We often hear people saying come to my church to be blessed; you can really get blessed if you come to my church; come to my church and get healed; come to my church and you will prosper; come to my church. God does things in my church that He doesn't do in others so come to my church at
because we are a special place, this is Holy Ground. When most of the people who say those things say them what they are really saying is that my church is special, my pastor is special, my choir is special.
We should think that the place where we worship is great because of the love of the members for each other.
1 John 1:7 (NKJV) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
We should think that the place we worship is great because we have wonderful praise and worship.
Psalm 150:1 (NKJV) Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
We should think that the place we worship is great because the word when preached is what we need in order to live and function in a fallen world.
Psalm 119:105 (NKJV) Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
Great but not special and certainly not Holy Ground.
It's not where you worship, how you worship, or when you worship it’s who you worship. We are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but our blessings are not determined by the place we worship.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV) 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit so every where you are is Holy Ground.
Exodus 3:4-5 (NKJV) 4 So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."
5 Then He said, "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV) 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
Jesus had a conversation with the Pharisees about the place and the trappings of the place they considered Holy Ground.
Matthew 23:16-22 (NKJV)16 Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.'17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold?18 And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.'19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?20 Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it.21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it.22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.
The Pharisees had taught that there are distinctions in the binding force of various oaths. Oaths that used general references to the temple or the altar did not obligate the user to perform them, but mention of the more specific gold of the temple or the gift on the altar were binding. Jesus showed the absurdity of such reasoning by pointing out that the greater (temple, altar, God) includes the smaller (gold, gift, heaven). In view of such perversity, Christ taught, "Swear not at all" (Mt 5:33-37). - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
For us this means that the place where we worship, or the one that teaches us, or lays hands on us while important in the kingdom of God are not as important as the King and it is the King who blesses through the gifts that He has placed in the Church .
Let’s first look at a definition for worship; it’s “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity”. To Worship then, is to show reverence and adoration for (a deity); to honor them with religious rites. Of course the deity we are talking about is God.
Eugene Patterson the creator of “The Message” Bible translation says that worship is “A tribute to God when He comes.”
We worship when we come into God’s presence. God’s presence makes us who we are. His presence sets us apart from others. And every time we draw near to Him, He draws near to us.
We don’t have to be in a church or any specific place to feel God’s presence and worship Him.
Psalm 139 says that God's presence can be wherever we are.
Psalms 139:1-10 NKJV O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord , You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.
We know that God isn’t confined to a church building or only available at certain times of day. So we don’t have to wait until we come to church or a certain time of day to worship Him. We don’t even have to wait until we feel spiritual. There is nowhere we can go, no situation, no challenge, no relationship, no conversation where God isn’t present.
We all remember the conversation that Jesus had with the woman at a well in Samaria which was recorded in John chapter 4. In the conversation, Jesus revealed that He knew about this woman she had been married 5 times, and the guy she was living with now with was not her husband. This made her uncomfortable, so she changed the subject from her personal life to religion, asking why the Samaritans worshiped at Mount Gerizim and the Jews at Jerusalem. Jesus’ response was that a day was coming when that it didn’t matter WHERE a person worshiped God. What mattered was HOW they worshiped Him. He said they must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
John 4:23-24 (NKJV) 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
Sometimes people walk out of church saying things like, “I didn’t really like the songs today,” or “I just wasn’t really feeling worship today,” or “That singer or the band wasn’t that good. It kinda took me out of it.” Pastor wasn’t on it today that sermon was flat. The Spirit wasn’t here today.
Here’s a little secret; worship isn’t about you anyway. It’s about carving out time in our busy lives and responding to who God is and what He’s done for us. It’s about a deep, inner spirit response. Worship doesn’t always mean singing at the top of your lungs, or dancing or shouting. It’s about just entering into His presence and your response to that.
God doesn’t require some kind of perfect, complicated worship act. He just wants it to be authentic and genuine.
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.