Do you sit quietly and whisper words of praise? Do you raise your hands and sway with the beat of the music? Do you cradle your emotions and horde the joy you have in knowing God? Does it really matter how you express your love to God for the glory He has bestowed upon you through His Son? Some would answer, of course not. Others would argue, most certainly. Some would answer, I don’t know.
David wrote that we should use timbrals, lyres, harps. “Raise a song, and bring here the tambourine, the pleasant lyre with the harp.” Ps. 81:2. David wrote we should come into His house with praise and thanksgiving. He even danced naked before the Lord. “Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.” Ps. 149:3. But that was before Christ. What about today? Has God changed His mind about how we should worship Him? Does it really matter how we worship as long as we worship? It may not matter to others but it matters to God. Jesus said:
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23,24.
Churches do all kinds of things in their corporate worship time today. Some argue over the kind of music, the volume of music, and even the instruments used to produce music. Can we actually come to God in worship when we have this kind of discord in our lives before we enter the sanctuary? Could there be a reason God gave specific intructions on how the priests were to approach Him and burn incense to Him in Leviticus? Some chose their own way of lighting the incense and it cost them their lives. Lev. 10
God hears those who worship in Spirit and in Truth. God hears the prayers of His people. God “seeks” those who want what He wants. Any other worship is babbling and worthless. Any outward display used for anything other than giving God all the glory does nothing but leave participants with an emotional high or a warm fuzzy feeling. Worship is sacrifice. Sacrifice to God is giving up one’s own pleasures to give God all pleasure. It’s a brokenness before Him. It’s recognizing the only worship worthy of God cannot even be entrusted to our feeble, foible acts.
There is joy in being a Christian. Pure, truthful joy. We have Christ within us; He never leaves us. His joy flows from us as water over a dam, it is not a trickle, it is powerful and full of love. His Spirit mingles with our spirit and gives honor, praise, and worship to Him as He deserves–not inhibited, man-pleasing theatrical acts. We are His sanctuary. Our very bodies belong to Him. Our worship is pure because God literally uses Himself to filter out our fleshly imitations of worship. In Him we give praise. In Him we give honor, praise and glory for all He has done. And when we have been with the Lord in worship, we will walk as He walked, and love as He loves. Then we will know we have been with the Lord and worshipped in Spirit and Truth.
© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2010