To The Degree That You Are Willing To Discipline Your Life, God Will Be Able To Accomplish His Desired Plan For You ... To Bring To Pass Those Desires That He Has Placed In Your Heart, And To Bring About Those Things For Which You Are Believing Him. It Doesn't Happen Merely Because God Said It Was Going To Happen. A Lot Depends On You And Me." - The 2nd Flood by John W. Stevenson
When God shows us something about our lives, He looks for us to obey Him, and such obedience takes discipline. If it has been sometimes since you received a revelation or a vision and God doesn't seem to have done anything about it yet; it is not because He is slothful concerning His word, but because there are things we need to understand more before He starts accomplishing His word. Discipline concerns many areas of our lives. And one very important area for all who wish to truly worship Him in spirit and in truth is the Discipline of Worship, which is touching God where He is.
John 4:24 emphasies that we must worship the Father in spirit and in truth. There is no "try". Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, God has been continually wanting to draw us to Himself. Today one of the ways to His holy presence is through praise and worship (Ps 100:4); but the is no place for sin in His presence! Be it deception or disobedience as it is written in 1 John 4:20, we cannot worship God with anger, bitterness or resentment in our hearts
1) WORSHIPERS MUST KEEP THE CHARGE
Ezekiel 44:6-14 reveal that there were three classifications of Levities. Two groups were not allowed to enter into the His sanctuary to worship because they did not KEEP THE CHARGE.
What is the CHARGE? The word "CHARGE" in the Old Testament comes from the Hebrew word "mishmereth." (H4931 - Strongs). It means "to watch; the act of custody; a guard, service, preservation, command, law."
Deuteronomy 11:1 says, “Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep His CHARGE, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always.
When we talk about the discipline of worship, we must understand that there has to be conscious decision in our mind that our life is wholly yielded to one ministry (like the Levites who were the ones appointed as priests) and that is the ministry unto God.
a) The First Group - The Rebellious Ones (Ezekiel 44:6-9)
The were "the rebellious ones" and God said they would not have a place at all! They have become an abomination to God. They did not KEEP THE CHARGE of His holy things (Ezekiel 44:8-9). They had moved to a place of rebellion, which is a the sin of witchcraft. 1 Samuel 15:23 - " For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,He also has rejected you from being king.” (NKJV)
It is an abomination before God. Galatians 5:19-21 "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are these ... idolatry, witchcraft ... of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." You see, the rebellious refuse to accept God's Word and would rather lean on the arm of flesh (See Ezekiel 44:7).
There are meany today who refuse to hear the Word of the Lord, or the Holy Spirit. They would rather continue on in the traditions of men and rely on the flesh. The end result for them will be the same as it was for the rebellious ones in Ezekiel. It was the same for king Saul: "Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,He also has rejected you from being king.” (1 Samuel 15:23b - NKJV)
b) The Second Group - Followers Of Those Who Went Astray (Ezekiel 44:10-14)
These Levites also went astray but they were not the initiators. However, because they followed after them, even though they knew the truth! For that reason they will only have charge at the gates of the house, ministering to the house and to the people, but they will not go near to the Lord to do the office of a priest. In verse 13, we see that these Levites were not only prohibited from coming near to the Lord:"And they shall not come near Me to minister to Me as priest, nor come near any of My holy things, nor into the Most Holy Place ..." They were not allowed to enter into His presence because they did not KEEP THE CHARGE.
Many today are not only worshiping from the outer court. There are some who are only ministering to the people, the congregation. This is not God's desire, nor is it His best for us. Jesus gave His life so that you and I could enter into the presence of the living God. We must be willing to discipline our lives as worshipers, and be determined to KEEP THE CHARGE.
c) The Third Group - The Priest Who KEEP THE CHARGE (Ezekiel 44:15-16)
“But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer to Me the fat and the blood,” says the Lord GOD “They shall enter My sanctuary, and they shall come near My table to minister to Me, and they shall keep My charge."
This is where we want to be - because we have KEPT THE CHARGE, because we have kept the standard, because we have lived the disciplined life of a worshiper, we can enter into the presence of God unhindered.
Ezekiel 46:9 says, “But when the people of the land come before the LORD on the appointed feast days, whoever enters by way of the north gate to worship shall go out by way of the south gate; and whoever enters by way of the south gate shall go out by way of the north gate. He shall not return by way of the gate through which he came, but shall go out through the opposite gate." When you enter into worship, you should never leave the same way you came. There should be something that has changed in your life. The Scripture say we changed from glory to glory. You cannot enter into the presence of God and leave the same way you came. You will either leave transformed by the power of God or you will leave convicted by the power of God.
2) IT TAKES DISCIPLINE TO KEEP OUR CHARGE TO MINSITER TO GOD.
WORSHIP IS A LIFESTYLE, not a programme. Worship is not something we do, IT IS A LIFESTYLE WE MAINTAIN! (this requires our discipline). Many people think they can live any way they want, we need to understand that we cannot minister tothe desires and the passions of the flesh Monday through Saturday and then turn around and try to minsiter to God on Sunday.
A.W.Tozer in his book "Whatever Happened To Our Worship" said that "if you cannot worship God in the midst of your responsibilities on Monday, then it is very unlikely you were worshiping on Sunday!"
Today the Father is still seeking for "true worshippers who MUST worship Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH". (John 4: 24). If you are willing to subject your life to the Discipline of Worship, it will revolutionize your life as a Worshiper.
(an extract from: The 2nd Flood by John W. Stevenson)