A Worshiper Is One Who Is Intimately Acquainted With And Has A Daily Relationship With God Exhibited Through Obedience - John W. Stevenson
We were created NOT to DO but to BE a worshiper. In order for us to gain greater insight into what it takes to be a worshiper of God, we must use the "Law of First Mentioned," a principle that states the first time a word or idea is mentioned in Scripture is significant, for it sets a foundation and framework for any other time the word is used throughout the Scripture. The first time the word "worship" was used in connection with Abraham offering Isaac (Genesis 22) and it involves Faith, Sacrifice and Obedience.
The life of a worshiper is not without tests, nor without the pressure that comes with living in sinful world. It is God's grace that strengthens us and helps us to walk in victory even in our most challenging times! Let us see other worshipers in the Bible who walk in Faith, Sacrifice and Obedience in order to learn from them:
1) The Three Hebrew Children In The Fiery Furnace
"Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego replied, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn't, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up." (Daniel 3:16-18 NIV)
This was a faith-defining moment for these three worshipers. They made it absolutely clear that they would not compromise and maintained their covenant relationship with the God of Israel and refused to bow down and worship anyone other than Him. As worshipers they were confident in their God and His ability to keep them!
At this point it looked like these men would surely die for their beliefs. They were tied up and thrown into the fiery furnace and that's when the miracle happened! These young worshipers were now joined in the fire by the One they worship! That's worshiping God with their lives in Faith, Sacrifice and Obedience... no instrument and no songs but they encountered the manifest presence of God - "The 4th Man!"
As a result, the king gave praise to the God of Israel and decreed that from that time on anyone who said anything against Him would be executed “for no other god can save in this way” (Daniel 3:28-29).
2) Daniel In The Lions' DenAs a worshiper, Daniel had enjoyed God’s favor all his life, and when king Darius appointed Daniel as one of 3 administrators to oversee the kingdom he so distinguished himself that king Darius thought to give him sole administrative authority over all the kingdom. This of course made the others jealous and they sought to discredit him, but Daniel was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent (Dan 6:4). Finally they devised a scheme to trap Daniel by making it illegal for him to worship God. They convinced king Darius to make it mandatory for all his subjects to worship him for the next 30 days and anyone caught worshiping anyone else must be thrown into a den of hungry lions (Dan 6:6-9).
Daniel of course remained true to his God and since he made no attempt to hide this, he was caught praying and worshiping God and was thrown into the lions' den. From the original language of Dan 6:16-20 it appears that king Darius believed God was obligated to save Daniel because he was intimately acquainted with and has a daily relationship with God exhibited through obedience.
In Dan 6:23 the word translated trusted means to trust continually. The fact that the lions immediately devoured Daniel’s accusers in the morning proves they had been hungry all night long. This faith became one of the great examples in “The Hall of Faith” (Hebrews 11:33).
“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:11 (NIV). Faith is trusting what the eye can’t see. The natural eyes see the prowling lion but faith sees Daniel’s angel.
In conclusion, I would like to quote from John W. Stevenson's book - Worshiper By Design: "God does not test us to destroy us, but rather to make us! As worshipers, we must come to expect times when we will be tested. But "those who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits" (Daniel 11:32). In every case, God honors and protects those who are intimately acquainted with and have a daily relationship with Him as exhibited through their obedience to His word. He honors His worshipers!"