Seven Things I'm Learning about Worship
- Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Anyone can worship God anywhere. But when two or more believers get together to praise and honor Him, Jesus is there in a greater way than otherwise.
"Preacher, I can worship God just as well on the creekbank." No, you can't, but even if you could, you don't.
"Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together," said the writer of Hebrews (10:25). Why? "to encourage one another."
That's a good reason for meeting with other believers, but it's not the most important one. The greatest reason for you and me meeting together with others has nothing to do with you and me. It has everything to do with the Lord Himself.
He will be there in a way He was not present with just one of us.
I don't explain that; I just say it. That surely is the point of Matthew 18:20's promise.
I hope you have personally seen (and yes, felt) the truth of that. I hope you have sat, stood, and knelt in a stadium of thousands upon thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ to give praise to the Lord and have known the power and uplift of those moments.
If so, you'll appreciate the promise of Revelation 7:9:
"After that, I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.'"
John the Revelator does not say, but I'm betting at that moment, no one complained about what someone else was wearing (okay, I know--they're all wearing the same outfit, the white robes).
And no one is pointing out that "she's raising her hands" or "he's dancing to the Lord" or "I don't like her speaking in tongues" (presumably we'll all be speaking the Heavenly language!).
No one will be saying, "I like the old songs better."
No one will be saying, "Why the drums?"
The reason no one will be doing these things is that we will finally (FINALLY!!) be able to worship God in the way our spirits have wanted and yearned to, for the first time ever.
No one will be looking at each other. Every eye will be on the Throne.
And that's how it ought to be even now.
I'm writing this on Monday after a long weekend of ministry in another state. Sunday afternoon, as we were getting out of the car at the home of my hosts, I noticed the sport coat I had worn to church that morning. It was not the one I thought I had brought from home Saturday. Instead of pure black, it was dark blue.
I checked the label and sure enough, it was a suit coat. That set me to wondering if I had worn the black sport coat with the blue trousers that matched this coat at the Friday night wedding of Maggie Retz and Matthew Tastet.
I mentioned that to my hosts, Roy and Penny Lively of Brandon, Mississippi, and they laughed. "Believe me, Joe," one of them said, "no one noticed. Every eye at that wedding was on the couple."
They are exactly right. I could probably have worn dirty blue jeans and sneakers and no one would have noticed. The focus of the audience was on the beautiful bride and handsome groom. That's the proper order of things.
So, let's have no more of this silliness that says, "I don't like the way he's dressed in the house of God" or "We don't allow clapping in this church."
It's not about you and it's not about me. Worship is about the Lord. He's here and nothing else matters.
5. The best worship includes everyone, not just a single strata of society.
I'm not in favor of a worship service for the children, another for young adults and still a third for the oldsters. Bring the family of God together and put something for everyone in there. They have a lot to offer one another.
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