Worship While You Fast
Overflow: The Time Is Now
My heart has been stirred closer to God this week. I pray that yours has also.
We were going to continue in the BELIEVE series today but I feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to stir the waters a little more about fasting today.
I was moved in my heart this last week by a sermon that I heard by Jentezen Franklin that I felt I wanted to bring to you about the connection between WORSHIP and FASTING and how that relates to you and I.
David, the scriptures tell us, was a man after God's own heart.
- There are 10 chapters in the Bible that relate to the life of Abraham.
- There are 11 chapters in the Bible that relate to the life of Jacob. Jacob's name was changed to Israel and his kids became the children of Israel.
- There are 10 chapters devoted to the life of Elijah and Elisha - the two major miracle ministries of the Old Testament.
- But there are 66 chapters in the Bible that relate mostly to the Life of David.
-There are over 1200 references to his name.
- 59 x's he is mentioned in the New Testament.
When you think of FAITH you think of Abraham.
When you think of the LAW you think of Moses.
When you think of MIRACLES you think of Elijah and Elisha.
When you think of PRAISE and WORSHIP you think of God's song and dance man - David.
The prominent character in the Old Testament (mentioned over 1200 times) is a man of worship. His name is David.
There must be a reason that God kept talking about David over and over - it was because he loved the presence of the Lord.
There are two seasons in David's life that are significant:
1- The first one is when he is bringing the Ark Of The Convenant back to Jerusalem.
2 - The other is one of the saddest days of his life when he has lost everything. He lost his family and his home had been burned. It looks like there is no hope for him.
What is amazing is that in both situations - the happiest day of his life and the saddest day of his life - his response and reactions were exactly the same.
His first basic instinct was to worship - on his highest day and on his lowest day. His instinct said “You need to turn this into worship.”
The kingdom grew and prospered more under David than any other time of the history of the nation of Israel.
Every person in this room right now needs to listen to me right now. I want you to understand this.
I just said that the kingdom of Israel grew and prospered under David, whose emphasis in life was a worshipper. It grew under him more than any other time in history.
I wonder what would happen that as we are in this fast – that, as we worship God, He is able to expand and grow and prosper our lives in our kingdom and in His own kingdom like never before.
Evangelism comes out of worship.
This is why there a number of people who don’t understand why we worship the way we worship at New Life Chapel.
Worship is an important pillar in this church. We need to be a church that is unashamed to worship. We need to be a church that is unashamed and uninhibited to give boisterous worship to God.
Sometimes it is loud and almost uncontrollable praise.
Worship brings evangelism. People get saved when the church starts worshipping. It just begins to happen.
There is a story in the Bible where Jesus says, “I must go to Samaria.” When he got to the city well – he told his disciples to go get lunch and come back to Him.
While they were away – a Samaritan woman comes to the well to get water. Some people say that she was a prostitute or a woman of ill repute. We don’t know that.
But we do know that she had been married 5x’s and she was living with number 6 out of wed lock.
When Jesus talked to her… out of all the things he could have said to this lost woman – He began to talk to her about worship
John 4:20-24 (ESV) 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Often people say that they are seeking God, but when you begin to worship – the Father seeks you out – v.23.
How many would like your Heavenly Father to seek you out? How many of you would like God to seek you out during the 21 day fast?
God says, “You can seek me by worship and fasting but when you begin to seek me out I’ll then seek you out. My presence will find you.”
This woman got set on fire spiritually after having a conversation with Jesus about worship.
The Bible says, she ran back to her city and brought the whole city back to Jesus. This is evangelism through worship.
The disciples came back and all they had was lunch. But she came back and had every heathen in the city.
She told them – “Come see the man who told me everything and talked to me about worship.”
The whole city can be saved when God finds a church that will worship Him.
The Spirit of Worship creates The Spirit of Evangelism
David wrote worship songs in the Book of Psalms. It is interesting; Jesus quoted more from the Book of Psalms than any other Old Testament writer.
More than Isaiah, Moses, Ezekiel combined. Jesus quoted more from David than any other. He was quoting worship songs.
And yet, Jesus said, “My mission is to save and seek those who are lost.” The tool that He used the most, the teaching that He used the most, came from the Book of Worship – The Book Of Psalms.”
Why? Because He understood that if He could get people to worship – then worship will bring about evangelism.
David wrote worship songs and he praised God like no other.
