Monday, August 20, 2007

Ouch!

For several weeks now, it seems as though the message the Lord has for me is that worship is so much more of a heart issue than it is a performance issue. I mean, I am a contemporary worship style of girl. I love, love, love contemporary worship. Our church is more of a traditional type, with some new worship and some hymns - a blended format. To tell the truth, in my opinion it's a weak area for our church.

However, I have been so strongly convicted about my attitude with regards to this. Worship is really NOT about how good the music sounds, or even about the feelings it stirs up within me. It is about declaring the praises of God - the Creator, the Savior, the Alpha and Omega. It is so NOT about me. Foolishly, I've always felt that I needed the music to be a certain type or quality to for me to really "get into" worship. Now I realize that all I really need to "get into" worship is an understanding of who God is and who I am - a wretched sinner saved by the grace of a God who has more mercy and love than I can even imagine.

Yesterday, our new pastor began his ministry at our church. As I was excitedly talking about it with a friend, he commented, "Oh, I don't really care. All that matters to me is the worship - not the preaching." I was so shocked I didn't know what to say. How could you claim that the preaching of the Word of God is, if not irrelevant, than secondary to the emotional feelings brought about by good music? How can we truly praise a God we don't take the time to understand?

This conversation brought into sharp focus the errors of my own views of worship. I was deeply convicted. Throughout Scripture, but perhaps nowhere more than in Psalm 119, we are told that it is through the understanding of God and His ways that we are led to praise Him. Please don't misunderstand - I am not claiming in any way, shape or form that worship is not important. On the contrary, I believe what the Westminster Confession states, that the chief end of man is to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever." Worship is vital - it is the main purpose of Christians. However, what I'm concerned about is where the motivation for that worship comes from. Does it come from a humanistic desire to get ourselves into an emotional, feel-good state? Or does it come from an understanding heart overflowing with thankfulness for all that God has done?

"I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High." Psalm 7:17

4 comments:

jess said...

This is so well thought out and EXTREMELY thought-provoking. I love it. I used to want to choose to a church based on the style of worship music. Then the Lord planted us at a church where the music wasn't really my preference or style. I learned a lot through that. Yes, I must worship Him for who He is and what He has done. Thanks for this. I absolutely love reading your blog. Jess

Brandy said...

I really feel that God has been teaching my heart this same truth. I am singer and I love to sing, but there have been times when I know it has been about me and not about the Lord. I am constantly trying to remove myself and focus solely of God. Thank you for your honest post. Thank you for encouraging us in our worship to the Lord.

Lori - The Simple Life at Home said...

Thanks, Jess. I appreciate your kind words.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lori,
That was a really good insight. Isn't God so good when He shows us things.
Something else about worship; it's not just the part of the service when we sing praise songs, it includes hearing the Word and responsing by applying it to our lives. We are also worshiping when we give our tithes and offereings. Our whole lives are to worship, glorify and honor the Lord as we obey and serve Him! And we receive the blessings by living this way. It's so true that God offers a wonderful plan for your life!
God bless, Laurie

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