Thursday, November 15, 2012

Is Worship Becoming Watered Down? - Part 2

  I'm working on a book project tentatively called "Worshiping In The Zone." A lot of what I'm writing in this blog is coming from that project. This post is part 2 of what will be a several part series. That's because I want to lay a foundation explaining how I came to establish my personal one-sentence definition of worship - which I will reveal in time.
  In the last entry I talked about how the philosophy of worship today seems to be watered down in the sense that most books on the subject are of the opinion that worship is a life style. I don't agree. Such a broad generalization of worship reduces worship to simply living righteously and serving God. Nothing wrong with that, but that's not worship.
The danger develops when the word worship is used so liberally that it clouds any distinction between worship and service - and there is a difference. When the concepts of worshiping God and serving God become the same then there is a problem. Worship and service are linked but not the same.
  Worship leads to service but is not service in itself. Of course, if we truly are worshipers, then we will be motivated to serve God. Service is a byproduct of worship. In this sense, they go together but they are not the same. Sure, it is possible to worship and serve at the same time, but it is also possible to serve God without worshiping Him.  Our act of worship must be more focused and intentional.
  If there is a distinction between worship and service, then what is service? Let’s define it by looking at who a servant is. One who serves is one who is living as a servant, always humbly and willfully available at the master’s every call. A servant is an obedient slave living under the master’s care. As a bond servant, one who serves God is ever obligated to live righteously and always ready and willing to do God’s work. That doesn’t mean they are constantly worshiping the master.
  In the last post, I talked about a seminar I went to where the instructor offered a definition of worship that was incredibly diluted. He said, “Worship is everything we do in life that is pleasing to God”. He even used the illustration of a husband serving his wife by doing the dishes, and called that an act of worshiping God. I couldn't believe my ears. 
  Certainly, a husband doing the dishes for his wife illustrates service. However, if the husband’s only devotion to his wife was to do the dishes and never give her focused attention, such as saying, “I love you” or show affection, the marriage wouldn’t last long would it? On the other hand, if the husband never did anything to serve or help his wife, the marriage would likewise be in trouble. Both are important but different.In the same way, we need to worship God and serve him also. They are both important, but both different.
  A true worshiper has a submissive attitude, and wants to live for Christ and love God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. True Christians will surely become living sacrifices for Him, being available for whatever work advances the Kingdom, ministering to others and glorifying Him. Worshipers are servants!
  True worshipers will be compelled to serve the Lord and be driven to live their lives for God. The force that compels is love. God’s love drives worshipers to serve and minister – to take action. One who worships God will naturally serve Him.
  We need to serve, but it is not the same as true, intimate worship. We need to worship, but it is not the same as serving. We can’t simply be worshipers alone, and likewise, we can’t simply be servants alone. We must be worshipers. We must be servants. There is a time for worship and there is a time for service. Thus the very important verse: Matthew 4:10 (NIV),  “…….Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. "
  In the next post I will talk about how my Bible word search for "worship" gave me a revealing result that I wasn't expecting!

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