Friday, January 21, 2011

A Series on Worship (Part 3) - My Understanding of the Biblical View

In the last post I surveyed to extreme positions on worship that both base themselves in the Bible, however, I fall somewhere in the middle.  This is why I tend to emphasize verses like “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.  So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.”  and “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 based on merely human rules they have been taught”  “For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
It is clear to me through Scripture that God wants us to love Him with our heart, soul, mind, and body (Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength).  However, I really believe that God is not interested in our heart, soul, mind, or strength, He is interested in our love, and that should be the defining aspect of our worship, whether we are worshipping “in spirit” or “in body” or “in mind” or “with our heart”.  (Although I see it that our goal should be to learn how to make this one act, to see that all these things should be done equally, in equal proportions, at all times.  Serving can be as spiritual as singing, and singing can be as physical as serving.)  (1 Corinthians 12-14)
So in my picture of a church service, I think that it must flow out of and into a life that is lived in service to God.  I think that it must involve the mind, heart, spirit, and body.  In the following set of posts I will offer a few practical ways that this should happen as well as some other things I see as essential to a corporate worship experience.

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