Article 5

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering

We’ve talked about the center of our worship being the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and how this is represented as the tube of our “parasol of true worship.” We have also discussed how the Holy Spirit is represented by the stretchers and runner, Worship Umbrella 6e because only He can expand our acts of worship to full capacity and allow us to experience real, godly worship as a natural and normal part of our daily lives.

The ribs of our “parasol of true worship” are representative of our attitude, or spirit, of worship, and the canopy is symbolic of our actual acts of worship. But what we have not yet looked into — what we must take time to contemplate and understand — is that humanity could not be restored to God, nor could we even begin to worship Him, if it were not for the grace of God the Father.

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His [the Father’s] grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:20-24)

The truth of God’s incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, could not have been revealed to us without the grace of the Father. The divine Counselor and Helper (John 14:16-17a; Romans 8:26); the promised One of God the Son (Luke 24:49; Ephesians 1:13), could not have been given to us were it not for the grace of God the Father. We could not have been offered salvation from sin, nor could we experience godly worship, if it were not made possible by the benevolent grace of the Father. Nothing — not our physical life, not our mental capabilities, nor our spiritual life — literally nothing about humanity or creation could exist but for the grace of God the Father (Psalm 147:15-18).

So as we gaze upon that easily overlooked top portion of our “parasol of true worship,” let us take note that the top tube is a part of the main tube of this divine tool. In fact, just as the tube is merely an extension of the top tube, so too is the truth of God’s incarnate Word (Jesus Christ) an extension of the grace of God the Father. And you should note that every stationary or movable part that makes this godly implement function is all connected in some way to the tube — top, main, or bottom. Read with me this Scripture from John, chapter ten:

Christ 2 “The Jews gathered around Him [Jesus], saying, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered, ‘I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in My Father’s name speak for Me, but you do not believe because you are not My sheep. My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’” (John 10:24-30)

And look over these Scriptures, with me, from Genesis, chapter one, and John, chapter one:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . . and God [the Father] said [the Word], ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (Genesis 1:1&3; you can read this entire account of creation in Genesis, chapter one.)

“In the beginning was the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him [Jesus Christ] all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light [God’s truth] shines in the darkness, but the darkness [self-worshiping humanity] has not understood it . . . the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-5&14)

Our gracious, heavenly Father created the heavens, the earth, all the necessities of life, and all living things by speaking His divine Word. And it’s because of His benevolent grace, extended to mankind after we chose to worship ourselves over Him, that a way was made to restore us to His righteousness (Romans 3:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21). This divine grace was revealed to us when God the Father spoke His truth to the world, by way of His divine, incarnate Word — His only begotten Son — Jesus Christ.

What a majestic and marvelous gift the Father’s grace is to humanity, and how important is the top tube to our “parasol of true worship.” I’ll close with one last Scripture reference, found in Ephesians’ second chapter:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Praise be to God the Father for His benevolent grace!

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering by J.Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jsnmin.org/.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.

Article 4

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering

We’ve explained how the main support system of a parasol, or umbrella, align with the main support system of our godly worship. The tube and handle being representative of the truth of God’s Word, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the ribs representing our attitude, or spirit, of worship. Worship Umbrella 8a Then we explained how the added support of the runner and stretchers represented the need for the Holy Spirit to be apart of our daily worship, especially if our acts of worship were to be fully expanded over our lives. Now we’ll look at the canopy and how it represents our godly acts of worship.

So what is an “act of worship”? Well, let’s begin by looking at the meaning of our two main words, “act” and “worship.” An act can be a law, formal record, or statute. It can also be a formal division of a theatrical performance, play, or opera. Performers, themselves, can be called an “act,” but the definition that applies in this case, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is this:

act (noun) — the doing of a thing: deed // something done voluntarily // a state of real existence rather than possibility // the process of doing: action (caught in the act) // the sum of a person’s actions or effects that serve to create an impression or set an example (a hard act to follow) // a display of affected behavior: pretense // into an undertaking or situation as an active participant.

