Does Our Worship Honor Him?
In the Old Testament, the altar of the Lord was the ‘Most Holy Place’. It was the Ark of the Covenant. However, in the modern church our altar is our stage or front section of our church. That’s why we have “altar Calls” where we call people in need of prayer or ministry down to the front of the stage area.
In the OT, there was a strong mandate to keep the altar pure. There were rules and regulations on how to enter the tent of Meeting, (Both the Holy and the Most Holy Places) However, in our modern churches does the altar still carry this weight? We have built a culture around inclusiveness, which is great for evangelism, but have we lost the fear of the Lord in our worship? Many churches come in with amazing production, and talented musicians, but where is the focus?
If we look at the popular songs that are sung in churches, how many of them put the focus solely on God alone? When the Israelites worshipped God, His Character was the focus. “For The Lord is Good, and his Love Endures…” was the most commonly sung phrase.
In our modern churches, we have lots of songs that focus on what God has done for us. These songs are good, and they edify us as believers, but I worry sometimes we focus more on edifying ourselves than we do ministering and honoring the Lord.
In David’s tabernacle he hired skilled musicians who didn’t lead for the people or for themselves, but rather they were called to minister before the Lord himself; to pour their worship out as honor before Him. How much of our worship does this?
Recently our worship team received this as a challenge from our pastor. He was doing a series on honoring God and wanted all of the worship songs to be on that theme. So, as a worship leader, I had to sit back and examine our repertoire and examine the focus of the songs we sing, and had to find some new ones to introduce to follow this theme.
During this time, songs like “Revelation Song” by Jennie Lee Riddle, “Song of Moses” by Aaron Keyes, “You Are Holy (Isaiah 6)” By Radiant Worship, and “Worthy of It All” by David Brymer took prominence, but I worried that people would miss popular songs like “How He Loves” (a personal favorite of mine).
However, I noticed something interesting, people within the congregation began to engage more over this time. There was a noticeable increase in participation not only in singing, but also in physical things like kneeling or raised hands. Sometimes, I fear we have built the church so much around the edification of the Body that we have lost sight of truly honoring the Lord. We need to minister to the Body, we need to help people grow, but we also need to fully honor the Lord.
We need a restoration of righteousness and holiness in our churches. If we are supposed to be offering an alternative to the world, we need to be different than the world. We need to have the fear of the Lord, righteousness, holiness, and that pure love that comes from communion with God.
In the days of the tabernacle and the temple, if your worship wasn’t pure, God would burn you up. I think some of us need our hearts burned again and the passion of our first love restored.
I didn’t write this to condemn anyone or to trash churches, but rather to remind us of the awesome nature of our God, and how we are called as it says in the Psalms, to “…Worship the Lord in the beauty of His Holiness.” (Psalm 29:2 & 96:9)
Let me finish with a Simple Prayer:
“Lord I love you, for You are great in all of Your ways. I ask you to open my eyes to your beauty and your Holiness. Restore in me the Fear of the Lord which is the Beginning of Wisdom. Help me grow in Righteousness and Holiness as I become more like your precious son. Reveal your glorious splendor to me, and completely overtake me with your awesome majesty. I honor you and pour my heart upon your altar as a drink offering to you. I give you all the Praise, Glory, and Honor. In the name of Messiah, Amen.”
-Mathew ReamesComment on Facebook Comment on Twitter
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