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God is after the heart of worship, and so is the devil. In the last days, the enemy is relentless and aggressive to hijack all the worship that belongs to God. One of the ways he does is to defile the altar of our hearts through idolatry. What is the responsibility of every Christian? The thrust of this book addresses the question: “What does the heart of a worshipper look like?” For worship to be authentic, it has to be wholehearted and undefiled
- Ricky Sim -
Ricky Sim goes after the heart of the matter in this book: The heart. He shows us so well that for worship to be authentic, it must be wholehearted.
But Ricky doesn’t really play it safe with this book. He doesn’t colour inside the lines. He doesn’t honour the boundaries of that which is politically correct. Among other things, he goes after one of the biggest “heart problem” in our day – Idolatry.
Idolatry. Just talking about it is a sure-fire way to guarantee that nobody wants to buy your book. Nobody wants to believe that it’s actually an issue in our hearts.
It’s time to sit up straight and look at this beast of the heart. It’s time to shine the light of truth and wisdom on that part of our heart that is so easily touched by the idols of possessions, pleasures and powers.
When I listen to Christian podcasts today, many of them chart a course that actually supports and validates covetousness of idolatry. It has suddenly become a noble thing to earnestly desire more sales, more profits, more reach, more comfort. All the more reason for a book like this to call us back to the heart of worship.
There’s only one way I know to deal with idolatry, and that is by the violence of incessant repentance. Whenever you see it, take out the sword of the Spirit and hack off that vine. And be aware that the tendrils of idolatry, for they always grow back again. They will launch yet enough effort to wrap around your heart and pull your mind down from things above (Colossians 3:1). The heart’s war against idolatry is not a victory we conquer, but a battle that we engage in on a daily basis. The same is true for most issues of the heart.
Idolatry. That’s only one of many heart issues that Ricky tackles in this book. Buckle up, start with chapter one, and go after the heart of the matter: The heart.
Ricky meticulously traces through the Scriptures from the Old Testament to the New Testament to discover the heart of a true worshipper of God. In the book he details what pleases or offends the Lord and offers the reader practical applications to become a worshipper that delights the Lord.
I highly recommend this book to every believer embarking on this journey.
Pastor Daniel Foo
Senior Pastor and Lead Elder – Bethesda (Bedok-Tampines) Church Singapore & Faculty with Haggai Institute, Tung Ling Bible School and Eagles Leadership Institute.
In this book, Ricky Sim has chosen to address the critical issue of the heart. Out of the heart flows the issues of life and only God can redeem the human heart. Not only did Ricky seek to diagnose what is wrong with the human heart because of sin but he has also highlighted the work of Christ on the Cross to redeem it. He went on further to provide us with fiercely biblical and highly practical handles to continue cultivating a pure and undefiled heart before God. This is one of the most comprehensive and helpful work on the human heart that I have come across in recent times. So read this book and be blessed!
Pastor Benny Ho
Senior Pastor - Faith Community Church, Perth
Founder - Arrows School of Ministry
All that my dear friend Ricky writes in this book is firmly embodied in his lifestyle as a worshipper of Christ. These are biblical truths about worship that have not just been learnt, but lived through as Ricky journeys in the grace of God. So when he writes about the shattering of the altars made to false idols in our lives, he beautifully writes from the gracious place of experience. Definitely a necessary read for those who take their worship seriously.
Pastor Neli Atiga
Every Nation Church, Brisbane
Ricky Sim is a man who is passionate about worship. While he is a worship leader, it is clear through his writing that worship is not merely about worship leading in a service. For Ricky, worship leading extends beyond the service, it has to affect every part of daily life. And at the heart of it all, Ricky tells us that it is a matter of the heart. Is the heart one that loves and fears God or one that loves the world and fears man? In his own words, “If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, then the fear of man is the end of it.” There is good teaching in this book – lots of it – that will help the reader understand more about the issues of the heart and begin a life of holiness. Take your time, savour every bit of it and let God cultivate and purify your heart through this book in one hand and the Bible in the other, so that you might see God.”
Rev Barnabas Chong
Pastor, Christ Methodist Church
Ricky has done well in capturing the essence of the heart. Since his days at Tung Ling Bible School, we hear his heartbeat for the matter of the heart. As they say, “The heart of the matter, is the matter of the heart.” In this third edition of a series of books on the heart matter, Ricky continues to deal with the issues of the heart of a worshipper. A wonderful treatise on The Undefiled Heart. Without doubt, you must give your undivided heart to read it. Congratulations Ricky on the publishing of yet another title. We are proud of you!