Worship can be a bit more complex in its explanation, but this is not the first time we have disclosed its definition on this blog site. We originally discussed its meaning in The Joshua Project, and have done so in other posts, as well. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word “worship” is defined as:

(noun) reverence, homage or honor paid to God // ceremonies or services expressing such reverence; public worship // an utterly devoted admiration for a person; ‘Your (His) worship’ (esp. Br.) a courtesy title used to (or of) certain magistrates, officials, etc.

By defining worship as a noun (person, place, thing, or idea), Merriam-Webster is indicating that the word has physical properties, parameters, substance — belonging.

But the word “worship” can also be defined another way. In the Life Application Study Bible (NIV) the word is defined as, “(verb) to express praise and devotion.” So this definition reveals activity . . . involvement . . . choices being made. Now let’s piece these various definitions together to reveal what an “act of worship” is.

Any time you or I focus our actions, or deeds, towards bringing glory, honor, and reverence to God, then we are participating in an act of worship. Though Philippians chapter two, verses ten and eleven, state that there will come a day when, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” right now our acts of worship are purely voluntary. They allow us to experience the various attributes of God in a very real way, and again, as we have discussed in The Joshua Project and other blogs, when we acknowledge God’s attributes and apply them to our lives, godly worship takes place.

Your acts of worship are a divine covering (canopy) meant to benefit you and to make a way for you to serve others. This enables us to set an example and make a godly impression upon this lost and dying world. Our acts of worship display devotion to our gracious Creator, and they affect our overall behavior; allowing us to become active participants in doting on, and glorifying, the triune God. And we can do this in so many ways, thus the multicolored canopy on our “parasol of true worship.”

Worship 25 We are called to worship God through corporate acts of worship (Hebrews 10:24-25), as well as individual acts of worship. When we gather corporately, we do so to proclaim our love and devotion to God the Father as one vast voice of humanity. We also gather as one spiritual body to honor the head of the Church — God the Son — Jesus Christ. And as we discussed in our previous article, this is made possible by the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit.

These gatherings are made up of acts such as Bible study, fellowship, giving, greetings of peace, serving, singing, partaking of the Eucharist (a.k.a.: the Lord’s Table), prayer, and testimonials. All of these acts, if presented to God in spirit and truth, are acts of worship. Too often church leaders mistakingly refer to the musical portion of a corporate worship service as the “worship portion” of the liturgy. This is a false representation of what godly worship really is, as true worship is any act presented to God in a devoted and loving manner.

As individuals we can worship God by taking care of our families, friends, homes, and strangers. Yes, this means that no task is too insignificant, menial, or small. Changing a diaper, cleaning toilets, cooking dinner, maintaining your job, mowing the lawn, etc. can all be acts of worship. When we present an action before our Creator in an attitude of spirit and truth, then we can experience worship on a daily basis. Read with me these words from Paul the Apostle, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)

Again, there are simply countless actions that we can participate in when worshiping God. Too many to list in this post, and several of our main acts of worship lead to other acts of worship. For example, showing love (an attribute of God) leads to serving, and serving leads to limitless opportunities for us to worship God and be an example of God’s love to humanity.

So begin looking for ways to learn about God’s many attributes (Galatians 5:22-23), and begin applying those to your daily life. Avoid thinking of music as your only means to encountering godly worship. As you do these things, you will begin to open up that colorful canopy on your “parasol of true worship,” and experience God in amazing ways. Your worship will not only become genuine — expressing your true devotion to God — but it will lead others to be devoted to Him as well. I’ll leave you with one last thought from Paul the Apostle:

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering by J.Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jsnmin.org/.

The Joshua Project by J.Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jsnmin.org/.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.

Article 3

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering

We’ve discussed how the truth of the divine Word of God represents the tube, or shaft, of our “parasol of true worship,” as this is the main spine of our worship’s support system. Worship Umbrella 6c We also talked about how we must take hold of Christ (the handle) to gain access to the Father, and we examined how our attitude of worship, or spirit of worship (the ribbing), is a necessary extension of this godly device’s support system. Now we will look at the importance of this tool’s stretchers and runner.

