Do you go to church to sing pretty songs, or do you go to make war against the enemies of God? You can dress that question up semantically however you like, but war has found you. And while the end may be determined, the inhabitants of that end have not. War is about more than staying alive… its about dragging the wounded off the battle field with you. It’s letting that heroes’ heart take over and determining that counting is in increments of 1. That life matters. Every life matters. Each soul is precious. The call to worship is a battle cry.
If my throat is not sore, if my eyes are dry, if my feet aren’t tired, if my knees aren’t worn, if my heart is not moved, if my mind wanders. If I am not shaken into the embrace of God… then I have NOT worshipped.
Read 1 Chronicles 16:23-31. I’m going to list just some of the words from those verses that describe worship: (if the words repeat, they did so in the passage).
“Sing to the Lord (not to each other). Proclaim. Declare. Glory. Marvelous. Great. Worthy of praise. Feared. Splendor. Majesty. Strength. Joy. Ascribe to the Lord. Ascribe to the Lord. Glory. Strength. Ascribe to the Lord. Glory due His name. Bring an offering. Come before Him. Worship. Splendor. Holiness. Tremble.”
“Tremble before Him.”
Who should tremble before Him? The disciples? no. The Pharisees? no. Just the old testament? no. Who should Tremble? “all the earth!”. (exclamation mark included).
“Let the heaven’s rejoice, let the earth be glad, let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
Read it again. Read it every day. Read it right before worship. Read it during. Have you ever worshipped in such a way?
Stand face to face before the Lord your God and tremble (“come before Him”), ascribe, declare, and worship.
We can sing pretty songs anytime we want. When we join in worship, we are worshipping a mighty and living God that will approach us as we approach Him.
He responds in kind. And our offering? An attempt to sing quieter than the person next to me so no one can hear how bad I sing. Or a trip to the cry room so I can stretch my legs. Perhaps “meditation” when I don’t like the next song? Even the jubilant singers… if that isn’t for Him… if the jolly isn’t for the Savior, then it isn’t worship.
We just don’t always stop and think that when we ask God to join us… He will actually come. Some of us need to share our loving Savior with others. Peacefully and gracefully. Some of us need to refine our worship. We need to remove the volume cap and let the praise flow out. We need a reminder that our scripture isn’t as complex or cryptic as we are made to think. A sacrifice of worship isn’t simply singing on key.
Some of us need to worship for the first time in our lives. Some of us know people who go to church every single Sunday and they haven’t yet put one foot over the battle line. Ask yourself… please… sincerely ask yourself. Why are you going to church? To stretch out your new dress shoes? To get a good spot in the ‘singles’ section? Or is it to let go of ourselves so God can take hold and lead us to greatness for His name?
This Sunday millions of Christians will go to church and sit on their hands expecting God to make the first move. Or they will sing under their breath. Or, they will share scripture in monotone drudgery.
Listen to just the verbs in the passage above:
Sing. Proclaim. Declare. Fear. Ascribe. Bring an offering. Come before Him. Worship. Tremble.
God may be where the power is at, but we have a responsibility to take action. Look at the woman who sought Jesus out for healing. First she carried her sick person directly to Him. Then she had faith that Jesus had supernatural powers. Finally she reached out to Him and touched Him. (Matthew 9:20-22)
Had she not combined 3 key elements ( her faith, her action, and God’s willing power) she would not have been healed.
She was bold to reach out and touch someone who she already believed was who He claimed to be…. God. Did she do it with fear and trembling? Most likely… that is worship! She went to be face to face with the Savior and made the choice to give all she had (faith and action) and to involve Him in the moment.
Worship is… If and only IF… you are face to face with the savior, reaching out and being ready to grab hold of what He has in store for you!
You can win this Sunday. You can choose to step onto the spiritual battlefield and accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Savior. You can introduce others to Him and give them a fighting chance as well. The enemy, literally, wants you and everyone you love to go to hell. Don’t just sing a pretty song in response…. go to war!