Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Worship Done Right

If it isn't done right then maybe it isn't worship.

John 4:19-26  "Sir," the woman said, "You must be a prophet.  20  So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?"

21  Jesus replied, "Believe Me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem.

22  You Samaritans know very little about the One you worship, while we Jews know all about Him, for salvation comes through the Jews.  23  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.  24  For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth."

25  The woman said, "I know the Messiah is coming--the One who is called Christ. When He comes, He will explain everything to us."

26  Then Jesus told her, "I AM the Messiah!"

The great worship debate isn't anything new. It started way back in the Old Testament. The Samaritan woman brought up the debate and asked Jesus to let her know whose ancestors were doing it the right way. The debate was focused on what man should do, whose rituals and which location was God pleased with? Today the debate still focuses on man but it is usually focusing on the music. The problem is that the focus is supposed to be on our God and our Savior, our attitude and not on our actions.

Jesus response to her question made it clear that she wasn't asking the right question. Instead of where are we supposed to worship she should have asked how are we supposed to worship. The where doesn't matter since Jesus came to get rid of the old temple. Jesus said that there is a new temple that isn't made up of bricks and mortar and later Peter and Paul teach us that believers are a part of that temple. (John 2:19-21 / Ephesians 2:21 / 1 Peter 2:5)
“What if we take away the cool music and the cushioned chairs? What if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? What if the air conditioning is off and the comforts are removed? Would His Word still be enough for his people to come together?”

- David Platt
God is looking for worship done right and if it isn't done right then maybe it really isn't worship. We should be very careful, the Bible is full of people that did not worship correctly, improper worship was the quickest way to stir up God's anger.

Who is the audience in your worship? Who is being pleased in how you worship?  The externals of worship are decided to please ourselves and we go to great lengths to make our worship service appealing to the people that visit our services. We get so busy catering to man with gimmicks and light shows and pleasing everybody with the right style of music that we measure the success in worship by the size and the happiness of the audience.

How long do you worship? Is it for a set time on a set day? We give an hour or two on Sunday morning if we feel good or if there isn't something else better to do. Real worship comes from someone that is worshipping through every activity of your life. We shouldn't live a self-centered, worldly life all week long and then come to church and put in our time on Sunday and suddenly begin to worship. If we limit worship by time restraints then is it really worship?
“Worship, by the way, is not music. Worship is loving God. Worship is honoring God. Worship is knowing God for who He is, adoring Him, obeying Him, proclaiming Him as a way of life. Music is one way we express that adoration.”

- John MacArthur
Our worship of God is directed by our love for Him; as we love him, so we worship him. Worshipping in spirit and in truth engages our heart, our soul and our mind. I need to have a single passion for God, I need to love him greatly, I need to worship him in truth, I need to get to know the object of my worship.

Passion all by itself is not going to stay charged up for very long, we need to have more than a Sunday morning, corporate worship with a professional worship leader kind of experience. I need to have a worship lifestyle, I need to know my God and focus on him and what he has done for me.

Forgive me Lord for turning worship into something that pleases me more than it pleases you.