Five Elements in True Worship

Home Five Elements in True Worship

sermon date 2024-02-18
sermon manager Mike Minnix
sermon location chapel

Five Elements in True Worship

The most important act of a Christian is worship, for everything else he or she does flows from the value placed upon the Lord. Our church attendance, praying, giving, witnessing, moral behavior, attitudes, mission endeavors, and all other aspects of our lives reflect the depth of our worship of God.

Let’s look at Abraham’s experience in this passage and note five aspects of true worship …


Worship begins in the heart and there are different ways to worship.

A. Private Worship

We worship privately when we stop and spend time before the Lord by bowing down and honoring him. We may read the Scriptures, pray and even sing to the Lord when we are all alone. In worship God gives us guidance and we are then able to follow His will; this in turn means that we further worship the Lord by obeying Him. .

Abraham had worshipped God privately because he had built an altar on more than one occasion so that he might meet with God. When God told Abraham to take his son Isaac and offer him as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah, Abraham was worshipping God by bowing to God’s will in obedience. The worship began in Abraham’s heart and in his private time with the Lord. No public worship can ever take the place of your private worship of God, and no private worship ever fully takes the place of public gathering to worship. We can say however that if all we do is participate in public worship, we are missing a critical element in the aspect of true worship. We simply must spend private time alone with God in order to worship Him properly when we are in public.

B. Public Worship

A believer also worships God publicly. People were called to worship God publicly throughout the Bible. Those who know the Lord are called to worship our Lord among others and to be unashamed in our devotion to Him.

In Psalm 95:6 the Psalmists says, “Come let us bow down in …in worship before the Lord our Maker.”

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Magi came and bowed down before him publicly and worshipped Him.

Jesus attended public worship as a child and as an adult.

In Hebrews we are told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together in worship and service to the Lord.

I want us to recall something very important about worship today and that is that true worship requires preparation. Look at Psalm 100:4 …

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him and bless His name.”

In other words, you should enter into the worship service with thanksgiving and praise already in your hearts. When Abraham arrived at the foot of Mount Moriah, no one had to urge him to worship God, to bring his best to give to God, or to pump him up so that he could make a commitment to obey God. Abraham arrived ready! He was determined to worship. Nothing was going to stop him. He had prepared the wood for the altar, the knife for the sacrifice and the fire for the flame.

How prepared are you to really worship God when you arrive at church on Sunday? Has it been on your mind all week? Have you prayed for God to make you ready to worship Him? The reason old-fashioned revivals used to bring about tremendous results in salvations and new commitments was that those revivals were preceded with weeks of prayer and preparation. When we ceased our willingness to give time in preparation for revival, revivals ceased in our churches. I have witnessed both sides of revival. When I was a young pastor, we planned a revival at least a year in advance. I lined up the evangelist or preacher months before the week-long meeting began. Our members were given prayer lists of issues and items to pray for regarding the meeting. The evangelist was prayed for hundreds or thousands of times before he arrived. We prayed about the weather weeks in advance of the meeting. We prayed for the music and we prayed for lost souls by name. We prayed for ourselves, that God would convict us where we were wrong and help us to be clean, pure and filled with the Spirit. No wonder people were saved in great numbers in those meetings. Church members often fell in the altar in tears as they confessed their sins and got things right with God. Revivals have not failed in our day – no, we have failed revivals – for we are aren’t willing in this smartphone, digital, entertainment generation to give God time to change us, help us and bless us.

Do you remember what Jesus said to the woman at the well in Sychar? She asked Jesus if people were to worship on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem or Mount Gerizim in Samaria. Jesus answered, “Those that worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” To see God do great things in our midst, we must have a commitment to worship God in spirit and in truth.

To worship God publicly like we should, we must turn off our televisions, our smart phones, our emails, our twitter accounts, our Facefook pages, our digital tablets, our computers and turn to an old-fashioned form of communication – PRAYER. Abraham could never have heard God’s command to take Isaac to Mount Moriah if his ears had been closed to God. I am not saying that we shut down all communication with humanity all day, every day, but that a portion of each day must be given to God and only to God. Our worship will never bless God, bless others or bless us the way it was intended until we follow the process of preparation in worship.

