Wednesday, December 15, 2010


"I'm worshipping God with my whole heart by doing what feels right."
"I can feel God's presence and I know that He approves of what I'm doing."
"We all approach God in our own way, but He accepts all of us for who we are."
"It doesn't really matter, does it?"

I know that most of these statements, when made in regard to worship, are made with good intentions. Many in our society feel that as our God is so all-loving and all-forgiving, He does not care how we worship Him as long as we do it from the heart. Most feel that worship is a personal act that should reflect how we feel and what inspires us and gets us "pumped up".

I want to talk about a biblical definition of worship. We can see clearly, first of all, that man was not made to guide himself. Jeremiah 10:23 says O LORD, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his steps. We were never made to make decisions based on our own feelings. If so, Saul could not have been condemned for his persecution of Christians because he felt that he was doing nothing wrong. This is why it is so dangerous for us to "put a question mark where God has put a period." A very sobering example of this is found in Leviticus 10 when Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire as an offering to the Lord. We do not know the exact instructions they were give, only that they varied away from that by offering a strange or "profane" fire which was not what God commanded. Nadab and Abihu were devoured by fire... How much more real can you get? They were worshipping God! But Nadab and Abihu made the common mistake of morphing God's command using their personal tastes. I see how dangerous that is, and I hope you do, too. 
Take a look at the story of Uzza in 1 Chronicles 13. He acted upon his own instinct by trying to steady the ark, but was struck dead on the spot. That is how seriously God takes his commands. Not as a guideline, or an "idea", but as an absolute truth. There is no variation or exemptions.
Think of what would have happened the day that God commanded Noah to build an ark and gave him a set of instructions. What if Noah decided that the ark should be a bit bigger... more room for the animals, right? What if Noah thought that oak would be a much better choice than gopher wood? Perhaps Noah felt he had it all figured out. He would take God's command as a "guideline" and use his expertise to make the ark even better. What do you think would have happened? I know exactly what would have happened- that ark and all it's inhabitants would have sank and been destroyed by water just as the rest of the Earth was.

So we know that man cannot direct his own paths. It will lead him right to destruction. If we are to worship God in truth, we have to realize that we are the worshippers and He is the one being worshipped. We are not the audience in worship- God is. We have to approach God on His own terms or we can never be pleasing to Him.

God is not on a horizontal field with us. We do not approach him with the same reverence that we'd approach a buddy on the basketball court. God is our Creator, He is all-power and in total control of our destiny. He loves us and cares for us and is fully deserving of our complete devotion to His will.

That means, when God says "sing" (Col. 3:16, Eph. 5:19) that's exactly what He means. To sing praise to God cannot be wrong, because it is commanded. However, nowhere in the new covenant that Christ brought about by his death (Luke 22:20, Heb. 8:6) are we commanded to "play an instrument", "dance", or "do what makes us feel good." I don't say any of this to be offensive, but from what I read there is just no authorization for these types of worship, so why can we be so sure that they are pleasing to God?

Ultimately, I want to say this- The Bible is the absolute truth. People in our society are all about relativity and letting everyone do their own thing and as long as we stay out of each other's way, we can all worship God in different ways and still all go to heaven. God's commands are not relative, opinions, or suggestions... They're truth. It doesn't matter how many of the majority in our country believe that sex before marriage is acceptable (1 Corinthians 6:18-20) or homosexuality is natural and acceptable (Romans 1:26-27) or any other common tolerances in our country today. I know that people make mistakes and we all commit sin, and there is forgiveness for us when we confess our sins to God and commit our lives to repentance and living faithfully. But there is a difference in sinning and living in sin. We cannot become calloused to these issues that have become so widespread... That does not make them okay. Just because society's standards are being lowered does not mean that a Christian can "tone down" his Christianity to match the world. It isn't about being slightly more moral than the world, it's being separate from the world altogether! We have a higher standard to abide by.

Hopefully I'll have time to expand more on this at a later time, but I hope everyone (anyone who takes the time to read these posts, which I hope many will take the time to read this one) will understand that I love each of you and did not write this to condemn but to hopefully shed light on a few things that maybe some people do not realize... My personal study on God's ideas of worship is still in progress and my words are not absolute truth. Only the holy scriptures are absolute truth, so abide by those and not what anyone may say. Our souls are the most precious possessions we have and God would hate for us to give them away because we did not investigate His will.

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