In this series, we have been learning about true worship and how to prepare our hearts to give worship to the Lord. Today we will learn about the characteristic of true worship and false worship.
Each time you are tempted by the devil's influence, he is trying to destroy your relationship with God.
In each of the three times the devil speaks in the Bible, his intent is destroy the relationship between God and man. Even today, each time you are tempted by the devil's influence, he is trying to destroy your relationship with God. He will tell you he can give you a better life than God can. He plants seeds of distrust because he wants to establish a relationship of worship with you. Once you abandon the Lord, the devil has won because you cannot match his spiritual power without God.
In Matthew 4, Satan attempts to destroy the relationship between God the Father and the God-man Jesus. He uses the Bible and perverts it to his purposes, as every false cult religion does. But Jesus replies with truth in order to teach us how to resist the devil's temptations.
1. False Worship worships the false promise of a created being. True worship worships the holy character of the Creator of all things.
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." Matthew 4:8-9
The devil wants us to live in a worldly way and promises that earthly glory and treasure will satisfy us. But he can't deliver what he promises.
We worship God, not because of what we get, but because of who He is. He does give us good gifts and miracles, but we are focused on the face of God, not the hand of God. Sometimes His work is a long process of glorification, so we can't always judge what we see in the moment. We must instead trust in the faithful character of the Lord, knowing that His plans are good and that the processes we see are worthwhile.
2. False worship is based on the flesh or on lies. True worship is based on Spirit and truth.
And when [Jesus] had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" Matthew 4:2-4
Satan addresses the desires of the flesh, and he tempts us to use our own power to fulfill those desires. He plays to our passions and weaknesses.
However, Jesus teaches us that the soul has a different appetite than the body, and that its desires are much more important and lasting than those of the flesh. Our souls need God—nothing else will do.
3. False worship separates us from God. True worship brings us closer to God.
We become intimate with whom we worship. If we worship the devil or the things he dangles before us (money, cars, sex, drugs, etc.), then we serve those things. If we worship God, then our worship draws us near to Him. No one can serve two masters.
Are you going about your day distracted, having lost sight of the Lord's plans for you? Any time of day you can choose to refocus on the Lord. Get to a quiet space and tell Him you are distracted. Surrender and ask Him to draw you close again.
4. False worship nurtures a desire to worship self. True worship nurtures a hunger and thirst to worship the Creator.
Are you a dedicated coffee drinker? Is it one of the first things you have to do in the morning?
When you encounter God, you experience Him taking your burdens and giving you peace. And when your soul gets a taste of that, then you want that in the morning.
Time with God is more important than any other thing you do. He reorganizes your priorities, changes your perspective, and gives you sound reasoning with which to make decisions throughout your day. Everything changes when you align yourself with God in the morning. It's difficult to give Him that precious time, but as you make time for God, He will make more time for you. You'll be blessed when He cancels your appointments, restores your rest, and multiplies your efficiency.
5. False worship makes you a slave in bondage. True worship makes you a liberated servant.
The devil wants you in bondage. He will enslave you until he destroys you. God wants to set you free with truth.
6. False worship is humility before Satan. True worship is humility before God.
You do have a master whom you serve each day with your thoughts, words, decisions, and actions. Each night your master evaluates your day and says, "Well done, good and faithful servant." You are accountable for your time every day, not just at the end of your life. Who congratulates you each night—Satan or God? To whom will you bow?