Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Sunday, August 3, 2008

WG08 – Session #5, Worship Service with Bob Kauflin

The Friday evening worship service was an incredible demonstration of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, Bob led us through a teaching on worship, applying the lessons he presented to our time of corporate worship right within the lesson.

Keeping with the theme of the Psalms, Kauflin asked the question, "How do we apply the Psalms to what we do when we meet together? How do we model the relationship the Psalmist had with God?" He used Psalm 22 as his text for the lesson. Psalm 22 is an imprecatory Psalm, it is plea for God to destroy evil and display His glory over the Earth.

Bob began by asking a series of questions concerning what happens when we gather corporately, all of them answered in the Psalms in general and in Psalm 22 specifically:

(1) What do we do with our bodies? How do we respond to God physically and mentally? Kauflin taught that there is no fluff or filler in the Psalms, that God requires us to engage, fully with our minds and completely with our bodies, in worship to Him. He reminded us of Psalm 100 that commands everything that has breath to praise the Lord.

While making his first point, Bob would have interludes where the entire assembly would put his teachings to practice. This was challenging as the Psalms repeatedly tell us to sing, shout, dance, kneel, play instruments, pray, plead, cry and leap for joy. (Why is that so hard for God's people? - jk)

(2) What do we do with our trials and problems? Bob suggested that our corporate gatherings present the opportunity to connect who He is with what He has said and what He has done in our lives and the life of our church body. Among other things that we should do when we gather, Bob maintains, is to bring our trials before Him and cast them upon Him. Then we wait upon Him to move.

We paused during this point to pray for healing for those who had long-term ailments. This was a powerful time of corporate prayer.

(3) What do we do with Evil? He quoted Spurgeon, "God's anger at evil is one of His excellencies." Kauflin rightfully pointed out that we must see ourselves as participants in evil. He said that we cannot view ourselves as righteous, looking upon others as primitive and barbaric, we are part of the problem. Without this perspective, we have no concept of His grace nor our desperate need for it.

The imprecation in Psalm 22 is for God to destroy evil. Who is the Evil One? Psalm 22 says it is the liar, murderer, etc. By implication, it is Satan and his children. Who is the one making the imprecatory prayer? It is the suffering, the poor, the needy, the righteous, the innocent, etc. This is Christ and His children. The wrath of God is vented in the Evil One. Kauflin said, "We must view the wrath of God as our hope. Only the wrath of God will deliver His people from evil. When we understand that, we will understand that we can embrace His wrath as our redemption and cleansing from evil." He went on to explain that our full understanding of our participation in evil and the wrath that results from it leads us to a place of total dependence on the mercy and grace of God. The good news, Bob taught, is that Jesus drank that cup of wrath for us delivering us from the consequences of our sin. We are the ones who deserve the imprecation, Jesus saves us from it. It is God who will judge the "cup of the wicked" it is Jesus who drinks of the "cup of mercy" (Matt 26).

Bob, in bringing home the importance of this point and the others, sang prophetically to the congregation. It was an amazing, touching and appropriate application of Scripture and recognition of God's glory. The Holy Spirit moved among us, giving honor and glory to God. Kauflin handled all this humbly and sensitively by keeping the corporate focus on Christ.

Kauflin finished with the truth that God intends for us to be like Him, to reflect His nature. In other words, the goal of our sanctification is to make us like Him, hating evil and loving Him.

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