The purpose of the stretchers and runner, on a parasol or umbrella, is to allow the user to extend the gadget’s ribs and expand its canopy to full capacity. Once the runner is locked into place, the stretchers also provide the final element of support needed for this tool to be used comfortably and correctly. These two pieces, from this device, are able to do this because they are two of the three elements which connect the ribs to the tube, or shaft. In similar fashion, it is the Holy Spirit Who is the divine implement that connects our attitude, or spirit, of worship to the truth of God’s incarnate Word — Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit keeps the believer’s worship centered on the truth of God’s holy Word (the runner). He also provides the godly worshiper with the necessary flexibility and strength (the stretchers) that they need to expand their acts of worship to full capacity and experience real, godly worship as a natural and normal part of their daily lives. We cannot worship God in “spirit and truth” unless the Holy Spirit calls us to know the truth and grows in us a godly attitude of worship (Isaiah 11:2; John 3:6-8, 14:26, 16:12-15; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 2:13).

Besides providing a way for us to know the truth of God, and to have an attitude of worship, the Holy Spirit provides the believer with other means of support. Join me as we read through a few of these divine provisions and their related Scriptures.

Bible 7 The Holy Spirit is our divine Counselor and Helper:

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:16-17a)

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Romans 8:26)

The Holy Spirit is our source of power:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My [God’s] witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” (Acts 4:31)

The Holy Spirit is a conduit of God’s spiritual fruit:

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” (Romans 5:5)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23a)

The Holy Spirit is part of our redemption and a guarantee of eternal life:

“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11b)

“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands . . . Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 5:1 & 5)

The Holy Spirit, Himself, is a divine gift from the Father:

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)

“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” (Acts 2:38)

Again, these are just a few of the provisions that the Holy Spirit brings into the lives of believers. But what every believer must realize is this: our worship of God must be supported by the Holy Spirit in order for us to be continually centered on the truth that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And our worship must be stabilized by the Holy Spirit, in order for us to experience a godly attitude of worship.

So as we close out this article, commit yourself to getting to know the Holy Spirit. Allow Him more control of your life. Act less on what your mind or emotions tell you to do, and do more from the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Once you begin this discipline you will be able to experience just how sweet it is to be in the presence of the Father. You will also encounter just how peaceful it is to be able to rest in the truth of Jesus Christ, and you will most certainly find yourself face-to-face with the most mysterious person of the trinity — our marvelous means of divine support — the Holy Spirit of God.

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering by J.Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jsnmin.org/.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.

Article 2

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering

We’ve begun to see how, in similar fashion to a parasol or umbrella, our worship of God grants us a protective covering that allows us to linger in His holy presence and endure the various testings of our faith. Worship Umbrella 6b We looked at how it is the truth of the divine Word of God (the tube or shaft) that provides the support system needed to experience real, godly worship, and we learned that it is only by clinging to Christ (the handle) that the true believer can gain access to the holy Father. In this article we will examine the ribs of this tool.

The ribbing of a parasol or umbrella is an extension of this device’s support system. Its primary function is to provide the canopy with sustained form and the ability to protect the user from the elements, much like most vertebrates’ bodies.

You see, human-beings require bony, cartilaginous rods to provide form for the walls of their torsos and protection of their vital organs. Our worship must also be reinforced in like manner, so that the acts of our worship are properly sustained and the worshiper is also provided with adequate protection from various spiritual elements. The ribs of our “parasol of true worship” are equal to what the Scriptures call our “spirit of worship,” or our “attitude of worship.”

A “spirit of worship” is simply a spiritual motivation. It focuses our spirits on Christ and allows us to act as He calls us to. It’s what kept Jesus focused on the Father’s will for His life, and Scripture calls us to do the same. Look with me at these two verses from John, chapter four:

“A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)

These are the words of Jesus Christ, God’s incarnate Word, to the Samaritan woman, whom He met at Jacob’s well. Christ was telling the Samaritan woman that real worship doesn’t happen in a physical place simply because that place has been declared a venue of worship. True worship can only take place from a spiritual origin, and it must be founded on truth.

Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), as we explained in our previous article. No one can approach the holy Father without Christ, and no one can worship the Father without a spiritual mindset or “attitude of worship.” Our spiritual attitude of worship must be focused on Jesus Christ. Allow me to share another analogy from a previous series of ours entitled Living Your True Purpose, as it explains so clearly what an “attitude of worship” is. The analogy begins by explaining how various ships are piloted:

Attitude 1 “There are several ways to pilot a ship, whether that craft is designed for the water ways or the air ways, but one of the main tools used are the navigational instruments. A water vessel can use up to thirty different types. The main ones, which have been used for centuries, are the compass, the charts (a.k.a.: the maps), and the stars. An air ship uses many instruments for flying, as well, and one of those tools is known as an ‘attitude indicator,’ or an ‘AI.’

An AI (pictured above) is an instrument used aboard an aircraft to inform the pilot of the aircraft’s orientation, as it relates to the Earth’s horizon. The attitude indicator will denote pitch (fore and aft tilt), and bank or roll (side to side tilt), and it is a primary instrument for flight while in the midst of poor weather (a.k.a.: instrument meteorological conditions). If the pilot maintains a good attitude then there should be little concern for a failed flight, but should a poor attitude become a part of the aircraft’s heading then danger will soon have to be dealt with. The same goes for us, as true worshipers.

We cannot endure to the end, through all of life’s trials and hardships, if we do not maintain a right attitude in our worship. In fact, it is only by worshiping God in all our circumstances (both good and bad) that we can hope to achieve and maintain a right attitude of worship. A poor attitude, where worship is concerned, is simply us moving from being a true worshiper of God to being a true worshiper of self. Without God to guide our ‘pitch’ and ‘banks or rolls’ we will surely crash and burn, and don’t even think about trying to navigate through a ‘storm’ without a right attitude.

So how can we hope to have such an attitude in this life? By modeling our attitude after the only perfect man who ever lived — God’s son — Jesus Christ. A true worshiper must have a Christlike attitude (Philippians 2:5-8); one that encompasses all aspects of their lives. You see, an attitude of worship will both prepare us for worshiping God and set the stage for our response to God after we have begun worshiping Him.”

Are you clinging to the truth of Christ as you worship (the tube/shaft and handle)? Are your acts of worship supported by a Christlike attitude (the ribs)? If not, then I encourage you to take hold of Jesus and focus your spirit on Him.

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering by J.Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jsnmin.org/.

Living Your True Purpose by J. Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jsnmin.org.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.

Article 1

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering

As we stated in our introductory article, a parasol protects us from the sun, and an umbrella protects us against rain. Though these two tools appear very similar, one is made of a more sturdy material than the other. This allows for two objectives to be accomplished by one simple design.

Worship Umbrella 6a In a similar way, our worship of God grants us a protective covering that allows us to linger in His holy presence and endure the various testings of our faith. Our worship is a single, divine design, but it accomplishes two very different goals in the life of the true believer. To linger in God’s presence worshiping Him does not require as hardy a spirit as does worshiping God through hardship. So, as we begin to look more closely at the various parts of a parasol and umbrella, you will begin to see and better understand how the true believer can utilize worship on a day-to-day basis — in all circumstances — thus allowing them to grow closer to God and endure the testing of their faith.

The tube and handle is where we will begin our study, as the tube is basically the “backbone” or main support system of this device. The handle is also an important part of this support system, as it allows the tool to be embraced and put to use. So, let’s take a closer look at these first two components of the parasol and umbrella.

The tube, or shaft, of this instrument is generally made from a lite metal alloy, generally aluminum, but it can also be made from various types of wood or bamboo. The idea is to give the parasol or umbrella a lite weight, yet sturdy, support system that will provide the stability that is needed while preventing the user from experiencing fatigue during use.

The handle of a parasol or umbrella can be made from a variety of materials, such as wood, plastic, or rubber, and they can come in diverse forms. A crook handle is most commonly used, but some types have handles that are straight or slightly curved. Whatever the handle type, its purpose is the same — to provide a comfortable way for the user to remain in control of the tool while it is in use. The truth of God’s incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, is both the tube (or shaft) and handle of the “parasol of true worship.”

