Monday, January 12, 2009

Worship - Part 1

Last night, I took Hunter to his Awana class, which by the way, is not at my own home church. While I was waiting on him, I sat in on the adult Bible class. They are studying Revelations, and the lesson of the evening (Revelations 5) really resonated with me, because it was about worship. I simply love to worship... I love to sing, raise my hands, clap, sway (oh, yeah!), and I love to make proclamations of God’s goodness, praising him with my heart.

But there are many people that simply struggle to get through an hour or an hour and a half of worship time each week, which to me is a sad (but true) statement. I have heard many different reasons why: "the worship leader doesn't speak to me." (Well, is that really their job?) How about "the music is too contemporary." (Compared to what? A traditional hymn like Crown Him with Many Crowns? Which, by the way, was considered “over the top contemporary” when they came out with it? Or maybe you’re referring to newer hymns than that, like the Gaither movement? Which again, were styled even more contemporary than the previously mentioned hymn, and received much negative feedback when first introduced in the ‘60s!) Or how about this one: "all I hear is loud instruments. Why can’t we just sing with our voices?" Well, you can. And it is beautiful! But you won’t be once you’re in heaven, so why not get used to it now?

So why do you worship? Is it out of tradition? Because you were taught to do it when you were younger? Really, what is the whole point of worship?

For me, the purpose of worship is to glorify, adore, honor, praise, exalt, extol, and please God. It is freely giving God love! He made us to worship him! This isn't a silent act, but rather a vocal act! You can even throw in a raised arm or clapped hand every now and then, and it will put a big ol' smile on God’s face! Trust me! It really will!

Charles H. Spurgeon said "God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy exultation." Amazing! You may not like it, but ... first we need to praise God with our voices... out of obedience, whether we feel like it or not. Then, our hearts will follow because what begins out of holy obedience ends in holy blessing. You may not like the worship style at your church, or your worship leader (I love mine!), or the instruments they use ... but you aren't worshipping THEM, and if we worship out of obedience, if we really humble ourselves in worship, God comes and meets us. I can't imagine a greater reward for the simple act of obedience!

There have been a lot of times that I didn't "feel like worshipping." Either I felt sick, or I was going through a trial I didn't want to go through, or I might have felt "empty" or maybe I just felt rebellious. But I have learned that when I close my eyes, tune out all distractions, and make my worship a sacrifice ... in other words, surrender myself to the Lord, force myself to praise him and get in tune with Him, he comes and fills my heart with joy and meets me where I'm at.

Okay -- to make this a shorter post, and to maintain your attention... this will be continued tomorrow! Please leave your comments on why YOU worship. What does it mean to you? What style of worship do you prefer? Tomorrow, I’ll share what kind of worship I prefer and why!

1 comment:

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

I'm sure you already know this but I'd like to add that worship, in and of itself, is so much more than music. Music is just one way we worship God.

For whatever reason it has become so easy in our culture to view worship and music as being the same thing, but they are not.

Yes, I can and do worship God through song, but that is only one of many ways I can and do worship Him.

My life should be all about worship to Him.

Like yourself, I am a lover of music! I find myself entering and participating to the very depths of my being regardless if it's a hymn from my childhood or a contemporary worship chorus of today.

Music has the ability to usher me into a place of awe, focus and adoration that I wonder if I could be otherwise.

And as for praise to the Lord being a sacrifice at times... amen and amen! Praising and worship is NOT about me... but ALL about HIM!

Eager to hear part 2 of this series!!