Hey guys-- I'm posting something here that I found on one of my friend's blogs, and he stole it from someone else :) I think it's pretty awesome. Tell me what you think about it. I think it's extremely pertinent to today, though it was probably written in the mid-90's, and quoted by Robbie Reider in 2004 on his blog.
Have you ever wondered how Paul and Silas could sing praises in a Philippian jail after being stripped, flogged, and clamped inthe stocks? Or how Jesus could sing a hymn on the eve of his arrest, knowing everything that was about to happen to him? Or how Paul could describe worship with the spine-tingling phrase “living sacrifice”? It was because their worship was not based on what they liked. It was based on who they loved.There is an explosion of worship in the church today. The buzz word is ‘contemporary’ and the aim is to ‘enter into God’s presence’ and enjoy a sense of closeness with Him. The music, setting, the lyrics must all help create a fulfilling worship experience. But I am absolutely convinced that it’s not the worship that God wants us to enjoy. It’s Him.Christians have often felt that worship has to suit their tastes. Many times churches have been built based on preferences in worship style. We want to choose how we will worship. We’ve made worship self-centered instead of God centered. We lobby for what we want. “I don’t like the songs”, “I don’t like the volume”. Its as if we were worshipping worship instead of worshipping God. Imagine conducting your relationship with your spouse on the basis of only relating to them in certain circumstances. In marriage you can’t love demanding an answer; you have to love selflessly. You don't say, “As long as I get everything I want out of this relationship I’ll commit myself”. But that’s the attitude we often have in worship. We say, “You musicians, singers and pastors, do your tricks, then we’ll be happy”Worship is not a musical experience. Musicians can no more create a worship experience than evangelists can create a salvation experience. Both worship and salvation are decisions- decisions that only individuals can make. When we allow someone else to take responsibility for our decisions we place human interests in front of Gods. If my worship depends on others creating an atmosphere, I am allowing them to make my decision to worship for me.Worship is not a result of how good the music is or whether my favorite songs are sung. It is not a consequence of whether I sit or stand, lift my hands or kneel. My worship must be an expression of my relationship with God- in song, in shouts and songs...