Bible 11 You see, it is the truth of the divine Word of God (tube/shaft) that provides the support system needed to experience real, godly worship. Jesus Christ — God’s holy, living Word — must be at the center of our worship. Only He is holy enough to protect us while we linger in the presence of our holy Father (Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 3:12; Colossians 3:16-17), or strong enough to help us endure the testing of our faith (Proverbs 30:5; John 16:33). It is Christ, alone, Who’s charge is lite enough to not be a burden to the true believer embracing Him (Matthew 11:30). It’s only by clinging to Christ (handle) that the true believer can gain access to the holy Father (John 14:6; 1 John 1:5-7) and remain at peace while sitting under the “canopy” of true worship (Psalm 4:8; Isaiah 26:3-4; John 14:27; Colossians 3:15).

The handle of a parasol or umbrella may be made from a variety of materials, and fashioned in diverse forms, but it is only by taking hold of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we can sit in the shade of the “parasol of true worship.” It is only by seizing the truth of God’s divine Word, that we can remain in the presence of God unscathed by His righteousness; able to endure His divine tests. For a sinful creature cannot linger in the light of pure holiness, nor can the sinner be found faithful, worthy, and consecrated. It is only by God’s grace, and faith in Jesus Christ, that the unholy can be admitted into the presence of holiness.

As we prepare to examine the next few components from our “parasol of true worship,” I hope you will take the time to ponder how essential Jesus Christ — God’s incarnate Word — is to your life. I ask of you to consider how important God’s living Word is to you gaining access to God, and I pray you will discover the truth of God’s holy begotten Son and what that means to you becoming a true worshiper of the Father. Again, as we noted earlier the Scripture John 14:6, no unholy human can come before our holy Father to worship Him except by taking hold of the truth of Jesus Christ, His divine and incarnate Word.

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering by J.Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jsnmin.org/.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.

Introduction

Worship Umbrella 4

Worship — what comes to mind when you hear or see the word? Do your thoughts gravitate towards words such as adoration, exaltation, jubilation, and praise? Or, do you possibly consider words such as admire, idolize, or even respect? The Joshua Project (Intro Do you think of rock stars, Hollywood celebrities, idols, perhaps church, or how about God? How do you define worship?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines worship as:

(noun) reverence, homage or honor paid to God // ceremonies or services expressing such reverence; public worship // an utterly devoted admiration for a person; ‘Your (His) worship’ (esp. Br.) a courtesy title used to (or of) certain magistrates, officials, etc.

As we have discussed in our worship series The Joshua Project, by defining worship as a noun (person, place, thing, or idea), Merriam-Webster is indicating that the word has physical characteristics, variables, substance — belonging. But the word “worship” can also be defined as a verb. In the Life Application Study Bible (NIV) the definition states, “to express praise and devotion.” This definition reveals activity . . . involvement . . . choices being made.

So, which is it? Is worship something physical, tangible, and full of substance, or is worship an activity; something we choose to participate in? Worship actually is both; the blending of two definitions — the noun and the verb. The best example of this mixture of two definitions is in the Hebrews’ view of worship.

In the book Called To Worship: The Biblical Foundations of Our Response to God’s Call, by Vernon M. Whaley, we read that the Hebrew word used for worship is shachah, which means “to kneel, bow, prostrate yourself, or throw yourself down in reverence.” But there are four other very closely related words that Mr. Whaley says broaden the Hebrew description of worship; words that reveal the heart of their worship. These four words are: shabach, “to shout out to the Lord”; yadah, “to worship with raised hands”; tehillah, “to sing impromptu, spontaneous songs of praise”; and halal, “to celebrate God foolishly and boast about His attributes.” His attributes being faithfulness, goodness, love, mercy, etc. (see Galatians 5:22-23). Can you see the blending of the noun and the verb? If not, allow me clarify further.

Worship Umbrella 5 A parasol, or umbrella, is a thing which is used as a protective covering. A parasol is designed to protect us from the harmful affects of the sun’s rays. This compound word originates from the Latin words “parāre” (meaning to prepare for or against) and “sol” (meaning sun). So a parasol prepares you to be protected against the sun.

