Now focus your attention on their typical worship service. Go on, you can do it. Close your eyes and picture the faces of the people worshipping God through song - the very God who created them and loves them unconditionally so much He took on brittle human flesh in order to perform the strongest act in eternity.
Imagine if we could listen in on the hearts of those praising their Savior and Lord...
“Blessed be your name... in the land that is plentiful...” Gee, I wonder if I put plenty of water in the pot roast before I love.
“Majesty... your grace has found me just as I am... empty handed but alive in your hands...” Look at that fool raise their hands. Come on, everyone knows what kind of a person they are. They're just here for the emotional fix... the hypocrite.
“Here I am to worship... here I am to bow down... here I am to say that you're my God...” Man, this standing is killing me.
“Then sings my soul.... my Savior God to Thee...” Wonder how long the message will take today.
Okay, maybe that’s an unfair synopsis of a church service... or maybe it's a little too close to home. And yet if you’ve ever led a group of Christians in worship you know that some people look like someone painted eyes on their eyelids while they sleep because there are absolutely no signs of life, emotion, or feeling behind their bodies. And yet others put more life into their quiet worship than all the enthusiam of those seeking to get the next dose of excitement from church.
What is it that allows some people to worship God through music more personally than others? It's not necessarily evaluated on the externals for any one of us can raise our hands in Sunday church and use those same hands for sin the other six days of the week. No, it’s not the worship style that we’re focused on but the personal attention the worshipper is giving to God.
Just a thought, but maybe we’d be more prepared to worship God with music on Sunday if we worshipped Him with our lives Monday through Saturday. Expecting someone to sing “How Great Is Our God” in a service when they’ve lived in defiance of God all week with any dose of personal conviction is like going to a circus for the first time and being asked to fill in on the trapeze. Unless you’re training for the moment all week, your offering will leave a lot to be desired.
Maybe that’s why I love it when older saints in the church sing hymns like “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” There’s just something about hearing the conviction in their souls as each word is uttered... it just makes you know that there is a seasoned perspective behind every syllable. Perhaps the difference is that they have experienced Jesus’ faithfulness in so many ways that the words of praise fall off their tongue due to the abundance of certainty behind it.
How about you? Are you merely a church singer or a praise giver? Is your weekly life a consistent mode of worship through your daily choices in work, study, entertainment, and home?
After all, God is not just a Sunday God, but an eternal one.
Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. (Psalm 150:1)