Worship? pt-4

Worship in truth pt.2

Worship1Do we really worship?  It has been a question I have asked myself many times.  Especially when I read Jesus’ comments in Matthew 15:8-9 NLV These people show respect to Me with their mouth, but their heart is far from Me.   Their worship of Me is worth nothing.”  When I worship I never want God to say that it has been worthless.  And yet I feel that much of what we do in churches today is worthless in God’s eyes.  We call it worship but our lives are lived for ourselves.

I once heard someone define praise as the fast songs we sing, and worship was the slow songs.  But I knew it had to be more than that.  Worship cannot just be a song we sing.  And God is actively looking for people who will worship Him.  “But the time is coming–indeed it’s here now–when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.  For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”  John 4:23-24 NLT

Last post I shared that worshiping in truth meant that we need to see God for who He really is and not for who we want Him to be.  We have been trying to force God into our understanding for a very long time.  One of the reasons Jesus wasn’t accepted by many of the Jews and the Pharisees and religious leaders was that He didn’t come as they expected or wanted Him to.  Even as Jesus was about to be taken into heaven after being raised from the dead the disciples were still trying.  They said “So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”  They we still trying to fit God into their expectations after all they had seen and experienced living and walking with Jesus and seeing Him raised.

We need to let God be God, and worship Him as He is not for who we think He should be.  But worshiping in truth also means that our words and our lives should be in agreement.  We cannot sing “let your glory fall in this room, and let it go forth from here to the nations” if we are unwilling to get a passport and be ready to travel.  Worshiping in truth means that the words we say and sing relate to the life we live every day.

To many people stand in churches and sing words that they never think about.  It is just what Christians do.  We live in a time where Christians are not Christians.  We are “Christian Atheists” to borrow from Craig Groeschel.  We talk like God exists, and live like He doesn’t.  It is important that we change this.  For our worship to be true it must come from our hearts, and not be just words we  say.  It must come from a live that is spent living out daily the words we sing and say.  This is the kind of worship God is actively seeking.  He isn’t looking for perfection, just integrity. 

The profession of our lips needs to be demonstrated in the way we talk and live.  And our lives need to show a dependence on and a submission to the God we say we serve.  Otherwise our worship is without value.

 

Worship? – pt.2

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Worship.  It is a word that separates many people.  For most people it defines a style of music that is heard in church.  And the style you prefer causes you to join together with people who agree with you, and separates you from those who disagree.  We have fights over contemporary music vs hymns.  We argue over instruments and how many people should be in the band.  And all the while no one stops to wonder “is this worship?”

We focus on the music, and how it makes us feel and we forget that worship has nothing at all to do with us at all.  God is calling us back to the true nature of worship again, and if we get it right we won’t worry at all about what type of music is playing.  We are called to “worship in spirit and in truth” John 4:24  And worship that God seeks starts not with the music we sing, but with the heart we sing it with.  Worship begins in the heart of the worshipper.  The problem with our focus is that it remains on us.  We look for songs and music that make us feel good and fit our personality.  If we like fast tempos and a hard beat we love contemorary rock.  If we like quiet we prefer thoughtful contemplative music. 

But the fact remains that we are the focus of our worship.  We cover our selfish nature by making the subject about God, but we sing and dance for ourselves.  For most of us worship remains about what we want and has little to do with what God wants.  We “honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me” Matthew 15:8  If all we have is the music we have missed completely the point of worship.

Worship is about giving awe, respect and value to someone.  It starts with an attitude and a heart posture of submission.  We cannot worship someone we feel superior to.  As soon as we figure we know better than God about something we remove ourselves from a place of worship to lordship.  As soon as what God wants for us becomes a suggestion we remove our ability to worship Him; because worship by it’s very nature means we bring ourselves under and submit to someone.  If we don’t return to making Jesus our Lord, and bringing our whole life under His control we will never be able to worship Him at all.  Worship must begin with surrender and exalt God for who He is which means He is God and we are not.