Friday, October 10, 2003

Just Do It

Worship is a specific thing that we do intentionally at a specific time. Worship is a lifestyle. Unless we embrace both these realities, I believe we fail to walk with God the way He intends. What so many of us do though, is choose one as an excuse for the other. We forgive our own neglect of a time alone with God by telling ourselves that it’s how we live our lives that counts. I want to submit that we can’t possibly know how to live our lives unless we spend intentional, focused, time alone speaking with and listening to God. “Lifestyle worship” doesn’t exempt us from intentional “closet time” where we confess, adore, seek, and listen; where our prayers aren’t crafted for the benefit of others, when we don’t face the largest part of the congregation or wax poetic in our public supplication. On the other hand, spending intentional, closet time with God doesn’t give us license to go about and live Godless lives the rest of the time. More often, this is probably the problem.
Many of us have embraced the terminology that calls church music “worship” to the point that we’ve not only separated that “worship time” from every aspect of Monday to Saturday life but even from the other elements in the Sunday service.When pressed, we are ready to consider everything from tithing to taking out the trash, worship. At the same time, we call singing worship, separate from communion, offering, sermon. We've quite broadly defined the term "worship" in inverse proportion to how narrowly we've defined the method by which it is carried out. Worship is something that we do, that we give.Worship is not something that we should expect to experience.Worship is something that God experiences. We, in turn, can experience God.If we have obediently poured ourselves out to Him, and have recognized Who He is and how filthy we are, we will have left ourselves open to hear His voice.Our expectation of an emotional experience from music to facilitate worship, can blind us to the actual “God experience” He had planned for us. Perhaps the “God Experience” is simply feeling His pleasure. But we must not approach God for the experience.We must approach Him for His sake, in reverence, contrition, awe, thanksgiving; we will be further awed by His gift back to us. Then when we open our mouths to sing, it will be in response to Him in our lives.We won’t sing in hopes that it will put us in the mood to worship, but as a result of having been worshiping.

© 2003 rod lewis