A Guest Post from Rodger Galbraith:
During the course of my thirty–plus years as a believer, I’ve learned a number of things that have strengthened and enlightened me. One of these things is expressed in our attitude and participation in corporate worship.
I believe this aspect of relating to God is one of the areas most open to abuse, neglect and ritualistic behavior within our churches. Many a Christian learns to worship by the modeling of those around them. Teaching on worship, in my experience, has been limited and vague.
Here are a few thoughts regarding worship in general from one who’s been there and done that!
First and foremost; worship is all about honour. Honour is a keystone in the foundation of God’s Kingdom. Just as Jesus is the chief cornerstone, worship is one of our first responses to Him having given our lives over to His Lordship. The problem is…religion tries to shut down any move of God that begins in worship. So-called ritualistic responses, i.e. to raise your hands; look heavenward; sing the song sincerely and God will take notice. No reference to the heart or spiritual attitude. No reference to the desire to build intimacy, express deep love and passion for Him who has given us new life!
Our challenge is this – Do we feel compelled to press into Him? Into His presence?
Compulsion being an overwhelming desire to do something no matter what the circumstance.
When was the last time you felt compelled to do anything? Have we come to that place of saying, in our heart, “Unless I have You, I can’t go on living!”
True freedom is a heart for Jesus, expressed in joy and tears. For tears are the language of the heart.
How aware are you of your true spiritual state? Isaiah, having seen into the heavenly realm saw himself as a man with unclean lips. Isaiah 6:5
The truth is, God wants to revive us. Revival starts with worship and worship starts in the heart.
In turn, gratefulness opens up the heavens over our lives! Opening the way to revelation, receiving the unconditional love of God and establishing a passion for Him. All this takes place in a ridiculously extravagant form!
Jesus promised we would have life and have life in abundance. John 10:10 i.e.extravagant life. So… are we giving Him everything? Are we honouring our Father? Honour always brings a strong presence. When was the last time you gave a ridiculously extreme offering to God in worship, prayer, praise and giving? I now that talk is cheap, but a demonstration is irrefutable! 1 Corinthians 2:4 – 5 “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
In our worship, do we demonstrate who He is? Do we pour out love, grace, mercy and compassion? Do we turn our ‘ordinary’ into ‘extraordinary’? How do we view our God? What do we see? Have we unlocked our God-given imagination? What is attracting our attention? If I’m hungry and thirsty for His presence then I am potentially limiting God in my life!
Psalm 78: 40-42 “How often they provoked Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert. Yes, again and again they tempted God and limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power. The day when He redeemed them from the enemy.”
The question is, if I remove the self-imposed limitations on my spiritual life, what would my life, my church, look like? Imagine a body of believers worshipping without limitations. This blows the mind – every believer giving everything, spirit, soul and body in the act of worship to the King of Kings!
This is the ultimate challenge for the current church. Will it cast off all limitations, let joy and passion abound and let God be God both individually and corporately.
Let’s take up the challenge and begin right now …