Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Thoughtful Response to God

God honoring and God pleasing worship cannot be manufactured by artificial means.  Whether you like formal music or more contemporary, whether you build a beautiful building and everyone dresses up or if you have a very liturgical order of service or even if you have a quiet atmosphere; these things aren't in themselves the worship of God.  They can aid in worship and should be addressed and have their place but potentially have nothing to do with worship.

As I was thinking through these things the expression that came to me was that worship is a thoughtful response to the revelation of God to our hearts and minds.  This is why Jesus told the Samaritan woman that those that worship God must do so in Spirit and Truth.  I believe the worship God seeks is for us to consider carefully his Word and respond properly to it out of a sincere love for his person.  If we do this properly his Truth will transform the way we think and live.  The atmosphere of the setting in which we hear his Word (church service) can either facilitate this or hinder it but the worship is when we hear from God and our hearts and minds are so struck by it that we can't leave the service the same as we came.

This happens all the time in the world when people read after their idols and seek to be like them.  Perhaps your idol is some business man who you want to pattern your business after and so you read everything you can from him.  Or suppose someone's idol is a movie star.  They are so consumed with that person that they study everything about him or her that they can; they watch every movie and they pattern their life after them or live vicariously through them.  This is what we were created to do towards the Lord.  To be so consumed with his person that we can't get enough of him, we can't hear enough of his Word and we can't do enough to please him.

When we sit in church or anywhere else and find fullness of life and satisfaction in learning of his glorious person and his glorious works and his redemption of sinners to the point that it transforms the way we think and live then we are giving him proper worship.  Emotion that comes from Truth is worshipful emotion.  Emotion that comes from man made music and atmospheres is not.  It might not be sinful but let's not confuse it with worshiping the Lord.

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