Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Does How I Worship God Matter?

“Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from you hand.” - Malachi 1:10

In 21st century America, we tend to be very individualistic. We think in terms of what we like, want, and our rights. Sadly this attitude gets applied to our attitude when we worship God, thinking sincerity is the same as obedience.  Remember we can sincerely want sin!  We should be quick to remember several things about worship. 

 First, worship is not just music, but a lifestyle. We don’t simply worship on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings and Wednesday nights, but we worship when we parent our children, marry our spouse, work at our jobs, and how we treat those we live around (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Second, let’s remember the point of worship is to glorify God not appease a guilty conscious. In ancient Israel, they were bringing their left over livestock that they didn’t want to continue on in breeding. Instead of giving God their best, they simply gave him their leftovers. The call in the above passage is for believers to give God the best of their lives. Giving our best to God includes our finances, abilities, gifts of the Holy Spirit, and love.

Third, I would add that this is best done in community with other believers. God has called us to worship privately and publicly with the body of Christ (Hebrews 10:25). In the Old Testament times, the people would gather once a year or more for all day public readings of the Word of God. We are called to worship in a covenanted community called the local church. A place where the people are committed to Jesus Christ first and to one another as well.

Finally, what you do during your private worship effects worship at church. If we do not labor in preparing our hearts at home through the word, prayer, and other spiritual disciplines, our attitudes during a worship service will be effected and has the potential to disturb the body of Christ. In the Old Testament, Achan’s private sin cost Israel 36 soldiers' lives as they went to battle in Joshua 7. When we sit in a worship service and ask questions like, "How does this suit me?" or  "Am I satisfied with the music, does it make me feel good?"  or "Did the pastor make me laugh, cry, and think all at the same time?"  A negative, judgmental attitude causes great harm and division to the body of Christ. Instead, we should be asking ourselves, does this honor the Lord? Does this draw attention to God and away from men and women? Are any commands or principles of God being violated by this action in the service? Our worship should be geared toward pleasing God with our best privately and publicly, so yes how I worship God does matter to God and my church family!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Travis, found your blog today. It's interesting to me that God calls out to the priests here to shut the doors. Our half hearted worship is so unacceptable to the LORD, that he would rather have no worship. Their responsibility was to shut down the sinful worship; to stand in the doors and say, "This is unacceptable." There are times in our mutual responsibility to one another that we must stand and say to our brothers and sisters--"This is unacceptable worship, it must stop." Anything less dishonors God.