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Fighting the Wrong War

Fighting the Wrong War

By Shelly E. Johnson on September 18, 2014

“For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

I love the Church of Jesus. Every day of my life is spent seeking to serve the Bride of Christ and serve Her well. I am passionate about seeing Her thrive and be transformed through the Gospel and through the worship of Jesus.

Because of that passion, I am deeply concerned by what I see happening within the modern Church today. Some have labeled it “Worship Wars”, and I’m sure there have been countless blogs and articles written about these wars, with countless ideas, solutions and opinions about how to stop them.

But in my mind, it’s not a matter of stopping the worship wars; it’s a matter of making sure we are fighting the right worship war.

As followers of Jesus, it is our faith that unites us. (Click it to tweet it!) When we worship corporately together, our faith is strengthened and encouraged. When we gather with other fellow believers and proclaim together in one voice the truth about God and our love for Him, we become unified. We join all of our individual voices in one massive voice of worship to Jesus, declaring that we are His and He is our God, and that process is a powerfully unifying experience for the body of Christ.

If we go all the way back in history to the Israelites of the Old Testament, we can see that worship was a priority and it was unifying.

Their worship is what united them and gave them the strength to leave Egypt, and to walk into freedom from centuries of bondage.

Their worship is what kept them unified while they wandered in the wilderness.

Their worship is what grounded them, what kept their lives in proper perspective with God and with each other.

Their enemy was not one another; their enemy was the darkness trying to divide them and turn them against one another.

The same is true for us today. Our enemy is division(Click it to tweet it!)

Our enemy is not each other; our enemy is Satan himself, trying relentlessly to divide us and turn our attention inward. When we are focused on ourselves and our own issues, we become oblivious to the broken, hurting and lost people around us, and we forget how desperately they need the love of Jesus.

We are fighting the wrong worship war.

Rather than arguing with each other about which songs we should sing, or how dark the room should be, or how loud the dB level should be, or what clothes are appropriate to wear on stage, or whether or not the drums are too loud, or where the announcements should fit in the service order, or who’s going to lead the Bible Study class, or all of the other long list of things we can find to gripe about, why aren’t we joining forces with each other and coming together to fight the darkness?

Can you imagine how different this world would be if there was unity among the body of Christ? If we are truly saved, then the Light of Jesus lives within us for the sole purpose of illuminating the darkness. Can you imagine what would happen if all the people who claimed to love Jesus devoted their lives to Him in humble surrender, and sought to encourage each other and work together towards a common goal of shining the Light into the world, rather than complaining or getting into heated debates over details that really won’t matter at all when we’re standing before the Throne?

There is power in numbers. And we are far more effective when we act as one, than when we act individually. I love the principle portrayed in the story of Disney’s movie “A Bug’s Life”. The ants were so afraid of the big mean grasshoppers, and it was because of that fear, they were slaves to the grasshoppers. But once they realized there were way more of them than there were grasshoppers, and they joined forces to become one unified body, they overcame and defeated their enemy and were finally able to live in the freedom and peace they’d only dreamed about.

It’s just a silly kids’ movie. But its message, if embraced and lived out within the Church, could redefine history and change this world for the better.

Worship is not about us. It never has been, and it never will be. It’s not about what we like or don’t like. Worship exists for one reason and one reason only: to make much of Jesus. And the greatest byproduct of making much of Jesus is being unified with others who also want to make much of Jesus, thus building and strengthening the Body of Christ.

The problem is not that we are fighting a worship war. The problem is that we are fighting the wrong worship war.

We are most definitely in a battle, but not a battle with each other. We’re in a battle against the darkness, and the souls of men are at stake.

I long to see the Church of Jesus join hands and hearts and worship Him, because He is worthy. When that happens, the Church will become a massive force of change in this dark world, and there will be no limit to what the Bride of Christ can accomplish here on earth in the Name of Jesus.

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, who is over all, and living through all.” (Ephesians 4:2-6) 


Original image via | Edited by AAW

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Shelly E. Johnson

Shelly E. Johnson (Guest Writer)

Shelly E. Johnson is a worship leader and songwriter with a desire to see people worship God unrestrained, with their whole hearts, holding nothing back. Well known for her anthem "Power of the Cross" recorded by Natalie Grant and Steve Green among others, Shelly serves on staff part time as a worship leader at First Baptist Woodstock outside the Atlanta area and travels the country leading at conferences, concerts and other events.

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