Recently in a conversation with one of our young adults, who is interested in serving on one of our worship teams, I shared my thoughts on the need for all those involved in the worship process to come with a right heart attitude. As a pastor I know the Holy Spirit cannot have freedom and liberty to minister through me if I come to my Sunday messages with my heart filled with bitterness and resentment towards the people I serve. Furthermore, I cannot expect God to show up on Sunday mornings if I have unresolved junk with my wife from the night before or even that morning. I believe all those involved in the worship process need to make sure they keep short accounts and leave the garbage at the door.
In the 4th chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus is asked a question about the place of worship by someone who is throwing up a smoke screen because she is under conviction for the sin Jesus has just pointed out in her life. The woman said to Him “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and your people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship”. (v.19-20, NASB). But Jesus didn’t answer her challenge about the place of worship rather He responded with the statement “but an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (v. 23-24 NASB). What Jesus is stating is that the place of worship is secondary to the how and whom of worship.
The how of worship pertains to the heart attitude and one’s desire to have a living relationship with Jesus Christ. Having an open heart of worship is the direct opposite of empty formalism and traditionalism. It is the opposite of those who come to church week after week, month after month, year after year, but never worship God because of some bitterness or resentment that they have held onto. Some offense that they turn over again and again in their minds. That is why taking the challenge of the communion service to examine our own hearts is so critically important. I Cor. 11:28-32
The second part of true worship is the whom of worship. We cannot worship a god made in our own image. If we are to truly worship, we must know the Father through the Son. Jesus came to reveal God to us and to bring us into His presence. Jesus is not a manmade god but God made man. Our worship must lead us into a clearer understanding of who Jesus is and what He desires for us. This idea of worshipping “in spirit and truth” demonstrates God’s desire that worship impact both heart and head. It is not a small thing to worship the true and living God, and to be prepared and brought into His presence in the worship sense.
As we prepare to worship our God this weekend, let us make sure that we come with clear hands and a pure heart. This is needed not only for the worship team leading the music, and the very human man behind the pulpit, but also for all those sitting in the pews. Imagine how awesome it would be if we all worshipped Jesus this coming Sunday.
All For His Glory,