What Are You Worshiping
The other day I was talking with a friend who said, “My favorite part of worship is when the drums build into an exciting climax.” This is not an unfamiliar statement. I’ve heard similar comments like this before — you may have too. I love my friend and know he loves Jesus, but whenever I hear comments like this concerning worship it vexes my spirit.
Don’t misunderstand me. I love music. I love musical dynamics. In fact, music isn’t musical without dynamics. I believe God made us emotional beings. I believe that to strip ourselves of emotions when we worship God devalues who God created us to be. (Everything in balance of course.)
However, the second we begin to make statements like my friend, we have lost sight of what worship is about and Who it is for. We worship God because He created us and 1 John 4:19 teaches that we love because God loved us first. He died sacrificially so we could be reconciled with Him through the gift of salvation.
After all that, you might understand why my spirit is displeased when I hear someone say their favorite part of worship is anything but responding to how amazing God is and how much God loves us.
I love my kids. I would do almost anything for them — as would most parents. If someone asked one of my kids, “Why do you love your dad?” I would be extremely disappointed if one of them said, “Because he buys me nice things.” What a punch in the gut. They would have utterly and completely missed the point of why I buy them things.
When we begin to worship the act of worship, feelings in worship, or the music itself, we have completely missed the point of why we worship God in the first place.
It may be time for you to reevaluate what your focus is placed on when you are in a worship service. Below are a few questions that might be helpful in evaluating whether your focus has begun to move away from Jesus.
- Do you find yourself more excited about the goosebumps on your arm than focusing on honoring and exalting Jesus as Lord?
- When your favorite songs are not sung do you get upset or can you worship God with any song whose lyrics are biblical?
- Do you find yourself arriving late to church so you miss the singing or are you able to worship God no matter who’s leading and what they’re wearing?
Depending on how you answered these questions, you may need to be recalibrated towards the real purpose of worship and Who it’s for. It’s nothing to be ashamed of — we all lose our focus at times. In fact, your ability to honestly self-asses proves your willingness to humble yourself, which is an essential characteristic of a worshiper. So what can you do to make worship all about Jesus? Below are a few things that I’ve found helpful:
- Invite God into an examination of your heart and motives (Psalm 139:23-24)
- Humble yourself. At times, we can be so quick to believe we know everything. We don’t! I’m sorry to say you don’t have a special revelation about worship that God has revealed to you alone. Over the years I’ve heard a lot of opinions regarding worship that are masquerading as truths. People all over the world are using everything from a cappella singing to percussion or choir or the most modern pop music to worship God. He accepts all of it and is pleased when is it offered with thanksgiving and gratitude.
- Admit worship is not about you. The sooner you realize worship is for God, the easier this recalibration will be. (God does use our worship of Him to transform our lives and refresh us, but worship is to and for God alone. Read more…
- If you find yourself attracted to a certain style of music, begin using a different style in your personal worship times. Try to find the beauty in a different style of lyric or musical expression. You don’t need to live in this style, but finding an appreciation for different expressions of worship could help you find your focus again on Jesus.
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