Jeff Lawrence

Rethinking Worship 2 – The Point of Origin

The wonder of worship is found in simplicity.  The subject itself is not difficult or confusing.  The Bible is clear and the commands are apparent – from beginning to end God has defined what’s acceptable to him and life-changing for us.

The problem for today’s church – we’ve lost the admiration and reverence for God’s Word; and with it…we no longer marvel in bewilderment at the thought that God would grace us with Himself.

In order to rethink worship – we must first come to terms with the fraudulent nature of the worship we practice.  I don’t intend to take us on a theological journey…which is available with just a Google of the word.  But instead, let’s whet our appetite with a taste of the real.  We do know that worship is far more than a song, more than a destination or time.  Worship is more than a contribution of our favorite songs, videos, lighting, moods, and feels to create an atmosphere that tends to our preferences.

Our places of worship are not “Super Targets” of the faith…built big and fascinating in order to enchant our senses, gratify our desires and convince ourselves we’ve payed our weekly homage to God.

Every week, worship pastors extend their creative reach in an attempt to find new and innovative ways to convince the church to at least think about God, much less worship Him.  These men and women strain to find just the right elements, just the right moments with just the right balance of new and old, edgy and current.  All the while knowing a segment of these congregants will find fault will criticize, and will demonstrate to a sinful world that the greatest sin is actually being committed in the Church.  This Sunday there will be many a congregation who will pass through doors under which is written – “Ichabod”…the glory has departed.

Christians don’t tell lies they just go to church and sing them. – A.W Tozer

But it doesn’t have to be so!  The journey of worship begins with understanding and releasing.  Henry Ward Beecher said it well: “I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.” 

Worship in it’s purest form is an expression of love; not a brotherly love, or benevolent love…but a Godly agape love that consumes and ravages our will and our desires.

The worship God desires and commands has a starting point.  Think of it as a point of origin – a first step or prerequisite.  Without it, you will never, ever arrive.  Without it, you will be lost and eventually accept the counterfeit as real.

God must speak to us before we have any liberty to speak to him. He must disclose to us who he is before we can offer him what we are in acceptable worship. The worship of God is always a response to the Word of God. Scripture wonderfully directs and enriches our worship.  John Stott

God is found in solitude and quietness.  The wonder of God is rediscovered in stillness.  The first step of worship is found in recapturing the wonder of His Word.  If you desire to embrace truth – then try these simple steps:

  1. Prioritize retreat!  Find a way to daily discover His Word and commit to it.  Develop spiritual discipline and guard it well – knowing the water of your life will become polluted without refreshing at the spring.
  2. Choose obedience!  Don’t just read God’s Word but instead view it as life.  It’s not a book of rules and regulations but a novel of grace and soul with incredible power and supernatural authority.  Don’t be a hearer but a doer.
  3. 24-hour rules!  I was taught I needed a daily quiet time – which is not a biblical truth.  Instead – the daily journey of worship is found in the little things and the everyday moments.  We are called to be awash with God in all moments of every day in every situation.  God is not bound to a 15-minute devotional.  Redeem the throwaway moments of your life.
  4. Recapture Margin!  We are way too busy and have convinced ourselves it’s normal, good, and the American way.  And now we’re passing it to future generations.  Get off the merry-go-round and cultivate tender moments of stillness and silence before the Lord by adding the value of margin.  Allow yourself some headroom and see what you discover about yourself and the ones you love.
  5. Listen!  We do a whole lot of talking…don’t we?  In fact, this world never shuts up.  To fall in love with Jesus and discover a deep worship of Him – you must tune your ears to His voice.  Not only does He speak through His Word – He whispers to your soul.  A worshiper of Jesus knows His voice and follows.  Stillness will re-tune and re-acclimate you to His closeness.

Every journey has a start.  Every book a new chapter.  Every day a new dawn.  And without a deep falling in love with God, you will never find the destination of worship.  Once you’re consumed with Him and passionate for nothing less – a whole new universe of wonder is revealed.

But alas, the choice is yours…and the cost is great!  Quite simple really…and yet so missed.  Place your hand on the door and push.  I bet you’ll never go back again.

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