The Place of Worship


You must not offer sacrifices just anywhere you want to. Instead, the LORD will choose a place somewhere in Israel where you must go to worship Him. 

~Deuteronomy 12:5, CEV


Obedience is the first act of worship.


I had a conversation last week that got me to thinking. We we worship God as we please? Can we worship God any place we choose? After all, He created the lakes, mountains and beaches; isn’t it an act of worship to admire His handiwork. If I choose to spend my sabbath at the beach or at a baseball game, whose business is it but mine? It is God who determined the place of worship. NO, you can not worship God anyway, anytime or at any place YOU choose. As long as it is YOU making the choice, it is YOU being worshiped not Him. Cain worshiped God his way but his worship was not acceptable to God. You cannot worship God your way. Those who attempt to do so are adoring themselves not God. You can’t worship God anywhere YOU choose because the fact that you are doing the choosing, instead of Him, makes your worship vain.

It is truth that John worshiped Christ in prison; Peter worshiped him in a boat on a lake; David worshiped Him under the stars as he watched his sheep by night and John the Baptist worshiped him at the river. John was not in prison by choice but while there, he received the Revelation. Peter bowed a knee in the boat and was willing to do whatever Jesus commanded. David wrote hymns of praise and John the Baptist was preaching Jesus at the river. In every case, it was about Jesus, not their comfort or convenience. This idea of not needing the church, the body of Christ is ludicrous. It is always heresy to divorce Christ from His body. Moses made it clear to the Israelites: there is one place to worship, one way to worship, and one altar and in each case, the ONE of God’s choosing. God gave the Israelites specific instructions on worship. Thus the first act of worship was obedience: Do it as God requires. Rebellion against God is sin: it doesn’t matter where we are or what we are doing. Uzziah went into the Temple and into the court of the priest; the priest grabbed him and told him to leave but he was the king and he ignored them. He would worship God on his own terms. Google Uzziah and find out what happened to him.

Recently we spent a week in the mountains. There is nothing wrong with a vacation but I was tempted by some to have church in the cabin. That would have been convenient but I refused. It’s not really worship when we are in charge. We found a local church and went there. I am glad we did: the LORD spoke to me while I was there and it changed my life: not in a dramatic way but incrementally. Sanctification is more incremental than dramatic. Just remember, OBEDIENCE is the first act of worship. If we are in rebellion against His will, we are not going to worship. We may pretend to worship but there is no real worship when the heart is in rebellion.

Well three cold nights down and one to go. According to my weather woman, it will rain Friday and Saturday. I’ll take the rain over 20 degree weather. I am not an Alabama basketball fan. Watching them makes me want to crochet barbed wire. They don’t have a basket ball player on the team. I will not pick out my team until the tournament starts: I’m pretty sure it will not be from the SEC.

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