We ought to praise and glorify Heavenly Father in the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings who reigns over our lives. He is the one who allows us to worship Him both online and on site—even though the number of the attendees is still limited and we need to strictly adhere to the health protocol imposed by the government.
It’s important to know what the purpose of our worship is. Luke 13:10-21 says that worshipping God leads to deliverance. How could it be? Because the Word of God that we hear in the church sermons is God in Person who has the power to heal, bring deliverance from evil spirits, and give happiness to those who read, listen and obey the Word (Rev. 1:3).
What kind of worship power is described in Luke 13:10-21?
At that time Jesus was teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath and there was a woman who had been possessed by a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, causing her back to hunch over and unable to stand up straight. Matthew 15:22 explains that the person (a daughter) who is possessed by a demonic spirit suffers greatly. So, you can imagine how much suffering this woman must have endured for eighteen years! Truly she received extraordinary grace and care when Jesus saw, called and healed her. It’s possible that she had been seeking treatment here and there but to no avail. Fortunately, she faithfully attended church that she could hear Jesus calling her—just as a sheep that will hear the voice of its shepherd (John 10:14-16). As soon as Jesus healed her, she glorified God.
Application: God is well aware of the suffering of those who truly worship Him and is always ready to help.
Please note, there are two categories of demonic spirit that possess men namely: evil spirit and unclean spirit.
How was the condition of this demonic-possessed woman? The spirit of infirmity made her back helplessly stooped for eighteen years so that she always looked downward which spiritually means that she continually focused on earthly things and couldn’t look up to glorify God.
What causes a person to stooped? Anxiety in the heart could bend people’s back (Prov. 12:25). That's why give up all our worries because He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7). It’s very natural that we are sometimes overwhelmed with worries but we must change our paradigm or perspective and humble ourselves before Him. On the other hand, do not feel strong and rich and then refuse to come to Him because God hates arrogant people (1 Pet. 5:5). The fact is that we cannot escape our natural tendency to arrogance without the touch of God.
The hunchbacked woman was released from the power of the spirit of infirmity by Jesus so that she could stand upright, looking up to praise and glorify God. Her faith became big, and even though she was hit by the “wind”, she would still stand tall like a mustard tree that was planted from a small seed and experienced death to rise and grow into a big tree.
Application: We should have faith like (not as big as) a mustard seed that grows into a big tree. Those who do not know God are prone to worry quite needlessly whereas the Bible says “don’t worry” several times. “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap … yet your heavenly Father feeds them … Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matt. 6:25-34; Luke 12:24-25). Worry can cause us to be spiritually bent over in a sense of unabling us to focus on the things above (cf. Col. 3:2). Remember, the Kingdom of God is not about food and drink but about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14: 17).
Beware, Satan is a master deceiver who continually tries to keep us away from God. However, we have the right weapon to fight against his seduction: the word of God that we have heard and kept in our heart. Therefore, let’s come to God humbly and leave our problems to Him. Surely He won’t be negligent but ready to touch us.
Actually, worries is at the same level with riches and pleasures of life (Luke 8:14). People work hard pursuing worldly riches and pleasures that they often worry too much. Their worries hinder the word of God from growing mature; consequently, it produces no ripe fruit.
It should be noted that the evil spirit never works alone but invites his friends to inhabit a clean, swept and tidy house, but empty, resulting in the owner being worse off than before (Luke 11:24- 26).
Introspection: Is our house of life (God’s temple) empty so that it attracts evil spirits and their friends to enter and make us stooped? We should position ourselves as sheep, waiting to be called by the shepherd (John 10:1-3). The woman who was bent over for eighteen years was called by Jesus to receive the gift of deliverance from evil spirits; and Jesus likened her to an ox or donkey that needed to be let out from the stall to drink although it was on the Sabbath (Luke 13:15).
It is proven that believers who have experienced death and resurrection can glorify God's name because only the living (still breathing) can praise Him (Ps. 150:6). Also, faith begins with hearing the Word of Christ (Rom 10:17).
When can we experience the miracles that Jesus performed? When we are humble. This was done by Peter, who had been fishing all night long but caught nothing. The next morning when Jesus got into his boat to teach the people, He told Peter to put out into the deep water and spread out his nets to catch some fish. What did Peter say? "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net." (Luke 5:5). Peter humbly did His command and a miracle took place. He caught so many fish that his nets began to tear. Then he called his friends and they filled their boats with fish until they were about to sink (v. 7). It was like a mustard seed that became a big tree—a blessing to the birds.
Anything we do with faith will lead to miracles because with God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). Didn’t a miracle of turning water into wine happen at the wedding at Cana after the servant did what Jesus said (John 2:7-9)?
Application: If by faith we practice God's Word, a miracle will surely occur because for God, the King of kings and the great Shepherd, nothing is impossible. He sacrificed Himself for His sheep so that we experience change and renewal of life when we do His commands. We must value God's Word more than gold, silver and gems because His Word has the healing power as Peter healed the lame man at the gate of the temple not with gold and silver but in the Name of Jesus Christ (Acts 3:1-7).
How serious are we about worshiping God? Did we know that worshipping God produces deliverance from the bondage of evil and unclean spirits as well as healing for those who are sick? For that, we must appreciate the Word that we hear, keep it in our lives (God’s temple) and do it so that miracles take place. When we have been blessed, we must become a blessing to others. Rest assured that whatever problems we have, God will help us in His time. Amen.