An umbrella is usually designed to keep us from getting soaked when it rains. The origins of this compound word stems from the Greek prefix “ómbros” (meaning shaded or shadow) and the French suffix “elle” (meaning little). So an umbrella is basically a “little shadow.” Its association with being a protective canopy against the rain stems from the French variation of the word parasol (parapluie). The suffix “pluie” (which originates from the Latin word “pluvia”), simply means rain. Thus, a parapluie, or umbrella, prepares you to be protected against rain. But the parasol, or umbrella, can only protect us if we take hold of them . . . open them up . . . make use (verb) of their physical properties (noun). It is the same for worship.

Worship — true worship — is the covering that shields true believers from God’s perfect and pure holiness and allows us to linger in His presence. Worship — true worship — prevents true believers from being distressed when God tests their faith (a.k.a.: rain and storms). But again, worship can only do this if true believers take hold of it . . . open it up . . . make use (verb) of its matter (noun).

In this new series, Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering, we will look more closely at how a parasol, or umbrella, is made. We will then compare those pieces to various aspects or actions of worship, so that we who have become true believers can better understand how to incorporate worship into our daily lives. Doing so will allow us to understand more completely how to linger in God’s presence, better endure hardships, and shine the light of God’s divine love to the lost and dying world that we live in. So join us as we examine our “parasol of true worship,” and together we’ll take hold of it . . . open it up . . . and make use of its colorful and varied substance.

Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering by J.Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jsnmin.org/.

The Joshua Project by J.Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://jsnmin.org/.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

Called To Worship” © 2009 by Vernon M. Whaley

All rights reserved. The brief information quoted from this book appears in this article with the permission granted per the copyright statement which appears in the publication copyrighted 2009.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail SpecialMarkets@ThomasNelson.com.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.

Part 3

Experiencing Hardship - Try True Worship (Header 1)

A Commentary on Psalm 118

A Commentary on Psalm 118

In our first post we introduced how worshiping God through our fears and hardships unleashes divine power in our lives, and we used the writer of Psalm 118 as our primary example. Give Thanks 2 Then in our second post we continued our in-depth look at this special Psalm, and proceeded to reveal Scriptural proof that encountering our fears and hardships with an attitude of worship will also make us conduits of God’s power, to a lost and dying world. In this third post we will conclude our in-depth look at Psalm 118, but before we read through our psalmist’s closing words let’s quickly review another story concerning an additional faithful worshiper of God — Gideon.

In the book of Judges is where we find Gideon’s account of how God used him to return Israel’s worship to God, as most of Israel was at this time worshiping Baal. Gideon was timid and shy at first, and though he worshiped and obeyed God he would do so in his way — with a doubtful heart. But when God commanded him to fight the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples who had joined forces to destroy Gideon and his faithful few, the Almighty used a transformed and obedient worshiper to defeat thousands with only three-hundred:

“Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he [Gideon] placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside. ‘Watch me,’ he told them. ‘Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, “For the LORD and for Gideon.” ’ Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, ‘A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!’ While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.” (Judges 7:16-22)

Gideon’s faithful obedience and worship released the power of God upon the land, and Israel’s enemies were defeated. (You can read this entire narrative in Judges 6:1-7:25.) It was the same for our author; in verses fifteen through seventeen we can continue to feel how God’s power was welling up inside this man:

“Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: ‘The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things! The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!’ I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.”

Our author doesn’t fear his enemy. No, he exalts God’s love and power! This individual doesn’t fear mortal death, but acknowledges life because he knows the “Author and Giver of Life.”

You see, it does not matter that we have failed in our lives. God knows we aren’t perfect. Ever since mankind chose self-worship over the true and perfect worship of God we have struggled to regain our righteousness. But you see, righteousness was given to us by God when He created us. Humanity never could lay claim to such purity, it was always the property of our divine Creator. I understand that mankind was able to remove God’s righteousness by rejecting God’s purpose, will, and plan, but we could never hope to regain this divine quality once we gave it up — this thing called “righteousness” — unless God made a way to return it to us. Our “man of letters” understood this truth too.

