Worshp God or Self

The song says,

“We have come into His house,

And gathered in His name

To worship Him.”

and that’s where I’ve been stuck this week. Pondering worship. Opening lines of communication with God that I closed down tight several years ago.

Why do we worship the way we do? Why? Who picks? Why? Is there a “right” way? Why? Why does worship have to power to pull believers together and push believers apart? Why have I personally been so afflicted by worship? Why?

I know some believe we shouldn’t question God. I disagree. God already knows our hearts. He waits to hear it from us though. Worship confounds me. It is the one aspect of my Christian walk that has both the power to heal me and hurt me more than any other aspect.

Why?

Obviously Satan has a hand in it…but it goes deeper than that. It must. Satan can’t get in if we don’t let him, so what happens within me that allows Satan to infiltrate worship of my Savior?

I want to worship with others who worship like me. (Ah, church!)

Except I’m different. I don’t adhere solely to traditional, or contemporary, or choral, or cowboy, or negro spirituals, or southern, or choruses. I actually love all genres of Christian music and believe they all have a place in worship.

Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t feel that way. Hence, the development of contemporary vs. traditional churches. Cowboy churches. Churches segregated by color and nationality. Churches divided by professions, hobbies, accepted secular behaviors, and the list goes on and on. What do most of these divisions have in common? Look at the music selection in their worship service.

I’ve spent a bit of time talking to individuals from many of the above mentioned types of churches. Why do you attend the church you attend? The answers always come back to a very few basic things: The Word (I’m always concerned when this isn’t on the list, and often it isn‘t. I‘m listing it first simply because it is my belief that if the Word isn‘t being preached then attending “church“ is in vain.), the type of worship music, and feeling like they fit in/have friends in the congregation.

I’ve pondered and pondered my unofficial poll. Why does worship music affect our choice of church so much?

The answer is painfully simple. We want to worship in a way that makes us feel good.

Ok, so what’s so painful about that? Shouldn’t we feel good when we leave a worship service?

Tough questions…or are they? Why do we worship? What is worship?

I’m not going to delve into deep, spiritual thought here today. I’m going to say it simply. Worship is showing reverence toward God and honoring Him. It is NOT about me. While placing my focus on God should lift me up, and perhaps make me feel “good”, my feelings are not the focus of worship. God is the focus of worship.

I once had someone tell me they didn’t think acoustic music should be played in church. Music should further the message…in the church service we use words. When you listen to an acoustic version of “Amazing Grace” what are you thinking about? The words. The meaning is in the words, not in the melody or harmonies, but in the words.

I’ve thought about that a lot. We get so stuck on the genre…the instruments being played…the voices we hear…and we lose the focus of our worship. We want to sing/hear songs that we “like” or that lift our spirits, but in truth that isn’t true worship.

True worship is about pleasing God not man…not myself and not others.

So, I have a question for you. What do you do to make sure your worship is authentic?