Three days ago Pastor John in Vision Chapel really made it clear that he would try to get us to fully understand worship, from “A” to “Z”, or as he put it, from Alpha to Omega in the Greek alphabet in which the New Testament was written. Since worship is basic to our relationship with God, we surely must conclude that Pastor John's focus in doing this is really important.
First, he read from Matthew chapter 2, verses 10 and 11 “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Yes, the “wise men” bowed down and worshipped. Think about that phrase. Before they could “worship” they “bowed down”. What does that say about their ATTITUDE in worship?
Pastor John told us about his habit of using the Global Positioning System (GPS) when he is driving. Most of the time Pastor John knows very well where he is going but he likes to defer to GPS anyway. Sometimes though Pastor John doesn't know where he is going and so he really does need to defer to the GPS.
Now, the word “surrender” has for us a negative connotation. But for our purposes here we should equate it to following the GPS. Surrender your choices to the GPS. In doing this we surrender our own thoughts and knowledge to take advantage of the abilities of the GPS. So, it is that kind of “surrender” that we are talking about here. It is just an honest admission that we of ourselves are not enough. So, it is a joyful surrender. As with “great joy” verses above. Another way to think about itbis when in a few years you will be pressed to choose a college a major. When you choose this major or that one, then the other options existing for you up until then are given up. So it is here: we say “I surrender to God, so I reject the other alternatives.” So then our posture is one of bowing down is of our own volition. “I choose you and nothing else.” So, bowing down is significant. It means something. Let us count the ways.
First off, Pastor John mentioned “Bowing down in mind.” He read Mark 10:17 to illustrate: As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Then Pastor John considered “Bowing down in attitude.” This means turning away from sin. Follow redirection from God. Just like conforming to GPS. Do you rememberr how Pastor John gave us the picture of the onion-eating little girl too stubborn to admit that the onion is not an apple. So also we must admit the stuff of this world is not godly. Read Luke 5:4-8 (NIV) When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”. Peter was really bowing down to God in his attitude ehen he accepted redirection from Jesus.
Finally Pastor John got us to consider “Bowing down in Action.” Frankly, there are areas in life that we don't want to let go. But we must. God's commands are for our own good. We must say “Not my will Father, but your will be done.” Now we can better appreciate the meaning of Philippians 2:10-11 (NIV) “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Yes – bow down!
Fellows, as Pastor John told us, either now or later we must say to God “ I trust you and lean or your power.” He is the ultimate GPS, right?
Bear in mind that to live a godly life, to be truly guided by God, we must surrender to God first before we can expect anything else. We read from Acts 16:25-26 (NIV) About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
See - first Paul and Silas worshipped then their chains were broken. So also with us in our lives!