How Seeking God in Worship Leads to Encounters that Transform
This message by Pastor Lonnie of the Way Ministries was preached at the Way Church. This sermon continues the thread of messages on praise and worship, and this one focuses on the eternal transformation that takes place when we seek His face continually, and have a life-style of encountering and experiencing God’s presence. Anytime we purse Him, we’re going to find Him pursuing us as well, and when we reach out to Him, we’ll find Him at our fingertips. Having an experience with the God of the universe is life-changing and we must set ourselves up for them because when we do, there’s a spiritual activation that takes place, and our spiritual eyes are enlightened.
If We Seek God, We’ll Find Him
The fastest way to get into the presence of God is to come to Him with a heart of thanksgiving and worship – true spiritual worship – in pursuit of the One who loves us. What we need to do is experience His love so that His love transforms us, and brings us into a place of awe, and humility.
Psalms 105:2-4 (NKJV) Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
3 Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!
4 Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
“Glory in His holy name” means to manifest yourself the praises of God to Him. “Seek the Lord….” means to pursue Him. Now, if we jump all the way to the New Testament we find Jesus, in Matthew 6:8, giving His disciples the keys of how to pray beginning with “Our father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” What this initial statement in prayer does is bring us into a place where we are looking and seeking the face of God. Anytime we purse Him, we’re going to find Him pursuing us as well, and when we reach out to Him, we’ll find Him at our fingertips. Having an experience with the God of the universe is life-changing and we must set ourselves up for them because when we do, there’s a spiritual activation that takes place, and our spiritual eyes are enlightened.
Experiencing God in the Spirit
As you’ll read below in Isaiah 6, the prophet Isaiah has a spiritual experience where he sees into the spiritual realm. Now, spiritual dreams and visions are more real than the natural world, because the natural world came from the spirit world. Therefore, the things that we experience in the spirit have more reality than the natural world. This is why we need to have the mind of Christ because our natural mind will use natural reasoning to try and understand what can only be understood using heaven’s logic. The Kingdom of Heaven is superior to planet earth, and all of its natural kingdoms. We must strive to live and move and walk from Heaven to earth. If you truly want to effect and influence the world, and make an eternal difference, then do it in the Kingdom of Heaven because everything has a reward. Everything that is not of faith, and not of the Kingdom of Heaven, will be consumed and burned up when it’s put to the test. Our lives should be of spiritual substance where we do good on purpose, led by the Holy Spirit. Here’s the verse that describes Isaiah’s heavenly encounter:
Isaiah 6:1-4 (NKJV) In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”
4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
The earth is full of God’s manifested works. The heavens and the stars also declare God’s glory. But here’s the deal, God has given us responsibility for the manifestation of His glory on earth so that we can bring a greater understanding of God and who He is and what He has done. When we’ve experienced His love and His goodness for ourselves, we can’t help but tell others of His greatness and how good He is.
Seeing God and Encountering His Righteousness
Here’s Isaiah’s response after he had an amazing encounter with God
Isaiah 6:5-6 (NKJV) So I said:
“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.”
The holiness, righteousness, and power of God caused Isaiah to feel this way: guilty and shameful. But now, as a result of Jesus and His blood, we no longer have to experience guilt and shame because He came to earth and died, as us, and clothed us in His righteousness instead. When our eyes have seen the King, as it’s stated by Isaiah above in 6:5, we are forever changed.
When We See Him, We’re Humbled
We know that Isaiah was humbled from these experiences with God. As we read here in Isaiah 66:2, he was made poor and of a contrite spirit.
Isaiah 66:1-2 (NKJV) “Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
Where is the house that you will build Me?
And where is the place of My rest?
2 For all those things My hand has made,
And all those things exist,”
Says the Lord.
“But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word.
How then can we be in the presence of God but mishandle the things that He gives to us, or even mistreat His people? That’s why it is so important for us as God’s people to have an encounter with Him continually. This doesn’t mean that we go from one encounter to another, but rather we abide in Him, and therefore never leave His presence. This lifestyle is only possible with Jesus and what He accomplished, for us, via the cross.
Psalm 34:18,19 (NKJV)
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
God is our way out, and our way through hard times, and good times. We have to re-connect ourselves with the dreams that God gave us. If we don’t, how can we give God glory when they come to pass? The best time to praise God is…All the time! Even when we don’t feel like it, we should praise and worship Him because a sacrificial praise is holy to God, and He will bless you. We shouldn’t wait until we’re joyful before we dance in worship, but rather dance for joy and then you’ll receive it. Look to God, seek Him, and you’ll find Him and encounter Him, and praise His holy name, and be transformed from the inside out, and have a positive and eternal effect on the world around you. God bless. Here’s the full sermon: