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Worship of God - in spirit and truth
- Jacob Ninan
For many Christians, 'worship' has become synonymous with singing, and churches vie with one another to produce worship experiences that are 'soul-stirring'. They pick the latest songs, get the most expensive instruments and electronics they can afford, raise the volume, choreograph movements along with colourful dresses, and get the congregation to raise and wave their hands, clap, sway from side to side and join with the singing. Many people talk of experiencing the presence of the Lord. The sad thing is if we had a concert experience and felt very nice, but we did not really hear anything from God and it made really no impact in our life. If we met with God our life should not be the same anymore, should it? (Is.6:5,8).
Perhaps the reason for this is that we were only looking for an emotional high. We enjoyed the music and the choreography just as at any other musical performance, and we felt satisfied with the 'worship service'. Perhaps we were not expecting or even thinking of meeting with God!
But God is looking for true worshippers, in fact, longing to meet them (Jn.4:23). From His side He is hoping to have fellowship with them in the spirit. How exciting it is if that is the desire from our side also! When we sing the songs, we sing them from our heart and not just with our lips, and we are not thinking so much about the melody or the performance of the musicians but about the God we are singing about. We think of what He means to us, what He has done for us, where we have failed Him and how we want to live the rest of our life for Him, etc. That becomes our fellowship with our God and Saviour through the Hoy Spirit.
We come away from the worship having become smaller in our own eyes, more deeply repentant of our failures of the past, with greater determination to be pleasing to the Father and with much more willingness to do anything for Him. The time of worship becomes for us a time of gratitude, a time to tell God about our love for Him, and a time of decisions. It becomes a time to re-dedicate and consecrate ourselves to the Lord as living sacrifices (Rom.12:1), which, the Bible says, is a reasonable service of worship.
It is a time of forgetfulness--when we do not recollect the faults of the people standing around us, do not notice the mistakes of the choir--because it is a very personal time between us and the Lord. At the same time we forget our self-consciousness in the midst of the crowd and find freedom to express our love for the Lord.
People may find fault with us if we use this time to tell the Lord about our special needs also, because a time of worship, they say, is not for prayer. But the Lord understands us, and He rejoices when He finds us free before Him to be natural and up front!
Let us learn to take advantage of the time available to us to become stronger and closer in our relationship with the Lord, and let us bring great delight to the heart of our Father.