Thursday, April 21, 2011

Worship Check-Up

A couple of months ago I had the awesome opportunity to study the topic of worship in depth to be prepared to teach a series in MainEvent. In my studying I continually ran across a common theme that seemed to shout..."Everyone worships something!" All people - believers, pagans, thieves, soldiers, children, scientists, etc. - everyone worships. However, this did not mean that humans were created by God with a "capacity" or "ability" to worship. It wasn't that God created the human and then downloaded the "worship software" to be run whenever we wanted to use it, nor was it that He gave us a circuit that we can turn on and off like a light switch on a wall when we are ready to offer worship. No. Instead humans are continuous worshippers always reflecting what we value most. Harold Best refers to us as "continuous outpourers" meaning that everyone was created by God, every single person, as a worshipper who is "continually outpouring" worship to something or someone. Remember worship or "worth-ship" happens when we attribute worth and value to someone of something and allow that value to have an impact on our joy. Whether this is the God of the universe in the face of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, or the latest technological gadget or human relationship that misdirects our loving affections, we all worship.

So... why bring all this up again? Well, I believe that as we daily feast on the Bible, remind ourselves of the Gospel, and preach to ourselves Christ crucified and resurrected, we should also develop the habit of asking the Lord to reveal to us where we might be going in our giving of our affections... our "worship direction" I might say. This is consistent with the Psalmist cry for the Lord to reveal his "hidden sins" (Psalm 19:12). We want the Lord to show us where we might be going wrong before we go wrong. It is like us getting a medical check-up to see if everything is still going in a right way before we see symptoms of sickness; it is like preventative lawn care instead of waiting until your overrun with weeds. We can ask the Lord to help us take a healthy look at ourselves just long enough to see what we have been giving most of our time and affections to as well. We are continually overflowing worship like a fire-hydrant. We need the Lord's help to make sure we are overflowing in the right direction. Let's ask the Lord to help us direct the wellsprings of our souls towards Him, the Fountain of Living Water.

I was looking into a Christian music artist this morning that I have never heard of before and ran across one of his blogs which offered a humbling perspective about true success for music ministers. However, I believe his blog post can serve us all this morning . Whether you are someone who believes God has gifted you to serve His local church with musical gifting, if you are someone who just loves Christian music, or if you are someone who desires sometimes to serve in other ways that are more "visible" in the church, I believe you will benefit from reading it. This post was a good tool for me to use to check my "worship direction" for today. Here are just a few questions I asked myself:

1. When I love, am I giving myself to God or am I outpouring myself to ministry? (Am I a Mary or a Martha? Luke 10:39-42)
2. When I sing, am I in love with the God that the lyrics point to in music, or am I wrapped up the actual music? (Do I think Jesus is awesome or do I think drum fill and electric solo is awesome?)
3. When I serve, do I desire to be used by God in whatever capacity He wants, or do I desire to be used in a place that makes me visible before lots of people?

I was humbled as someone who is involved with music on a more regular basis than some, but I hope that as you read it you can use it to ask yourself healthy questions about your own perspectives about Christian music. However, whether you read it or not, let me encourage us all to have a worship check-up this morning after we have eaten from the Word and drank from the Gospel. Let's ask God to help direct our worship to where it belongs.

This guys blog (while you're there check out his music):