Derek Prince - Worship Should Always Be Followed By Service
This excerpt is from: Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship
I'd like to turn to an example of heavenly worship, which I believe gives us some really important principles, which is found in Isaiah 6:1-3. And in this scene here, Isaiah has a vision of the Lord in His glory in heaven. This has always been a very meaningful chapter to me. Because the first time I ever went to a Pentecostal meeting... And I didn't know it was a Pentecostal meeting. In fact, I didn't know there were such people as Pentecostals. But, the first time I went, the message was preached on this particular scene. At that time I was a soldier in the British Army, and I was living just like soldiers live in the British Army, without going into the details. We won't read it here tonight. 'But when Isaiah saw the Lord in His glory, he said: "Woe is me, for I am undone. For I am a man of unclean lips, dwelling in the midst of a people of unclean lips".
When I heard those words, unconverted as I was, 'A man of unclean lips, dwelling in the midst of a people of unclean lips.' I said, no one has ever described you more accurately than that. And from then on, the preacher had my attention. Even though I really didn't understand what he was talking about. Anyhow, let's read the first three verses. 'In the year that King Uzziah died, I, (Isaiah), saw the LORD sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood Seraphim.' (Or seraphs.) Now, the word 'seraph' is directly related to the word for fire. Seraphs are fiery creatures, whatever else they are. And then they're described: Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.'
I've always believed that those three holys were for the three persons of the godhead. Holy is the Father, holy is the Son, and holy is the Spirit. But if you picture that scene for a moment in your imagination, I think it gives you a wonderful... concept of the relationship between worship and praise. Praise is an utterance. So they were praising the Lord and declaring His holiness, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord.' But that wasn't the first thing that Isaiah saw. The first thing he saw was worship. Those seraphs had six wings. With the first two they covered their face. With the second two they covered their feet. What's that? That's an attitude, what is it? It's worship. Worship is the face covered in reverence before God. It is the body covered in reverence before God. Then they had two remaining wings, and with those they flew.
If you take flying as service, and covering the face and the feet as worship, then you find the proportion is four wings for worship, two wings for service. I believe that's a correct proportion. I believe that in our ministry to the Lord, we should give twice as much time and emphasis to worship, as we do to service. Furthermore, I believe that service should proceed out of worship. I don't believe that we should ever become involved in God's service... without having first related to God in worship. I believe there would be a complete difference in our service if it always proceeded out of worship. On the other hand, merely to worship without service is hypocrisy.
Let's look at the words of Jesus in Matthew 4:10, when Satan had tempted Him to fall down before Satan and worship him. Jesus answered with a quotation from Deuteronomy. "'Then Jesus said to Satan,' (that's Matthew 4:10), 'Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve". You notice the order again, first worship, then service. But, worship should always be followed by service. It's important to see this. There was a time when there was very little worship in most of the churches. People would have a Sunday morning service and they'd call it a worship service, but in actual fact there was usually no worship. It was praise, it was proclamation, but there was no direct worship.
Now in the last two decades probably, or little more, worship has begun to come back to the church. And in some ways, it's fashionable to worship now. You'll be in some congregations where they will, as it were, make a specialty of worship. And they can become rather proud of how good their worship is. But if people simply take worship as a form of spiritual self-indulgence... without it being translated into service, then it's hypocrisy. People that just have a wonderful Sunday morning worship service... and go home and live for themselves the rest of the week, they haven't heard the words of Jesus. 'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, but Him only thou shalt serve.' These two should never be separated. Service should never be separated from worship. And worship should never be separated from service.