Ong Guek Ju
Principal, Tung Ling Bible School
Part 1 – A Pure Heart
Chapter 1 Clean Hands and a Pure Heart
Chapter 2 Blessed are the Pure in Heart
Part 2 – An Undefiled Heart
Chapter 3 What Defiles our Hearts?
Chapter 4 The Golden Calf
Chapter 5 Baal, Ashtoreth, Molech
Chapter 6 Demolishing the High Places
Chapter 7 Defiling the Temple of God
Chapter 8 Rebuilding the Temple of God
Part 3 – A Steadfast Heart
Chapter 9 Who Gets the Worship?
Chapter 10 The Unstoppable Worshipper
Part 4 – A Passionate Heart
Chapter 11 Are you a Worshipper?
Chapter 12 The Essence of Worship
Chapter 13 Worshipping the Ways of God
Chapter 14 The Undefiled Heart
In The Unguarded Heart, I have addressed the following questions: What is the heart? Why do we need to guard our heart? And, how do we guard our heart?
In The Undivided Heart, the book is about making choices. We need to choose to stay guarded and deal with issues of the heart (e.g. anger, envy, jealousy, unforgiveness, pride, greed, lust, etc.) that could affect our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ and our devotion to God.
It defines as: “One who has a devoted, a dedicated, and a committed heart in his relationship with God. This wholehearted devotion is possible because he chooses to walk in partnership with the Holy Spirit and in the reverential fear of the Lord, which result in a lifestyle of obedience to the Lord in all he does.”
In this book, The Undefiled Heart - It is an expansion from The Unguarded Heart. Here the focus is about having a pure heart, an undefiled heart, a passionate heart, and a steadfast heart in worshipping God. We can only do so when we choose to love the Lord wholeheartedly:
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30).
It is more than expressing a love song, singing a worship song, or playing an instrument, but it is a heart that is committed to being in an intimate relationship with God and walking in obedience to His commands.
It is about being a worshipper rather than doing worship. The emphasis is at the heart of a lifestyle worshipper as compared to the art of worship. We are familiar with the story of Mary and Martha, who worship and serve Jesus, respectively.
“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village, and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’
And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:38-42).
Today, Jesus is still addressing that one thing which Mary does that is needful, and that is, to have a heart that is pure, passionate, steadfast, and an intimate relationship with Him! You see, Martha knows how (about serving), but Mary knows Him! (about intimacy). The key is to first be a worshipper and then do worship! Otherwise, we may end up doing worship ritualistically, but our hearts may be far away from Him.
“This people honours Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men” (Mark 7:6b-8a).
“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honour Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men” (Isaiah 29:13).
Today, the Father is still seeking, yearning and longing for worshippers who will choose one thing – to put their hearts into worshipping Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).
May this book revolutionise our perspective about being a lifestyle worshipper who will please the Father’s heart.
One of such worshippers found in the Bible is none other than King David. He said: “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).
We all know that King David was not a perfect man. He was not just an adulterer; he was also a murderer of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah. When confronted by the prophet Nathan, he was convicted of his sins and humbly repented before the Lord (2 Samuel 11).
Does this story speak to us? In Jeremiah 17:9, the Lord said that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
Will we be able to pray the prayer of King David: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10)?
Through David’s wholehearted repentance, God forgave him and gave him the new heart (a pure heart) that He was after:
“The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14a).
“I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do My will” (Acts 13:22).
With the above synopsis, we will now step into the journey of a lifestyle worshipper by addressing the thrust of this book: What does the heart of a worshipper look like?
He is one who has an undefiled heart. We can seek to have an undefiled heart by asking ourselves some of these vital questions:
- What defiles our hearts?
- Why we must choose to worship God alone and no other gods?
- How do we become a lifestyle worshipper who worships God in spirit and in truth as such bringing pleasure to Abba Father God?
To have a pure heart is to be single-minded, and our hearts need to focus on one thing: That it is not distracted nor cluttered in our devotion to God.
God is after our hearts of worship, and so is the devil! We have a choice to give God our full, undivided attention and devotion.
“Worship is in the Heart and not in the art”
- The Praise and Worship Connection -