IIII. Crafting a Culture of Unnatural Worship
Think about the last time you entered worship. When the chatter ended and the piano began to play, you were confronted with silence, enough to test the heart of any worshipper. In the silence, before God on His throne, what was on your mind? How did your heart feel? Maybe your mind was teeming with thoughts of inadequacy: How could Jesus love me that much if I do nothing for Him, if I can’t even worship Him in this moment? Maybe you were so tired that you could barely drive yourself to the place where you were worshipping, and all you wanted to do was take a seat and let the sweet worship music lull you to sleep. Maybe you were so full of other things that you had nothing to give the Lord of Lords. So, you sat. Or, you sang empty words.
Or, you chose to worship in sacrifice.
Everything about worship goes against our human nature. It’s not natural for us to put ourselves aside and worship something greater when our flesh is telling us that we are the greatest. This means that in every setting of worship, and every second of our lives, for that matter, we choose what takes the throne and receives our worship: ourselves and all the baggage we brought in with us, or Jesus. Before we can choose correctly, we have to remember that the former brings us further and further into selfishness and blindness of the flesh (as modeled by the Israelites). The latter brings the freedom (we’re talking broken chains) and joy of Jesus Christ, something Paul and Silas may have known a little bit about:
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. (Acts 16:25-26)
This series, “Crafting Culture,” will bring our community face to face with our actions as a people who are hungry for the Lord. Last Thursday, we realized that a hunger for ourselves and a hunger for the Lord cannot coexist. Even in worship, as Jordan said, “It’s just too easy for us to put our insecurities on the throne and kick God off, and say ‘I don’t have time for you or I’m not feeling it today’… when Jesus was beaten for us.” Instead of letting ourselves—our tiredness, our thoughts, our energy—sit on the throne, we can give it to God and experience freedom.
How do we “give something to God?” The biggest thing to grasp is that God loves sacrifice, and sacrifice is a testament to faith. Next time you’re in worship, your sacrifice might be falling on your knees and weeping before the Lord, or it might be asking for prayer so that you can receive what the Lord has been eager to give you. The goal for our community of worshippers is to give God everything in worship, whether it’s Steffany Gretzinger leading us or three people singing acapella off-pitch. We are striving for a culture of true worship, in which every one of us is a worship leader.
One last point: What we let in, we will let out. And we want our songs of worship to come from a pure place. This week, moderate your social media, music, movies and TV shows so your use of them is glorifying to God.
We love worshipping with you.
The HOME Downtown Team