Also, worship requires …


Note next what Abraham said before climbing Mount Moriah. He told the servants to wait at the bottom of the mountain while he and the boy went up to worship, and that they (both Abraham and Isaac)  would return afterwards. This is a remarkable statement. God had called on Abraham to take his son Isaac up to the mountain and to offer him as a sacrifice. This meant that Isaac was going to be slain like an animal on the altar of sacrifice. It is a gruesome thought, but it is what God has asked Abraham to do. Abraham had faith so great, and his expectation of God’s power, grace and goodness was so strong that it caused him to believe that Isaac would come down from this experience walking by his side. Abraham entered this worship experience with great expectation.

Look at Hebrews 11:17-19, “17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called, 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. NKJV

Wow! Abraham was filled with expectation before he went up the mountain to worship God. That is exactly how we have victory in worship. We not only prepare, we expect God to do something that only He can do.

Look at Hebrews 11:6, But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. KJV

True worship requires an expectation that God is truly God and that He blesses those who seek Him. The word “comes” in this passage is the Greek word for “pray” or “worship.” In other words those that “come” to Him, that “worship” Him, must believe that He is and that he is ready to “reward” true worship – worship that comes in spirit and truth – aided by faith! The words “diligently seek” are formed from just one Greek word. The word from Greek, as a Hebraism, form the word “worship.”

What are you expecting from God today? No true worship takes place where people see themselves simply going through the motions of religious activity. We come here to meet with God and God’s people. We expect God to do things in our midst. That is true worship!

No also …


Abraham was willing to take the most precious thing he and Sarah had, their son Isaac, and offer him to God. He was open to any call that God would make upon his life and home. He would do anything necessary to worship God fully. He would offer to God anything God required.

Worship requires consecration. But exactly what is this thing consecration? James H. McConkey explains it well in his book The Earnest Worker. “Will you please tell me in a word,” a Christian woman asked her teacher, “what is your idea of consecration?’” Holding up a blank sheet of paper, the teacher replied, “It is to sign your name at the bottom of this blank sheet of paper and let God fill it in as He wills.” Yes, that is consecration and that is what Abraham did in our text. Whatever God called for, Abraham was willing to do. Abraham found that true consecration in worship to God always gives more to the worshipper than it takes.

I’ll tell you why so few are truly blessed in worship. You see, most Christians come to a worship to see what they can get but they do not come to commit to whatever God asks them to give or to do. Most Christians come expecting something from God but never realizing that true worship begins with our consecration to Him. What does God ask of me? That is the great question. When we arrive with consecration to God, you can be sure God is going do something beyond that which we can think or even ask.

Now, let me hasten to the last thought on worship…


You cannot worship if your mind is scattered. Let me give you an illustration outside the realm of worship. I enjoy playing golf and my wife is intrigued by one thing regarding my golf game. She asked recently, “How can you remember golf shots you made 5 years ago at a particular golf course and even remember that it was a 3 o’clock in the afternoon when you hit that shot?” I laughed at her question, but she was right in what she said. Golfers can remember shots they made on the golf course years after they hit them. How is it that a golfer can do that? You can watch a golf tournament on television and a player is asked about a particular hole in a match he played some years before. The golfer may say something like this, “Well, nine years ago I played that hole and made a mistake by hitting a nine iron over the green. I made a double bogey that day and lost the match. So I remembered that today and I hit a pitching wedge instead of a nine iron. It landed in the right spot and I ended up winning today.” How in the world can a golfer remember the exact shot he hit and the club he used nine years ago. Let me tell you why golfers can do that. Golf requires incredible concentration. You can’t play golf well and think about anything else. Any golfers here? I see those hands. If I’m right about that say, “Amen.” You hear that ladies and gentlement. It is true. You cannot play golf well and think of any think else! Golf requires complete and total concentration. That stubborn concentration makes things you did in the past stick with you for years. Now, apply this to our worship of God. Can you remember the pastor’s sermon from last week? I doubt it. Why? Because you mind was on other things. Maybe you were stopping your child from talking during the service. Perhaps you were wondering how long the line is going to be at the restaurant your going to after church. Maybe you just weren’t all that interested. You see, real worship requires that we zero in on God and His Word. That’s why many Christians take notes during worship – it helps them to concentrate and remember what God is saying to them.

