Blogs and Articles from The Body of Believers at Bombay Christian Fellowship seeking to be a pure testimony for Jesus in their respective roles that God has called them to live out.
“You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.” Deuteronomy 12: 4
The Israelites were commanded not to follow ‘their’ way of worship, meaning the ‘way’ the gentiles around them worshiped. Worship which is approved, applauded and acceptable as per current trends will not fetch God’s attention unless it is totally backed by God’s eternal Word. Genesis 4, tells us that Abel’s worship was acceptable to God, because he chose to give God what God approved and liked rather than offering to God that which cost him nothing as Cain did.
‘True’ worship goes beyond simply ‘performing excellently’ by working hard, but involves that which flows naturally from a ‘broken’ and ‘contrite’ spirit and a heart that seeks to meet with God and know His presence above all else.
We must not let ‘our’ way of worship replace ‘His’ way. The need of the hour is for a generation who seeks to love God desperately and does not follow the trends and experiences of common-day worshipers. Jesus said that God seeks out those who will worship the Father in spirit and truth (John 4: 23). When we truly understand the beauty of such worship, we will realize the purpose for our existence.
Abraham offered God his best worship when he offered up his ‘Issac’. This depicts the essence of true worship. Abraham, himself, would never have chosen to offer up Issac, but only because God commanded him to do so, he did so, proving that God’s will and Word had the first place in his life. Thus, he denied his will to do God’s will and became a true worshipper. It was not God’s intention to kill Issac, but only when God sensed that Issac was going to bring about a distance between Him and Abraham did God ask Him to offer up his ‘Issac’. Thus, will God also require us to give up anything that is going to bring a distance between Him and us. When we willingly give this up, then we become true worshippers. Sadly, our inclination towards ‘their’ way of worship which is based on styles (contemporary, classical, western, eastern, jazz, rock etc.) tends to dim this true love and reverential fear of God that we need to have. Worshiping God with zeal in public gatherings is far more easier than worshiping God as Paul and Silas did in the Philippian prison with nothing but pain, chains and wounds to make music with. It is those songs that we sing when encountering such prisons of pain, reproach and trials that determine whether we are true worshipers or not. Such worship activates the supernatural hand of God to work in our lives and bless those around us as well as brings glory to the Lord’s Name.
We may perfect the talents that God has given us by working hard, but that should not be the ultimate pursuit of our lives. Our Sunday worship should be an overflow of how we have habitually worshiped God from Monday to Saturday. Leading the worship is not more important than our ability to fellowship with God’s people with a humble attitude. So before being ‘talent’ specialists, we need to be ‘people’ specialists. Even though, our talent may be weak, we will achieve greater results if we have a genuine and deep concern for God’s people. Being a worship/team leader is not a ‘destination’ in itself, but only a ‘designation’ that should depict who we actually are in character and lifestyle. We should not worship God primarily for ‘what’ he does for us on a materialistic level, but rather for ‘who’ he is viz, our Creator and Savior (Revelation 4:10,11 and Revelation 7:10,11), and because of the mercies He has richly lavished upon us in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 12:1). Hebrews 12: 28,29 also tells us that we should worship God since we have received a kingdom that cannot shaken.
Thus our consideration for worship should not be basically material but spiritual. We worship God because He is ‘worthy’ not ‘wealthy’. God is more interested in the condition of our heart than our style of worship. We give Him our costliest and best worship when we turn our ‘storms’ into ‘streams of praise’, our ‘worries’ into ‘worship’ and our ‘tears’ into ‘shouts of joy’. It’s only when we really understand the heart of worship that we will offer up our bodies to God as a living sacrifice even in the midst of our ‘dark valley’ periods.
(Received inputs & corrections from elder believers)