You Call That Worship I
When did we STOP worshiping God? Seriously. At what point in history did we actually stop worshiping the Holy God that gave us life and allows us to continue our journey to know Him. Do we even understand the depth of that cause alone? Do you really believe that God needs you? Do you realize that He allows us to live in order to worship Him, not the other way around? We are not here to satisfy ourselves, we are here to love Him.
We put "Christian" in front of everything and that makes it okay to view, eat, listen to, or do. Even our "death bed" conversions make headlines as though the person has always been a child of the living God. What happened? When did the change occur? Did we ever really get it?
Take music for example. At what point did we stop worshiping God and start trying to be the world?
Music gives us an opportunity to worship; truly worship. It doesn't really matter the background music as much as the lyrics and what we are trying to communicate to God. He loves us. How do we respond? We respond by acting like He is not Holy. We respond by trying to mimic the world in everything we do.
2 Corinthians 6:17, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you"
Do you think He was kidding? Enjoying music like Taylor Swift, what's wrong with that? However, when you switch gears and begin worship, that moves you into another realm altogether, or at least it is supposed to. We think that if we repeat a word, verse, or any sort of lyrics over and over, God can hear us better.
We have tried to help God since the beginning of time. If we repeat a prayer over and over, we feel as though He will hear us and then we will get what we want.
Matthew 6:7, "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."
The key to answered prayer is to pray God's will, not yours. Somewhere along the line we have melded into the world to believe that we should have what they have only we can put "Christian" in front of it and it is okay.
Psalm 37:4, "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
Does God want us to have things? Of course. And for those who have a misconception of money, He is okay with you having money. It is what you do with it that matters to Him.
1 Timothy 6:10, "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
It is NOT money, it is the LOVE of money. We are constantly trying to rewrite the Bible, even to our own detriment. Why is that? Because we want to have it our way instead of His way. All of us are guilty. If for some reason we see a Christian doing well, they must be worldly. That is, if we are not doing well. If we are doing well, then it must be of God. Why do we even care what the "Christian" is making as far as a living. Isn't that between them and God?
Music allows us to go places in our minds that help us. Whether you are listening to "Christian" music or "secular" music, your memories and life moments are jarred back into the forefront. However, why do we try and bring that into worship? If you have had a memorable moment in worship, ask yourself, was it because the drums were right? Was it because of the guitar solo? It probably was because of a connection with the Almighty.
It doesn't matter if you are a "conservative worshiper" who only believes in the hymns of old, or if you are a "modern music" lover in church; worship God! He is Holy and Just, and deserves our worship; not scripted words to make us feel better about what we did the night before. If you listen to music, listen. Enjoy the music with all your heart. However, don't try and bring the same feelings and understandings of music into your worship. They are two separate and distinct things. Worship music is different than concert music.
Let's say that you have a friend who is "not saved". You go to work with him Monday through Friday. Everyday you are telling him about Jesus. You tell him what a wonderful life God has given you and how everything is different. Your friend is moonlighting as a musician and spends Friday and Saturday nights making extra money in a band that plays clubs. One Friday at lunch you ask him for the zillionth time to come to church Sunday with you. He finally agrees. He has a music gig Saturday night but agrees. He gets in at 2 A.M. on Sunday morning, gets a few hours sleep, and gets up and ready to meet you at church. He finds you and is excited to see the difference that Jesus can make. It rolls up on 11 o'clock and down go the lights. The smoke machine starts rolling and BAM, a hard E chord is strummed and in comes the hard bass lick with a solid drum foundation. He looks around and sees "Christians" looking like the crowd he had at his "gig" not 12 hours before. He is in the same exact place he was the night before only it is labeled "Christian". How will he see the difference? The lyrics? Maybe, but aren't they all the same? It wouldn't be so hard for the church but we bring these same songs into our "worship" service that are played on the radio. This is supposed to be a whole different experience, isn't it?
The conformity to the world is bad enough, but to bring it into our worship of a Holy God? You do realize that the "Christian" music industry is led by the same folks that bring you all of the other music, right? Ever hear of Capitol Records? Of course you have. The are the number one Christian music label. Of course, they named themselves "Capitol Christian Music Group". Oh, well, that's better.
How can worship music be worship music if it is music run by the world? Seems like a fair question. What if we only played real worship music in church? Would it matter then? Worship in church is simply an extension of our personal worship time with God. No matter what music is introduced, it is NOT going to change the worship experience; only the worshipers themselves can do that. If we are singing a hymn, let that hymn be uplifting the name of Jesus. If we are singing a song from a "contemporary Christian artist", then let it be uplifting the name of Jesus and not our accomplishments.
If we are truly to worship God, then let's quit acting like we are and actually do it. Let's try and understand exactly how Holy He is and where we fit into the equation. Our job is to worship Him and uplift His name, period.
The next article of this series will focus on movies. However, I did want you to get an idea of what a "church service" has become in the eyes of the world. What a shame!