There was a couple riding home from church one Sunday and the wife said to her husband, “Did you see that awful dress that Sally was wearing today?” Her husband admitted that he had not noticed Sally’s dress. “Well,” the wife continued, “did you see that crude tie that Bert was wearing?” Again, the husband had not noticed it. Then she asked, “Surely you saw that ridiculous haircut the preacher must have gotten this week?” The husband said, “Not really, I didn’t see that.” Finally, the wife said, “Going to worship doesn’t help you much does it?”

We will notice what interests us and in worship our interest needs to be on God and His Word. We cannot worship without concentration! If you leave worship without something of interest to you – something that God spoke to your heart – you are not concentrating enough.

Abraham took Isaac up the mountain. Certainly Isaac is an Old Testament type of Christ, for Isaac carried the wood on which he would be laid, just as Christ carried His cross up Mount Calvary. Once they were on the mountain top, Abraham prepared the altar, tied up his son, and laid him on the altar. Then, Abraham took out the knife and was ready to plunge it into his son. Remember, Abraham was confident that Isaac would be raised from the dead if necessary. Just then, the angel of the Lord spoke to Abraham and stopped him from the action of slaying his son. Abraham’s hand stopped in mid-flight. Then, Abraham saw a ram, a lamb, caught in a thicket. He removed Isaac from the altar and placed the lamb in his place. Abraham slew the lamb and it became a substitute for his son.

Without concentration, Abraham might have missed the voice of the Lord. He might have been preoccupied by the awful thing God has asked him to do, or by the beauty of the mountain, by the sadness of his heart, or by something else. Concentration kept his heart open to God’s voice. Because he was paying attention, he heard the angel of the Lord stop him from plunging the knife into Isaac.

We live in a day of very short concentration. Large companies pay tens of thousands of dollars to get us to concentrate on a television, billboard and internet ad. Our minds jump from one thing to the other so quickly. We have a remote control and if we are bored for 30 seconds, we will change to something we consider more interesting on television. I admit that we men are worse than women on this issue. My wife sat down to watch a sports event with me the other day and said, “I will watch this with you if you will not change the channel to watch something else.” My heart sank because I was watching three sports events at the same time. That is the way we think today and it is dangerous when it is applied to worship. When it comes to God, shortsightedness is unacceptable. Listen for God to speak to you in private and public worship. Lack of concentration will lead to lack of communication from the Lord.

Now, let’s consider the fifth aid in worship…


Abraham named the place where this miracle took place Jehovah-Jireh, which means, “The Lord will Provide.” The actual Hebrew words that make up the name mean, “The Lord will see to it!” In other words, Abraham was praising God. Abraham was lifting up God’s grace and nature. A part of worship is adoring God. Part of worship is acknowledging who He is and what He is doing. Part of worship is stating that we know He will do something and we adore Him for it. We lift Him up. We praise Him. We bless His name. We do this, not just because He has done things for us in the past – though that is a good reason for worship – but, we worship Him for what we know He will do. HE WILL PROVIDE! We praise Him in the end because of WHO HE IS – Jehovah-Jireh – the God who provides.

We have an invitation in almost all of our Baptist churches at the end of a worship service. Why do we do this? It is our chance to adore Him, to worship Him, to make commitments to Him. The end of worship is like the beginning. We come in with praise and thanksgiving and we close with acknowledging who He is and what He means to us, and perhaps to acknowledge what He is telling us to do at this very moment.

The attitude of gratitude is only produced by spiritual altitude. That is, when we climb the mountain of faith and faithfulness, we will find it to be a place of God’s presence and power. When you climb the mountain of worship, it requires that you know how to show adoration and gratitude for the Lord!

Lord lift me up and let me stand,
By faith on heaven’s tableland,
A higher plane than I have found,
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

It is interesting that the very first time the word worship is used in the Bible is found in Genesis 22:5. Here was an incident that foreshadowed the cross of our Lord. Here the ram caught in the thicket was a substitute placed on the altar of death. That is what Jesus did for us. I deserved to die on a cross for my sins, but God stopped the knife of judgment and Jesus took my place. I must never tire of worshipping the One who gave Himself for me.

Are you satisfied with your worship? Do you need to come to the Lord today and renew your desire to worship God. Do you need to admit that preparation to worship Him properly is ofen missing and you want to change that? When we really worship Him correctly, we will get to see what God can really do!