“The LORD has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death. Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter. I will give You thanks, for You answered me; You have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Psalm 118:18-23)

clouds 6 See how he realizes he has deserved God’s discipline, and has even embraced it. Why? Because he also knows his fate should be death, but God has chosen to make a way for him to escape this fate and live. He acknowledges that his righteousness has been restored to him by God, by way of this “gateway” that his divine Creator has provided him. Thus we see a glimpse of what was yet to come in the human embodiment of God’s Word — Jesus Christ — His only begotten Son (John 1:1-5). What a marvelous thing to embrace, and what a confounding mystery for so many who have yet to grasp it.

As our writer closes out this psalm, he returns to his anthem of praise and worship:

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you. The LORD is God, and He has made His light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will give You thanks; You are my God, and I will exalt You. Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:24-29)

Again, our psalmist is praising and worshiping God for His never ending, never changing love for His people, and again he encourages others to join in and enjoy the very presence of God. These are still plain words of worship towards God, but oh what power they posses. We too can access the divine, if we will just worship God in “spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). That spirit being the Holy Spirit of God, Who indwells each of us who have become true believers, and the truth being the very Word of God — Jesus Christ — who gave us access to the divine Father through His gracious sacrifice and awe-inspiring resurrection.

So as you experience your fears, meet them “head-on” with an attitude of worship! We all will have to endure some type of dread. For many it will be an uncomfortable circumstance such as dealing with heights, seeing a dentist or doctor, or even public speaking. Maybe for you its a fear of insects, snakes, and spiders. Possibly its an anxiety towards dogs, enclosed spaces, flying, loud noises or storms. What ever the distress may be in your life, consider the words penned in this psalm and remember, “In the name of the LORD I [meaning you and me] cut them off.”

The same goes with your hardships. When these times of misfortune appear, attack them with an attitude of worship! It may be a bankruptcy, divorce, or the loss of a job that brings you anguish. It quite possibly may be addiction, disease, a mental disorder, or physical pain that causes you to feel destitute. It may even be the death of a close friend or relative, a major move, or poor employment that causes you trouble. No matter the tribulation, recall that it is God Who is bigger than all our problems. And if God lives in you, then you too can “look in triumph” over your “enemies,” just as our psalmist did.

Suffering 3 This speaks volumes to me, because my hardship (as of the date of this post) is stage four colon cancer. This really ministers to me because my fear is the side affects from my chemotherapy treatments. Yet, because I have chosen to glorify God in this rough season of life, I can “cut off” the cancer that engulfs my body. Because I choose to possess an attitude of worship, and not focus on my discomfort and pain, I can “look in triumph” over these dread “enemies” known to me as anemia, discomfort, fatigue, pain, tumor growth, and all the other various side affects I am experiencing and will continue to experience until I’m healed.

Please understand that I am not promoting a “name it and claim it” doctrine; our psalmist wasn’t either. We cannot command our heavenly Father to do our bidding simply because we say so in His Son’s name. Our request must be in line with God’s divine purpose, will, and plan for our lives (Romans 12:2-3; Ephesians 1:3-12, 5:15-17; Hebrews 10:35-36; James 4:3; 1 John 5:14-15). Outside of God’s holy and righteous intent, our petitions have no authority. It is the LORD’s authority that matters; it’s His sovereignty that controls all things physical and spiritual.

The writer of this psalm came to understand our sovereign God’s authority and power over all things. He laid claim to this divine clout by allowing himself to rest in God’s sovereignty. It was through his godly worship that he could focus on this truth. It was through his reverent worship that he became a worthy vessel of God’s might and righteousness. It was through his joyous worship that God’s perfect intent for this man could be fulfilled, and God’s awesome power be made visible through this writer’s life, in spite of the changes taking place; no matter the unexpected situations that transpired around him.

So in closing, I invite you to join with me — you in your hardship and me in mine — and together let’s, “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

Experiencing Hardship? Try True Worship! by J.Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jsnmin.org/.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.