by Mollie Thompson
This Week's Verse: John 4:23, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (NKJV)
I ran across a young man’s blog talking about his frustration with the song services in many churches. He referred to the mixing of traditional and contemporary styles of singing and called it "blended worship".
As I thought about this term I started to get totally pumped – not by what he meant, but by what the term "blended worship" can really mean…because worship isn’t just about singing.
You see, each person worships God only as they feel the need to worship. It is as we each humbly realize our true condition, as we face ourselves in the light of God that we see ourselves as we really are – poor, destitute, and sinful, unable to remove ourselves from the mud and slime of life. (Psalm 40:1-5 says it beautifully.) Until I see myself as I really am, how can I possibly worship God for who He really is? How can I see my need of a Savior if I don’t really think I am that needy?
And when I worship God whether it is in my car, when I’m doing the dishes, or when I’m wiping a snotty nose, that worship needs to come from the center of my being. It’s when nobody can hear me but the Almighty God and it is just Him and me, and I’m bowing down before Him in my neediness.
And when I say neediness, I mean I need His companionship. I need His love. I need His grace and mercy and wisdom and forgiveness and understanding. I need His presence! I’m so in love with Him that I need to pour out to Him. I so desire just to be with Him.
Those are the spirit and truth elements. Those are our everyday moments of worship. Notice none of them were accompanied by any certain type of music. None of them had a certain beat or style. No certain type of sensation had to be worked up. Our true worship comes from our hearts in everyday ways in everyday places.
And so then – THEN – when we do come together we truly can have blended worship. Our full hearts will naturally pour out of our spirits in truth in a unidirectional and harmonious way towards our God and our King – our Father who art in Heaven. How awesome is that?!! And we won’t care what instruments are playing or not playing, whether we are singing hymns or praise choruses. All that will matter is that we are all truly worshipping, and that sound will be so awesome both to us and to our Father.
Like the young blogger, sometimes we confuse harmonious instruments and vocals with the harmony that God really desires. Let us give Him the harmony of unity in spirit and truth instead. It’s harder, but more worth the while.
Father, we need You. We need You to help us worship. We worship other things. Sometimes we even worship ourselves. But that’s not what we really want to do. Help us, Lord. We do want to worship You in spirit and in truth, but we can’t do it unless You lead us into it. Humbling ourselves so we can do this is hard. Our flesh gets in the way. So hear our prayer, Lord, and lead us into worshipping You in spirit and in truth – no matter what it takes. And we thank You however You choose to answer. It is in Jesus name we ask. Amen.
The next time you are in church ready to sing, look at the words. Can you sing them from your heart? Do you really believe what you are singing? Do you picture our Father hearing you? Can you forget everyone around you and just reach up to the One that loves you more than any other ever can? Do you recognize your neediness of our Creator, our Savior?
Psalm 29:2, "Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness." (NKJV)
Philippians 3:3, "For we [Christians] are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit and by the Spirit of God and exult and glory and pride ourselves in Jesus Christ, and put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances." (Amp)
Isaiah 12:5-6, "Sing praises to the Lord, for He has done excellent things [gloriously]; let this be made known to all the earth. Cry aloud and shout joyfully, you women and inhabitants of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel." (Amp)