Pella Chronicle

Religion

May 31, 2013

More thoughts about worship?

Pella — Our subject the past few times has been worship.  We were created to be worshippers of our Creator.  Our heavenly Father is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.  If you haven’t read my column for the past two weeks, I encourage you to do that so you don’t read this out of context.  I left you last time with the thought that our corporate praise and worship should be time of expectation and excitement!  The Psalms repeatedly instruct us to praise the Lord with joyful shouts!

So, if that’s not true of our corporate gatherings, we must ask ourselves why not?  Isn’t knowing Jesus more exciting than football (or anything else you get excited about)?  Hey, I’m a huge football fan.  But it’s so easy to be more enthusiastic about the big game on Sunday, than about praising the One who gave His life for me!  Granted, there is a time for reverence and awe in our worship experience personally and corporately.  There are times when experiencing God’s presence brings us to our knees and the tears flow out of a grateful heart.  But there should also be times when our hearts are so full of His love for us that it needs to come out with a shout!  I know that the thought of getting excited at church stretches some of you, and I’m not suggesting any of you try to be someone you’re not.  But I am suggesting that we get out of the box tradition has put us in and allow ourselves to be ourselves in our expressions of worship to the God who made us who we are!

By the way, let me encourage those of you who may feel like you are not able to truly praise or worship the Lord because you can’t sing.  First we need to remember that singing isn‘t worship.  Just because you are singing a praise or worship song doesn‘t mean you are worshipping.  Worship occurs when our spirit connects with God‘s Spirit, and singing can certainly be a good venue for that to happen.  But if you can’t sing melodically to express your love for God, then just sing LOUD!  Remember that He is our audience, not the person standing next to you!  So, make some joyful noise from your heart!

I believe God has called every one of us to become (notice I said become, not be) extravagant worshippers!  A dictionary definition of worship is “regard with great or extravagant respect, honor or devotion.“  So, our worship of our Lord should be extravagant!  Webster’s dictionary defines the word extravagant as “exceeding the limit of reason;  lacking in moderation and restraint;  extremely or excessively elaborate;  spending much more than necessary;  profuse, lavish.”  Now, I don’t know about you, but those descriptive words would not define most worship services I‘ve been part of! But doesn’t God deserve that kind of worship?

I believe God wants us to be ourselves as we offer our praise to Him!  I believe that being ourselves in ALL that we do before God is in itself a form of worship.  After all, God created each of us uniquely for His intended purpose, and when we express those gifts and talents and personality through various ministries, aren’t we indeed worshipping Him? What better form of worship than for those who were created in God’s image to reflect their creator through what they do?

As I said in the previous columns about worship, we must be careful to not allow ourselves to get caught up in our differences in worship style and music, as this can become a roadblock which prevents us from truly worshipping our Lord!  And let me give you something else to consider. These conflicts can also be a roadblock that prevents us from ministering to folks who are seeking a connection with God.  If they don’t see the reality of Jesus in our lives through our worship (not just on Sunday, but every day), they will miss it!  Keep in mind David’s words in Psalm 40, verse 3: “And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;  Many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”  Did you get that?  Our corporate worship can actually have an evangelistic impact on seekers attending our church services!  You might call it worship evangelism!  And, of course, the lack of honest, authentic, exciting worship can have a negative impact as well.

As I close my thoughts on worship, think about this.  It’s easy to understand why there is so much conflict in our churches over worship styles.  Our adversary, the devil, knows the importance of personal and corporate worship in the life of a believer, and its witness to the world. And he will do anything he can to get our focus off the One we are worshipping and onto the peripherals of how we are worshipping!  So, let’s consider what kind of worshippers we are!

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