Friday, August 6, 2010


So I recently was listening to Jeremy Riddle talk about "the state of worship" in our churches and it peaked my interest and I thought I would explore some of his points... He said word for word what a few of us have been wrestling with and it was refreshing to know that somebody else is having these same thoughts.

“The missing jewel in Evangelical church is Worship” AW Tozer

A cry for authenticity....
How many times do we sing "we stand and lift up our hands"... or "we bow down and worship you now" but yet we stand or sit with our hands at our sides...

“I believe a very large number of members in are churches are unthinking slumberers …..” Charles Spurgeon

I intermix my worship time with intersession and prayer.... I try to make the songs my heart's cry. This is why songs are very important to me. Its hard for me to sing something to the Lord that I wouldn't normally say... it feels inauthentic... or even impersonal. I believe that God longs for intimacy with his creation. His heart is filled with joy when we cry out to him in worship, both to praise and to pray to our Father. In more recent times I have had a hard time telling the Lord that I will do something (in worship) that I am not doing... (bow down and worship now...) Do I not believe that the Lord sees me and hears me? Or are all things in worship optionally rhetorical, meditative, or otherwise not practiced in the physical realm?

Step one for me: Don't say anything you don't mean.... Don't say anything you won't do... Say what you mean, and do what you say.

I hear people tell me all the time "that's not how I worship".... "That's not me". I understand this sentiment to some extent. I wouldn't ask you to do anything "just for the sake of doing something"... or would I?

Some would say "the desire to please God, pleases God"
I don't believe that our God is deserving of only good intentions.... I would say that whatever action that results from the desire to please God, pleases God. Its not the specific action (i.e. raising your hands, dancing, bowing down.) but the desire to please God, coupled with action that pleases God. Intimacy with God is the desire of His heart. He likens our relationship to the most intimate relationship that we know on earth (husband and wife). What would it be like if you told your spouse.. I love you.. I would do this for you... I would do that for you... I would make you dinner... I would do this project... but you never actually did anything? and if you were to flip it around.... What if you tried so hard motivated by love and a desire to please your spouse that you made the worst tasting dinner ever and a huge mess in the kitchen... (you did something you know nothing about). Wouldn't your love demonstrated be so much more powerful even in failure than a love undemonstrative? I am asking you to apply this principle to worship... Worship is close to God's heart.. it is important to Him, even if its not number one on your list.

Faith is an important part of worship… "For without faith it is impossible to please God.”

Step 2 for me: Worship with Faith

"That's not how I worship.... That's not me" ~Wyatt

My good friend Wyatt attends a very conservative baptist school... He has never been one to judge (as he has had a life that many would judge in his early years). Wyatt spent some time around very demostrative charismatic worshipers and said "that's cool for them, if they are into it... but that's not me... that will never be me" He did not see the value, especially for him, in doing anything demonstrative since he was not a demonstrative person in general. Somebody paid for him to attend a more charasmatic evangelism conference. He was telling me that for the first time ever he raised his hands in worship. Wyatt says that it was really awkward but wanted to try it. He then tells me with a huge smile on his face "Dude, I'm a handraiser now." He began to explain to me that raising his hands helped him focus in and he met the Lord in worship in a deeper way. I asked him if in the moment he did that he felt the Holy Spirit just come over him and supernaturally he just knew he ought to raise his hands... of coarse he said no.. he just saw other people encountering the Lord doing that so out of a desire to worship on a deeper level he chose in to doing something he was flat out uncomfortable with.... And the Lord filled him up. I think this is a perfect example of choosing in by faith to what is uncomfortable and the Lord honoring that desire.. the desire that has the catalyst of faith, spurring you into action... It is both the desire and the action that is the result of the desire that pleases the Lord... and has the power to change you.

What say you?

1 comment:

  1. Great reflections Jeff! What say I? I say, you should start with your definition of "worship," and that you should repeat it often and frequently and maybe even make it the by-line of your blog title, so that visitors can always quickly have a definition to reference when they read what you have to say about worship. Because 'worship' is one of those words that, left undefined, can mean many different things to many different people, age-groups, people groups and religious groups. Savvy?

    Hopefully I didn't completely miss your understanding of 'worship' in bold print somewhere, making this comment absolutely and completely superfluous.

    Thanks for the link!