HOW MUCH WORSHIP DO YOU NEED?
I have heard so many people over the last year or so say that they don’t need that much worship. I understand what they are saying. they don’t need all that singing and modern worship music. I have even heard someone more recently say, they "don't need that much worship music." I understand what they're getting at. They don't need that much singing in a church service. The problem with that statement however, is that it assumes that worship music is about me or us. Worship music isn't about you, it's about God! What we have done in modern worship music is distilled things down to four songs that might or might not make me feel good.
I can remember the worship wars back in the early 90s, we fought so hard to get drums and guitars into church we might not have been fighting the right battle. Back then we were fighting the battle to be able to express ourselves in worship. However, looking back on things now we didn't fight the battle to keep God at the center of worship. It was more about the music. I look back on that with some sadness because my generation was the one that was fighting that battle that allowed people to be more expressive through different forms of music. Music that was not previously allowed in church. I am however glad that new forms of music emerged. I have to confess my part of making it more about the music than God. I am also sad now at that outcome, and that people can say with such ease that they don't need that much worship music.
WORSHIP LITMUS TEST
I believe the depth of your worship life is a litmus test for your spiritual maturity. If you spend little time in worship and giving God worth with your words, with your life, with your body, with your music, with your song, with your writing, with your pocket book, with your heart, with your soul, with your mind, and with everything you are, then I could say with a high degree of certainty that you are a spiritually immature Christian. I come to that conclusion because the Bible is full of allusions and references to spiritually mature people who spent an inordinate and exorbitant amount of time in worship and praise. You could take almost every single biblical character, and look at their worship life, and see how spiritually mature they were according to how they worshiped.
US SHAPING CHRISTENDOM OR CHRISTENDOM SHAPING US
What I think we do in most of Christendom is we create a Christendom that works for us. We want something that fits our lifestyle, that matches our values, and that fits into the scope of what we want to do. What we haven't done is let Christendom form us. David said it this way, "I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honour.” (2 Samuel 6:22). David didn’t care that he was perceived by the people as foolish. He knew that his redeemer lived. He was worshipping a great God who deserved great worship. He was letting his love for Christ form him, and he became undignified. So in David’s eyes and so many other Biblical characters, worship was not about whether or not I liked to sing, and liked the music or didn’t like the music, it was done because JESUS WAS WORTHY! So they all brought to him their "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" to express their undying emotional love to that worthy king. David danced with all his might, and the new testament Church also worshipped daily. "They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity.” Does that sound like the church in the NT was saying, “I don’t need that much worship?” No on the contrary they couldn’t get enough. They wouldn’t stop. They worshipped continually. Now I know that doesn’t mean they sang all the time. But worship certainly includes that. We have lost the passion somehow to make much of God through worship. How did that happen, when God wants and asks for something more?
WHAT DOES GOD WANT?
What does God ask of us? In the end what does God really want? He wants people everywhere to recognize him as God and Creator and worship Him. As Romans 1 points out, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t WORSHIP him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused." (Romans 1:20-21 emphasis mine) So what we see from this passage is that Worshipping God, the creator, is the most basic thing that he asks of us. And I do believe that the Bible throughout teaches us that loving heartfelt worship should be a pattern of our Christian lives. Jesus said it himself, “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”(Luke 7:47 emphasis mine) maybe your worshiplessness is more about realizing just how much you have been forgiven. Worship is the most basic form of EXPRESSING love because we have been forgiven much, just like Jesus said.
GAINING A PASSION FOR WORSHIP
My hope for you is that you might gain a passion for singing through worship, or gain a passion for prayer through worship, or gain a passion for listening to God through worship, or whatever other form making much of God takes on for you. Be open to God, and however you do it make much of God in every aspect of your life! Don't be immature. Grow up! Don't be a spiritual weakling! Worship God in whatever form consistently, wholeheartedly, affectionately, bodily, authentically, enthusiastically, passionately, unreservedly, and zealously. Then you will grow up to maturity in Christ. “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28). Blessings to you on your journey to a fuller maturity through worshipping a very worthy Christ.