Many blogs are being written attacking the the way in which we worship. They make claims that people are singing less, because of the style in which we worship... or the songs are difficult to sing... or we don't have hymnals anymore... or the songs are unfamiliar.
May I first start by asking the questions...
What is worship?
Is worship only a song?
Is there only one form in which we are commanded to worship?
"The Lord says, 'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.'" Isaiah 29:13 NIV84
Are we focused on HOW we worship? Or WHO we worship?
People, if all we are focused on is style, form, preference, genre, and song we are practicing man-made "worship."
The God I serve deserves more than a song... More than a thousand songs... More than words... More than religion... More than tradition. He deserves authentic people worshiping Him in Spirit and in truth. He deserves broken spirits and contrite hearts. He deserves us to be living sacrifices.
The varying styles in which we sing songs of worship are beautiful... but when exclusive styles are the only form in which we allow ourselves to "worship," they become an idol. Do you enjoy singing because of the truth you're declaring, or because it makes you feel good? When we worship we absolutely can be encouraged, but is that our sole motivation in singing? Folks, that's self-worship.
The very word "worship" comes from "worth-ship" -- when we proclaim that God's worth... It's not exclusively the music we sing for 20 minutes on Sunday morning. It's everyday.
I'm grieved by all this, because we are missing Him. We're missing the point. We're nit-picking the times we gather, instead of encouraging others in our faith and glorifying our Father.
When we enter corporate worship we need to be in prayer, asking God to work in our hearts. When we don't know the song, don't like the style, or have a hard time singing along, our hearts can be in a posture of worship.
We don't need lyrics and melodies to worship. We need a heart check.
How do we shift our focus from the HOW to the WHO?
We serve the God who saves.
The God who sees.
The God who knows.
The God who heals.
The God who redeems.
The God who restores.
The God who forgives.
The God who loves.
The God who lives.
The God who satisfies.
The God who is with us.
The God who is truth.
The God who is light.
The God who gives life.
The God who reigns.
The God who upholds.
The God who helps.
The God who is good.
The God who is faithful.
The God who was, is, is to come.
The list goes on. Seek that God and let your life be one of worship.
Exodus 34:6, Nehemiah 9:17b, Psalm 103:1-5, Isaiah 16:7b, 41:10, 43:1-3, John 4:23-24 & 10:10, Revelation 4:8b & 5:13b