Wednesday, February 2, 2011

FITNESS or FEEL - what worship seems to be to this generation

I would think that throughout every generation there have been worship trends befitting the cultural and religious climate of the day. And today is no exception. Wherever you go in Kingdom circles, people are doing something they often call “praise and worship” during a time they call church or worship service. And for that I’m glad. Better that than the alternative – no worship of God at all.

But something unique happens when we mix dust with the divine. The dust of our humanity with the divine mandate and empowerment to worship invariably produces something less than perfect and most often something imperfect and proprietary to each and every faith community.

The unfortunate fact is, if we see something that “works” in one place or another, we believe it will and should work where we’re at, but unfortunately that’s not true. The reason is that genuine worship of the Living God should flow from where we’re at to where He is; not from where someone else has been. That means worship is indeed a very personal thing.

Oh granted, if we love God we’ll all express some sort of jubilance toward Him in our approach to His presence, but that being said, that is where the commonality of worship ends. It’s only common in the fact that love and adoration are to be expressed, but only in and to the degree of our vernacular or our common behavior.

Again, what that means is; people in Eastern Europe, South America or Southeast Asia may all in one voice express love and adoration for the Living God, but nonetheless they will all do it with slight different nuances that vary from people group to people group.

So how do we gage genuine worship? Well for one, we do not base it wholly upon if it feels good or not. Yes that’s right, just because something feels good, doesn’t make it appropriate worship of our God. If we use the feel good measurement for worship we must then subscribe to the assumption that the one doing the worship is A) in right standing with God; via Jesus Christ through faith alone, and B) the one doing the worship is NOT determining their worship base upon their subjective assessment of “self” feelings, but upon God’s worth and value alone.

All that to say this: Is God pleased with our worship? Is it a befitting format for the God of the universe? Or is it just kind of the next big music trend, proprietary to each generation?

That’s really the big question. For if God IS PLEASED with our “spiritual act(s)” of worship then go for it! But if He IS NOT pleased with our format, candor and even language, it’s all wasted time and energy.

So here’s my take on this always hot topic: start with the basics. What’s in your hand Mosses? That’s right, what do you have at this very moment that you can implement so as to express love, adoration, jubilation, devotion and worth to the Living God? A crooked stick? A bright colored banner? A solitary voice? A mind filled with enormous vocabulary? Simple and empty hands that can be raised? A CD player? A six person live band? Breath being exhaled from fragile lungs? What do you have that you will offer to God as an expression of worship?

Hymns, choruses, interpretive dance, silence, isolation, a crowd, flashing lights; whatever you have offer it with a right heart (Psalms 51:17) and God will not turn you away. On the other hand offer it with a wrong heart and you end up with the next trendy thing that someone else is doing or trying to sell. Meaning He won’t join you in the moment.

I say all this to convince you of one thing: external factors mean little when worshiping the Living God, but it’s ALL ABOUT the internal, it’s all about the HEART.

If my heart is not right before God, it doesn’t matter how show stopping my worship experience is, God will not be there. Oh we may experience some level of emotional catharsis, but a genuine connection with the Living God, nope. For worship IS ALL about relationship and intimacy. If my relationship with God IS NOT intimate and personal in expression and affection, power will not proceed from Heaven (the anointing will be missing).
But on the other hand, if my relationship with God is honest, real and deeply connected to God, by constant use and fellowship with His Spirit, then no external force can thwart my worship nor can it enhance it.

So when it’s all said and done, even though doesn’t have the powerhouse live worship band, lights, smoke, mirrors – or even an eye popping building – we do have one thing; broken, tender, hungry hearts that are willing to encounter God without fear or presumption and transparency of relationship with each other so as to buoy one another up in the times of shelter and storm.

Relationship – That’s what worship is all about. Fitness and Feel must never be interchanged, for without worship that is befitting to God, we’ll have nothing less than a group of feelers; and rarely if ever a group of believers.

So how’s your worship Fitness these days?

No comments:

Post a Comment