a foundational challenge: those who heard his words and acted upon them was like a man who built his house upon the rock, so that when the winds and water came, it did not fall, because it’s foundation was on the rock (Matthew 7:24-25). One thing in life is sure, storms will come. We cannot avoid them, but we can survive them, and prepare for them.
One day a hurting wife came to see a pastoral counselor on the same day as the horrific earthquake on the other side of the world. The two separate events that have one thing in common, the same root cause: negligence in building standards. Lousy foundations make for temporary homes.
Many men today believe in God but have no pattern whatsoever for worshiping him. He might show up because his wife and children beg him. Perhaps for special occasions. Certainly if it is expected or convenient. But his predominant feeling is that he can worship God wherever he wants, not just in uncomfortable clothes sitting in a stuffy old sanctuary at church. So he heads to the beach, the mountains or the golf course because his theology tells him that God is everywhere, but he is missing the point of worshiping. This man will refuse to admit that he is shallow, and that his goal is not engage in sincere worship, but to avoid commitment.
Who, what and how a man worships determines everything about him in life. The first step toward becoming a man of steel is to be honest with God. We must know that we cannot come to God on our own terms, but only on HIS terms. We must worship in accordance with HIS ways of worship, rather than with flimsy human reason, pride and arrogance. We become a life built with nothing at the center, and nothing underneath; homes without foundations and relationships without roots.
Men need worship that brings:
- Substance, poured into him
- Strength at his foundations
- Stability in his marriage
- Steadfastness into his relationships
- Trustworthiness into his work and business practices
The answer is found by beginning where God always starts with men… at worship. So what is authentic biblical worship?
Read Romans 12:1-2: This passage contains all the elements of true worship.
The motivation to worship: “the mercies of God.” God’s mercies are everything He has given us that we don’t deserve: eternal love, eternal grace, the Holy Spirit, everlasting peace, eternal joy, saving faith, comfort, strength, wisdom, hope, patience, kindness, honor, glory, righteousness, security, eternal life, forgiveness, reconciliation, justification, sanctification, freedom, intercession and much more. The knowledge and understanding of these incredible gifts motivate us to praise him with thanksgiving—in other words, worship!
The manner of our worship: “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice.” Presenting our bodies means giving to God all of ourselves. The reference to our bodies here means all our humanness; our hearts, minds, hands, thoughts, attitudes. In other words, we are to give up control of these things and turn them over to him, just as a literal sacrifice was given totally to God on the altar.
The method of our worship: How do we do this? The Bible says, “by the renewing of your mind.” We renew our minds daily by cleansing them of the world’s “wisdom” and replacing it with true wisdom that comes from God. We worship Him with our renewed and cleansed minds, not with our emotions. Emotions are wonderful things, but unless they are shaped by a mind saturated in truth, they can be destructive, out-of-control forces. Where the mind goes, the will follows and so do the emotions. First Corinthians 2:16 tells us we have “the mind of Christ,” not the emotions of Christ.
True worship is God-centered worship. People tend to get caught up in where they should worship, what music they should sing in worship, and how the worship looks to other people. Focusing on these things completely misses the point. Jesus tells us that true worshipers will worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). This means we worship from the heart and the way God has designed. Worship can include praying, reading God’s Word with an open heart, singing, participating in communion, and serving others. It is not limited to one act, but is done properly when the heart and attitude of the person are in the right place.
Next time we will look at several ways or areas of worship.