Ways of Worship – Listen – Ecclesiastes 5:1
February 7, 2023, 8:00 AM

VS 1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.

Since Worship is ascribing worth to God and recognizing His rightful place, we respond to who He is in our hearts and in our actions. As we come to worship the Lord one important but often missing element is listening. We learn most by listening. We respond to what the Spirit of God reminds us or teaches us.

Quieting our hearts before the Lord is part of prayer asking the Lord to help us to listen. There is an important place for praise and singing and making our requests known, but silence help us to focus.

Worship is founded upon a relationship and it doesn't happen until first we hear from God. Part of listening according to the Psalmist is to do to a bit of self-review. Ps 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

The Bible is full of references that talk about vain sacrifice in worship, as also mentioned here. How often do we go through motions of worship without actually participating in it? I confess, as a pastor, putting together a worship service too often gets in the way of my worshipping. My attention isn’t on the Lord but thinking of what to say, how many verses of a song to use, the length of time things are going to take, whether a song is too high or too low, if my sermon notes are in order, will I forget a prayer request. That gets in the way of worship for me.

The reason I ask people to pray before the service, the reason I wish our prayer groups during the week will grow, is that we might meet with God and Him with us, as a church, and as individuals. God wants to meet us.

There is no better time to listen to God than having time alone with God in personal prayer, Bible reading and devotions. I think you cannot grow as a Christian unless you have personal prayer and time with God. S.M. Lockridge says, "It is important to pray in a dialogue than a monologue because we wait to hear what God says, which is more important than what we have to say anyway,  because we don't know what to ask for in the first place."

Application: What is God wanting to say to you today? What about when you come to church? The Sabbath was set aside to meditate and rest and listen to God to change our activities that we might be better listeners and worship.

Prayer:  Lord, I want to worship You in Your Holiness. I seek You. As I practice listening, speak to my heart.

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