Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Overcoming Our Hindrance to Worship

PSALM 119:164 – Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.”

When we became Christians, a whole lot happened to us. Here are five such happenings. We received forgiveness for our sins, reconciliation with our offended God, adoption into His forever family, a living relationship with the Lord, and the sure hope of heaven when we die.

There is something else received at salvation. It is an especially important something else and might not be one we think enough about. Upon exercising saving faith in the Lord Jesus, we were given new life with a new heart and the ability to fulfill the chief reason for our creation and salvation–the worship of God in spirit and truth. However, to properly fulfill our creative and redeemed purpose, worship in spirit and truth, we need to get someone, not something, someone, out of the way–ourselves.

The greatest spiritual foe we face in the Christian life is the person we spend the most time with and talk the most to–ourselves. Why? Self produces our greatest sin–selfishness. And selfishness is our greatest hindrance to worship. Why? Worship centers on God. Selfishness centers away from God. True worship demands the removal of self and that only happens through a Christian practicing what we read in today’s scripture. What do we observe from the Psalmist? Two things.

First, the personal resolve to praise–Seven times a day I praise you. The Psalmist is not waiting for a feeling, experience, some environment created by man, a moving song, or anything else to prompt worship. He chooses to praise. He exercises his will. The greatest power given to the Christian at salvation is the freedom to choose. And what does the Psalmist do? He chooses to praise. He decides to worship. And that is where worship begins–the exercise of the renewed will. If we wait to obey God in anything including worship until we feel like it, then welcome inconsistency in our Christian lives.

The second thing we observe in the Psalmist helping us to overcome ourselves in worshipping our God inspirit and truth is the consistency in choosing to worship–Seven times a day I praise you. The German theologian, John Lange, rightly comments on the significance of the number seven in the exercise of worship, “It is to be understood here, however, not arithmetically, but symbolically, representing a continued course of devotional exercises, complete in itself, and surrounding and pervading, with its sacred influences, all the duties of the day.” Basically, it is remembering throughout the day and in all things of the day to praise the Lord. Developing this God-centeredness instead of me-centeredness approach to daily living will defeat the sin of selfishness–our chief hindrance to worship. May the Lord help us follow the model of the Psalmist and be true worshippers in spirit and truth of Him who is worthy of such worship.

PRAYER: “Father, help me to live a life of praise, not just a day of the week, Sunday, Your day.”

QUOTE: “Praise is the cure to the sin of selfishness for it takes our eyes off self and on to the Lord.”

Because of Him,
Pastor Jim