In Acts 15 there is a prophecy…
Acts 15:15-18 (ESV) 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 “‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, 17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’
David had rebuilt the tabernacle of God and brought the Ark of the Covenant back and sat it on Mount Zion under a tent. He rolled the tent flaps up so people could see it.
Up until that point people had been banned from the presence of the Ark of the Covenant.
The Ark of Covenant was God’s seat on earth. This is really interesting.
The Ark of the Covenant had on it something called the Mercy Seat. It was God’s seat on Earth.
It’s interesting, in the ancient Japanese language – they interpret this scripture, “God inhabits the praise of His people.” They interpret it this way, “Whenever people praise – God brings His big chair and sits down.”
In other words, God gets comfortable wherever a church begins to worship Him.
Don’t you want to make God comfortable? Don’t you want to have God bring His big chair to church?
We should say, “God, come on in and bring your Lazy Boy chair and get comfortable. God, get so comfortable here that you can just kick your feet up.”
That seat is called the Mercy Seat.
The reasons you get answers to prayer is not because you fast. It’s because of the Mercy of God.
Do you know why you get healed and blessed? It’s not because of anything you do. It’s by the mercy of God.
God tells us that the way to get God’s presence in our lives is to worship Him. When we worship – we create a seat for God to come down and sit in it.
You create a Lazy Boy chair for God to come down in your life.
Let’s welcome the presence of the Lord in this room today. Give God praise. Give God a seat in your house. Give Him a seat in your business.
The more you praise Him – the bigger that chair gets!
David said, “I love the presence of God.” So he rolled up the curtains.
Up until that point – Gentiles were kept out. They had to stay in the court of the Gentiles.
Women were kept out – they had to stay in the court of the women.
Most average people could not get near the Ark. But David rolled up the curtain tents and had 274 musicians surrounding the Ark Of The Covenant in 4 different shifts.
24 hours a day. 365 days a year. They did this for 33 years. They played musical instruments non-stop – entertaining the presence of God on Mt. Zion.
The people could come and get into the presence of God.
1 Chronicles 16:37 (ESV) 37 So David left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister regularly before the ark as each day required,
They ministered continually before the Ark.
Do you know why we need so much praise and worship continually? Because Satan’s opposition is continued.
Revelation 12:10 tells us that Satan accuses us day and night.
The Book of Job tells us that Satan went in and accused Job before the angels.
24 hours a day – there is a demon accessing and accusing you before the throne of God.
The devil knows how to get into God’s presence.
If the devil is going to be there accusing – then I’m going to be there praising!
If the devil is going to all the trouble of accusing me – then I need to get into the Lord’s presence and get under the blood of Christ.
Everything the devil is accusing me of – THE BLOOD OF JESUS HAS ALREADY COVERED ME.
I am forgiven and I am accepted and I am chosen and I am righteous through the precious blood of Jesus Christ!
If the devil doesn’t let anything to hinder him from getting into the presence of God to accuse you or I then you and I must press into God’s presence.
Some of us can’t even get into God’s presence because we’re too upset about the music – that it is not your style.
Or… the building is too cold. Or… those people over there are getting on my nerves, etc, etc.
You let everything discourage you.
There was a man in Book of Mark who had 2,000 demons. The Bible says that when he got into the presence of the Lord – “he fell at his feet an worshipped.”
Did you know that nothing is authorized to stop your worship – not even 2000 demons can stop you.
“Nothing can separate you from the love of God” – no trial, no burden, no doctor’s report, no set-back.
If I worship I can get into God’s presence. Nothing is authorized to stop your worship.
Let’s take a praise break and glorify Jesus in your fasting.
Rejoice with those who rejoice. When you praise God – you’re putting God into the battle. You start getting breakthrough.
That’s what happened to Jehoshaphat. God said - after he fasted 3 days - for him to quit worrying and go to praising.
There’s a connection to fasting and praising.
2 Chronicles 20:22 (ESV) 22 And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.
Their enemies began to devour one another and it took them 3 days to pick up the spoils of the battle.
Who is willing to send up a praise in the middle of a 21 day fast?
We are believing God for great things. The joy of the Lord is our strength.
1 Chronicles 23:5 (ESV) 5 4,000 gatekeepers, and 4,000 shall offer praises to the LORD with the instruments that I have made for praise.”
David created these instruments. He created sounds and rhythms that they never heard before.
