Worship is an act of service.
It is a hard act of service. It takes work.
Worship is not easy. Musical worship is not easy. That thing we have in churches called the ‘worship service’ should not be easy.
Tonight, I worshiped God with my fellow believers. Accompanied by guitar and drum, and occasionally piano, we poured out our hearts to God and received His words humbly.
True worship is hard.
When you worship God, you have to be honest. You cannot cling to your little lies that make you see yourself as not all that bad. You have to let Him show you yourself, flaws and all. You have to be ready to be confronted by terrible honesty in the darkness of your heart. You have to be able to fall to your knees and wish that the ground would swallow you whole, because the little package of pleasing lies you have made yourself cannot stand in the light of Truth. Worship is honest.
When you worship God, you have to be humble. Honesty destroys pride, because once you see who you really are, there is nothing there to be proud of. You may lay your hands on your sisters and begin praying smug little prayers– “Oh God, thank you for making me the type of person who prays for people” –but the moment you cast about for what to pray over them, you are struck with your own pride and insufficiency. You may end up praying, “Lord, forgive me. I am a wretch. Make me a better friend to these women than I am.” Worship is humble.
When you worship God, it is a battle. Sometimes you have to sing the songs in defiance. Sometimes you have to pray the prayers against yourself. Worship is not often sweet or trite. It is hard, and grueling, and draining. Losing your mask is painful. When you surrender to His perfect will, you still have to rebel against your own–against the siren song of the things you want, rather than the things you need. Worship is a battle.
Worship is life. Living is our act of worship. If we cannot even pour ourselves into the one hour a week, how then are we to pour out our lives as an offering to God?
Maybe we are looking at things the wrong way. Maybe it’s time for a new song.
Maybe it’s time for us to stop choosing worship based on our preferences, and start choosing to worship whatever the circumstances.
This is the first in a short series on worship. I was originally going to jump right in to examining philosophy and theology, but then I went and worshiped God corporately. This post changed to reflect that.