To draw Christians into a more intimate relationship with God.
What comes into your mind when you hear the following
Worship – specific place, attitude, certain “acts”
like singing or praying?
Intimacy – close personal relationship (as with a spouse
2:25 – And they were both naked, the man and his wife,
and they were not ashamed.
Here we have the “perfect relationship”.
As originally created, man and woman were naked and
unashamed in the presence of God.
This was the way God always intended it to be, but we
realize that things changed (Gen
But God calls us into relationship with him, and wants that
relationship to be a very close, intimate one.
Worship of God is one part of bridging the gap and having
an intimate relationship with our Creator, even though we live in
a fallen creation.
To understand the situation we find ourselves
in, let first consider . . .
GOD’S PLAN FOR RELATIONSHIP
To “love” someone we must obviously have some type
of relationship with them
22:35-40 – the Greatest Commandment
The command to “love God” is a vertical relationship between man on earth and God in heaven.
The command to “love man” is a horizontal relationship between man and man on earth.
If the first relationship is messed up, the latter one will
God is a relational Being.
As such, He calls us to worship Him in a relational sense.
At the core of God’s being is the Godhood (trinity).
There is relationship between the Father, the Son and the
In the Godhood there is perfect love, perfect union and
Man’s nature is to desire close relationship
Man is a relational being.
Man is created in the image of God (Gen.
It was not good that man should be alone (Gen.
Sin causes a separation from God
Fall of man (Gen.
As a result of sin, man hid himself from God.
Immediately Adam and Eve tried to hide and cover themselves
(their nakedness) – or who they really were.
We do all kinds of things to cover our nakedness -- who we
God’s plan is that we be restored to relationship with
God’s desire is that nothing separate us from Him. He is
so gentle. He is a loving shepherd and husband to His church.
When we come to know God and we understand how He pours out
His love for us in the giving of His Son, and we are redeemed by
the blood of Jesus Christ, we are restored to a relationship with
God once again.
After we are restored to God, we must go through a process
Becoming a Christian is the beginning of a long process of
uncovering those places inside us that we’re ashamed of.
We must come to the realization that we don’t need to be
afraid in His presence anymore.
WORSHIP: GOD’S WAY TO INTIMACY
Worship involves a relationship between God and man
“Worship Is. . .” (Brad Watson)
Connecting with God
Communing with God
Talking with God
Hearing from God
Receiving from God
Being charged with the life of God
We worship for two main reasons:
To know God.
To be known by
Ex. Marriage Relationship
Not much intimacy if we’re separated by space.
By close proximity not indicator of intimacy.
God desires RELATIONSHIP not RELIGIOUSNESS.
God wants us to be one with Him (Jn.
There is a difference between KNOWING God and KNOWING ABOUT
We know God thru the scriptures (Jn.
The Pharisees knew the scriptures and the right things to
say, but they didn’t know God because their heart was not for
HINDRANCES TO EXPERIENCING GOD’S PRESENCE IN WORSHIP
Some may object and say:
“I come to worship and I don’t get anything out of
“I can have a close relationship with God outside of
“When I come to church I don’t feel apart of the
Some hindrances to experiencing God’s presence in
Willful/rebellious sin in our lives
66:18 – If I
regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.
59:2 – But your iniquities have separated you from your God.
12:3 – Not to
think of himself more highly than he ought to think...
4:6, 10 – Humble
yourselves in the sight of the Lord.
6:12 – Forgive us
our debts as we forgive our debtors.
11:26 – If you
don’t forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your
11:39 – Pharisees
make outside of cup and dish clean . . . inward part full of
12:1 – Beware of
the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
Fear of Men
29:25 – The fear
of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be
9:10 – Fear of God
is the beginning of wisdom.
HOW DO WE COME TO THE FATHER?
In spirit and truth – Jn.
Spirit – not just going through a form of worship – Mt.
Truth – as revealed by the Holy Spirit – Lk.
In love – Deut.
In humility – Lk.
Contrast Saul (making excuses) and David (I have sinned).
In brokenness and openness
Brokenness – realizing we can do nothing to fix our own
Openness – Adam, Eve, Saul tried to cover themselves
Christ on the cross – image of one totally unprotected
with arms outstretched to world hurling insult and abuse upon Him.
No barriers on cross.
Jesus is in essence saying “I will allow you to come in
and disappoint Me”; “I will allow you to come in because I
Jesus asks in return “Will you open up to Me?”; “Will
you become vulnerable to Me?”
In thanksgiving – Psalm
IN HIS PRESENCE
Public or private worship:
-- Cannot meet God and leave unchanged
-- Christ came to heal
-- By blood of Jesus
-- By God & Church
A REAL relationship:
If I want a real relationship with my wife, I can’t live
like this (arms stretched wide apart). I’ve got to live like
this (bear hug).
This is what God wants – to be able to wrap His arms
around us with a big embrace that says “I know who and what you
are and I’m not afraid of it because I love you.”
As time goes by:
We’ll learn to run to the shelter of God’s presence and
become so comfortable with Him that we’ll be able to come naked
and unashamed before Him.
We’ll come to realize that God is not offended by:
receding hair line
God will stretch open His arms and embrace us and say: “I
One day, in the not too distant future, we’ll see God in
heaven, and we won’t be strangers to each other. We’ll just be
entering a new phase in our relationship.
Lord, we want to know You like this. Lord, we want a full embrace
of Your love. We don’t want to hold anything back. Help us
overcome our fear. Help us peel off the layers of protection and
come to know You intimately and no longer feel ashamed of whom we
are. May we approach You Father in spirit and truth and be
changed, healed, and cleansed through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Jesus calls each one of us to “Come unto Me” – Matt.
to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Church of Christ