These musical instruments that had never been heard in God’s house began to invade their worship experiences.
Up to that point – the only musical instrument to invade God’s house was a ram’s horn – the shofar. (Play the shofar).
Can you see the old timers saying – “That’s MY music. That’s what I grew up on. That’s the only anointed music.”
So, David brings in instruments that he created with rhythm and strings and drums.
I’m sure that there were some blessed saints that used to sit under Moses’ tabernacle and now they were under David’s tabernacle.
They were probably saying, “Bless God – if the ram’s horn was good enough for Moses – then it’s good enough for me.”
I just want to say… if you are saved and you’ve got children and grandchildren – church isn’t about you anymore. It’s about your children and their children and every generation after them.
Every generation has a sound. Every generation has their own style of music. You might not like it all (I don’t even like it all).
It’s not about you or me anymore.
Some of you sound like old shofar’s. (Play the shofar).
There’s nothing wrong with the old and there’s nothing wrong with the new. Get into all of it.
Do you know what? I don’t have to feel it.
That’s what I like about David. He danced before the Lord with all His might. He loved God with all his heart – but it started in his feet.
Sometimes when you first start praising God – you don’t feel it in your heart.
Some of you… when people ask you – “Why don’t you praise God?” – You are saying, “I just don’t feel like it.”
What David understood was this…
- Jesus probably didn’t feel like it when he was carrying the cross.
- Jesus probably didn’t feel like it when they were spitting on His face and nailing Him to the cross.
He probably didn’t feel like it.
But it has nothing to do with feelings.
Here’s what I’ve learned… Sometimes praise starts in my feet before it can get to my heart.
Sometimes I don’t feel anything in my heart at 9 AM when I come to church. Then they’ve got their music going on with the drums and guitars and I don’t feel it.
Sometimes I think – “That’s too much. I just need a coffee and an unplugged set.”
Just give them an acoustical guitar and a harmonica and let’s just go old school. I just want it mellow.
But when I start clapping my hands and moving my feet and using my voice – my heart soon joins in.
I start doing these things and get off my “blessed assurance” and begin to praise God and move my body a little bit.
It starts with your extremities and starts moving toward your heart.
Out of your heart then comes thanksgiving and praise.
Give God a foot today. Give Him a hand. Give Him a mouth. Begin to praise God.
LET EVERYTHING THAT HAS BREATH PRAISE YE THE LORD.
Let me close with this…
So, David prepares to bring the Ark Of The Covenant back to Jerusalem. This was 6 miles from where The Ark Of The Covenant was in Obed-Edom’s house.
He brought 30,000 soldiers with him to move a box that 2’3” long and 2’3” wide that carried the tablets of Moses.
Musical instruments were playing. People were dancing.
A pace is 2’ 6”. Every 6 paces – He would stop. He would take 6 steps (walk it off.)
He would build an altar. He would take an oxen, cut it and dress it. He would then take a lamb and lay it on the altar. He would cut it and dress it.
He would burn them up and send incense up to God.
As soon as that was finished he would do all over again after taking 6 more steps.
He would stop again, build another altar, kill another oxen and sheep and burn it on the altar.
He did this for 6 miles.
That is 2,437 stops for 6 miles. That is 406 stops per mile.
That is 2, 437 oxen slain. It is 2,437 sheep that were slain.
If it took 30 minutes to prepare for the ritual sacrifice – that is 1,259 hours or 52 days to make a 6 mile journey.
At 8 hours to sleep. 3 hours to eat a day… that’s 630 more hours – 26 more days to cover 6 miles.
It took David 78 days just to the ark 6 miles from one place to the other.
David was king. He had a lot of important to do and important people to meet with.
He’s running a whole nation.
But he was making a statement – there is nothing more important than entertaining the presence of God.
He was saying, “I MUST have His presence in my kingdom.”
He worshipped God for 78 days.
David understood that he had some battles to fight and he only had one bullet – the bullet of worship.
With worship he soared and with worship he warred.
When we go to battle – we go with praise and worship.
When God shows up – HIS ENEMIES ARE SCATTERED.
When God stands and defeats our enemies.
With one instrument – David worshipped and the demons left Saul.
If David with one harp could drive out every demon in Saul – what would happen if everyone of our musicians and everyone of us – as we use our voices – what would happen if we were to use them as instruments of praise and worship.
What could happen during a 21 day fast at New Life Chapel.