RELEASING THE PAST
© 2004 Rightly Dividing the Word
Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
I know you are asking, “Why do we need another message on worship?” Mainly, because I can see another significant of worship; I can see how that it can shape your environment, and how it can chart your course!
There are many people whom I have talked with that have made me realize how important worship is in a person’s life. There is really no such thing as a “lack of worship,” because I can see how worship rides alongside the number one drive in human beings, and that is hunger. Worship becomes every man’s quest to find fulfillment and satisfaction. So it all boils down to asking just what will you worship, and how will you do it?
The Bible says, “He that hungers and thirst after righteousness, shall be filled!” So, if my hunger becomes perverted, then my worship will also be perverted—because we become what we worship.
Romans 1:21-25 (21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (23) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (24) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: (25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Paul shows in Romans that the more men and women become “self-serving” the more their worship becomes perverted until they finally lose their true identity and become caught up in the ultimate perversion with women in love with women and men in love with men! The pattern was laid out in Genesis when the Lord could see that it wasn’t good that man would be alone, and so He made him a helpmeet who was to fulfill his worship experience.
Maybe you didn’t happen to notice, but man’s first neighbor was his wife—Eve. You see, Adam had already fulfilled his first obligation to the Law of God; that was to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength. It was the second Law that said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself!” Now if the second law of the Lord was just about you loving yourself in a selfish way, then the Lord really blew it by creating someone else—but that someone else was his FIRST NEIGHBOR, who was known as his wife.
There is no way that a person can truly express love for themselves by being selfish; it has to be expressed through someone else becoming a recipient of that Love. I know today that the Lord doesn’t have a “Love Problem,” because He has expressed the highest order of Love by willingly laying down His life for me—even while I was yet a sinner.
Generally, our worship of God has been corrupted by past experiences, and many of us have had to re-direct our emotions and set up guards against ever being hurt again. Yes, worship can become very painful. It can cost you a rib. It can remove all your selfish protection and make you vulnerable to death. It can make you climb up mountains just to give the Lord your very best! But in order for us to truly worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth, we have to be disconnected from the past and be connected to the present reality of knowing Him right now!
When we get involved with people, we are not just involved with what we see; for under the surface lay their past experiences, through which they now view their current worship. Our opening text in John 4 was spoken by the Samaritan Woman at the well—one of the more talked about women in the Bible. The Bible says that this woman had had as many as five husbands, and the one she was with at that moment was not her own. But, I had never considered her circumstances before. So let’s look a little deeper into her story.
First to her credit, she realized that she, though an offspring of Jacob, wasn’t worshipping in the right mountain even though she had the right pedigree! As a matter of fact, she was even drawing water out of a well that Jacob had dug. But what she didn’t realize was that when Jacob was drawing water out of that well—his daughter was being raped by the heathen. Eventually this area became a place where there was no respect for women.
The town where this lady lived and worshipped was called “Sychar,” which was the New Testament’s name for the Old Testament’s Shechem. This city had a rich heritage of things that needed to be corrected and disconnected from. It began as an established a city of refuge by the Lord, and was also where the Lord pronounced the blessings and the cursing on those who would obey or disobey His laws. In this town Abimelech, the son of Gideon, took vengeance on the city for rejecting him as a king and sowed the ground in salt and destroyed the whole city. This is the same place where they had refused the house of David to be their King, and became the capital city of false worship for all those that rejected the House of David.
From this many of us owe this woman an apology for judging her in our minds as being a very loose woman, when in all actuality she was just a product of her past connections. She just needed to know how to worship! SHE HAD NEVER BEEN LOVED, SO SHE DIDN’T HAVE A TRUE CONCEPT OF WORSHIP! But there she found a man named Jesus; He wasn’t full of lust but of love. He was able to tell her all the things that pertained to her past as well as to her future. By doing so, He disconnected her from her past by revealing that though He really knew her, her circumstances weren’t going to stop Him from expressing His love to her.
Everybody else was rejecting her because of what she had been through. She was a marked woman in her society, because everyone knew she wasn’t good enough to hold a man. What a stigma! She had no confidence in herself! She couldn’t even believe that a man would even hold a conversation with her! Yet there Jesus sat, opening up her life, and opening up her heart toward true worship.
There is not a one of us that Jesus doesn’t know where we have been and all the things that we have had happen; BUT He wants us to disconnect from our past, so that He can offer us a brand new future! I know that you may feel like nobody has ever loved you, but if you’ll listen, you will hear the Master saying, “Let me take care of your thirst!”
The Samaritan woman left the waterpots of her past behind and went straight to the men of the city and told them, “I HAVE MET A MAN! YOU HAVE TO COME SEE THIS MAN!” The whole city got a release from their past, and there was great joy in the city! They got their worship right, and when they did, the whole city changed!
Kelly Wilson is a frequent guest writer for RDTW. He is the pastor of the Christ Tabernacle Church, of Decatur, Illinois. You can contact him by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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