Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Really Worship?

You might be reading this post and not claim any religious affiliation. In fact, it may have been years since you darkened the door of a church.  But, make no mistake: you still worship. Everyone praises something or someone.

"Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship." 
David Foster Wallace
You may worship money, sexual allure, success, achievement and status, comfort, your children, service, freedom, or even yourself, but you do worship something. Our human nature demands it.
What saddens me is when I see Christians, those who claim to be followers of Jesus, kiss their golden idols before they bow their knee to their Savior.

"Sorry, I'm too busy to spend time with God." After all, who has time to read and pray when there are ladders to climb, Facebook updates to peruse, clothes to shop for, work-out regiments to try, TV shows to watch?

“The Gods we worship write their names on our faces; be sure of that. And a man will worship something ... That which dominates will determine his life and character. Therefore it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming." Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Know what else makes me sad? Watching those who seem cold to the Holy Spirit's changing power. Now, before I get pointed letters accusing me of a judgmental spirit, let me clear the air: I myself don't always (okay, if ever) praise God in a manner worthy to His glory. And yes, I shouldn't be looking around at others while I'm in the act of praising God. Sometimes, it's just hard not to notice...

In church services, my heart grieves over all the "worshippers" who stand with hands crossed and faces bored, etched with anything but the stunned awe of His glory. Does one really think that entering His presence will do anything less than shock us to our knees? Will we be able to remain stoically detached from the experience? Does His Spirit not move and breath and have His way within us?

Before we start pointing fingers and saying, "Yeah, don't I know!" and "Truth, sister," let's get one thing straight: not one--no, none--of us have an inkling about what glorious, Earth-shattering, God-is-before-us worship looks like. I image my whole body would explode at the mere sight of such power, such holiness, such as that which we've never before laid eyes on.

“We might be wise to follow the insight of the enraptured heart rather than the more cautious reasoning of the theological mind.” 
― A.W. TozerThe Knowledge of the Holy

No, I'm not advocating an emotional experience void of understanding. But what if we did try to understand a little more? What if we laid aside what others thought of us? What if we, in all humility and reverent awe, lifted our eyes, shouted out with joy, and danced with praise as King David demonstrated for us?  What if we were uninhibited? We could never give Him too much of ourselves.

“If you don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.” 
― John PiperA Hunger For God

May we all strive to really worship--to let go of our pride, to acknowledge before the Great and Mighty God that He is worthy.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly! Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre! For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation. Let the godly exult in glory. Psalm 149

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