“The Bible isn’t a book about happiness, it’s a book about holiness” ~ Keith Krell
My Pickup at the Airport Experiences:
Going to the Seattle-Tacoma Airport to pickup an arriving passenger is a frustrating experience as it might be your experience too. My goal is always to save money by not parking in the adjacent Parking Garage. So I want to park as long as I can next to the curb… at the designated airline terminal pickup area. Soon afterwords, I begin listening to the loudspeaker recording, “The white zone is for loading and unloading only. NO PARKING!”
Now, mind you, I am waiting to load up but my passengers are delayed and I’m waiting at the curb too long. A police officer usually approaches my car, waving his hand at me to move on. Although my windows are up tight, I can read his lips through the glass, “You can’t park here!”
Being a law-abiding citizen that I am, I smile and oblige him, then make the loop through all the confusing airports access roads and begin this vicious cycle all over again.
Can I be honest here? I wish there were some way to announce over a loudspeaker system inside every church foyer I have ever attended:
The WORSHIP zone is for learning, listening, and changing only.
Truth will be deposited in your head
that is designed to change you!
But chances are good, even if such an announcement was made from church loudspeakers every Sunday, the same would occur…folks would still “park”; turn a deaf ear to the recording; then give the pastoral police officers the runaround . “Do We Need An Attitude Adjustment About and Before We Worship…?”
WHY PROPER WORSHIP IS IMPORTANT? [Ecclesiastes Chapter 5:1-3]
The ability to enjoy the good on one’s behalf is truly a gift of God:
“There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink and make himself enjoy good in his labor. Even this, I have seen, is from the hand of God. For who can eat or who can have enjoyment any more than I can–apart from Him? For to the person who pleases Him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and heaping up, that he may give to the one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after the wind and a feeding on it” (Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 AMP).
It is imperative that we please Him in our worship experience; there is no alternative. There is “vain worship” at times in the house of worship:
“You pretenders (hypocrites)! Admirably and truly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said: These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me. Uselessly do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men” (Matthew 15:7-9 AMP).
Therefore, Jesus’ words say that ‘not all worship is acceptable‘ to God.
HOW TO PROPERLY WORSHIP GOD: (Ecclesiastes 5:1 a)
Both the NIV and the NASB versions of the Bible say, “guard you steps“. The Amplified version says it this way: “Keep your foot–give your mind to what you are doing–when you go to the house of God”. Do I need an attitude adjustment? When one worships…Solomon tells us to give thought to what they will do and also to be careful what they will do.
Almost a year ago my wife and I started attending a new church that was much closer to our home. Years before I thought after sitting down in the Sanctuary of the building, it was standard practice to continue with the fellowship time from the foyer before the ‘worship music’ began. One Sunday morning, I turn to my wife to ask her a question receiving no reply. She had her eyes closed and the palms of her hands face up on her lap. I immediately ceased my talking, apologizing for the interruption. She explained to me as I sat there, she couldn’t just come and sit down without getting herself ready for worship; ready to receive.
I have always found it amazing how the Holy Spirit sometimes communicate with us through our spouses. Well, maybe more than ‘sometimes’. From that moment on, I made an ‘attitude adjustment’; a pledge to be prepared before worshiping my God. I wanted my worship to be acceptable to my Lord.
Draw near to hear (5:1 b).
“For to draw near to hear and obey is better than to give the sacrifice of fools”.
Being concerned with learning what God has revealed–or what is about to be revealed should be our attitude. It should be like young Samuel s attitude:
“So Eli said to Samuel, Go lie down. And if He calls you, you shall say, Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, Samuel! Samuel! Then Samuel answered, Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9-10).
Our attitudes should be as the Bereans in Acts 17 ; “entirely ready…with inclination of mind and eagerness, searching and examining the Scriptures “ (v. 11 b).
“Giving the sacrifice of fools”- (5:1 c).
Do not offer the sacrifice of fools. Again, not all worship is acceptable. There is that kind of worship as described in Proverbs and the Gospel of Luke:
“He who turns away his ear from hearing…even his prayer is an abomination, hateful and revolting [to God]” ~ Prov. 28:9.
“Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice} what I tell you? For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words [in order to heed their teaching] and does them, I will show you what he is like…” “But he who merely hears and does not practice doing…” ~ Luke 6:46-49
Sacrifice can be explained as ‘something given that comes with a cost’. If your WORSHIP isn’t costing you something, then it’s not a sacrifice! So coming into the worship experience two seconds before the music starts; as the Praise Team begins to lead in song; or you come in late because you had better get to the restroom facilities before you sit down. If your preparation doesn’t cost you something, it’s not a sacrifice. “For to draw near and obey is better” than being a fool. That may sound harsh to your ears, but the words aren’t coming from me but from the Lord’s Word.
KEEPING THE VOWS THAT YOU MAKE, REGARDLESS…
“Okay, I am going to change my attitudes about Worship from now on. I’m going to more prepared next Sunday!”
“Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business and painful effort, and a fool’s voice with many words.” (Eccl. 5:2-3).
REALLY? Be careful what you say, what you promise, what you pledge to do before God or others and remember…Jephthah s foolish vow:
“And Jephthah made a vow (promise) to the Lord and said, If You will indeed give the Ammonites into my hand, Then whatever or whoever comes forth from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites, it shall be the Lord’s, and I will offer it or give him up as a burnt offering” (Judges 11:30-31).
Now the promise of Jephthah was an honest one, but because of his rash words before God, became haunting to him later in verses 34-35:
“Then Jephthah came to Mizpah to his home, and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances! And she was his only child…And when he saw her, he rent his clothes and said, Alas, my daughter…I have opened my mouth [in a vow] to the Lord, and I cannot take it back”.
If you promise God that you are going to make an attitude adjustment in regards to your worship preparation from now on, you ‘cannot take it back’ nor should you; a promise made must come with commitment; a pure and honest heart. Always give thought to what you say in prayer and song. Do you consider the vows or promises that you give to God or others as a commitment? Do you intend to keep them? Along with the rewards that will come from your promises, consequence will follow if you break them. The worldly concept of ‘fake it until you make it’ approach in worshiping God will never be acceptable to Him for He knows the heart; your honesty; your intentions and desires.
KEEPING THE VOWS THAT YOU MAKE – (5:4-7)
(verse 4): “When you vow a vow or make a pledge to God, do not put off paying it; for God has no pleasure in fools (those who witlessly mock Him). Pay what you vow.”
Changing a thought process, in the middle of conversation with people might be confusing; not to me maybe, but certainly to them. Therefore, I don’t believe King Solomon would be any different not would Holy Spirit want to confuse us in changing direction. Going from what is acceptable to God in our worship and praise to keeping the vows; promises we make is not a coincidence. If we are going to make an attitude adjustment in our worship experience; making a promise to God that no more are we coming to Him without preparation, then we need to be committed to that pledge.
God has no pleasure in fools; such as those who make promises and do not fulfill them in worship or any other vow–“It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay” (verse 5).
Solomon says in one of his proverbs, “It is a snare to a man to utter a vow [of consecration] rashly and [not until] afterward inquire [whether he can fulfill it]” (Proverbs 20:25 AMP). If you say to God one morning, “Father, from now on I am going to dedicate myself to be more prepared to worship You”, that is ‘consecration‘. If those words do not become a part of you from that point of commitment, you are ‘a fool which God has no pleasure’.
Don’t let your mouth cause you to sin.
Why make God angry and destroy the work of your hands (Ecclesiastes 5:6)? Many words lead to vanity, and sin. What is vanity? It is the opposite to humbleness. An example might be in a dialogue, “Guess what? Last Sunday before worship service began, I told God I was going to stop talking to you until after the service. You should do the same.” That my friends is condescension; pride, selfishness and not prudent words.
“In a multitude of words transgression is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is prudent” (Proverbs 10:19).
THE KEY THOUGHT IN PROPER WORSHIP is to “FEAR GOD” [Vs. 7]:
Approach is IMPORTANT in worshiping our God, our King and Savior with the deepest respect and reverence. Worship Him as He directs and not as you might wish...”Swift to hear, slow to speak” ~ James 1:19. This should be our attitude in worship if we truly wish to please God! If our attitudes before and in worship and praise is not acceptable and pleasing to God, then we just might need ‘an attitude adjustment’!
 Story idea came from Charles Swindol’s Living of the Ragged Edge – Coming to Terms of Reality.