If you are a worship leader and haven’t spent much time prayerfully pouring over the Word, seeing what it has to say about what is “acceptable worship” – please do. If you aren’t a worship “leader” … still please do. 🙂 We all need to be reminded of what God says about worship. Our culture does a phenominal job of mutating worship music into self serving nonsense. Oops. Sorry, did I just say that out loud. Dang.
…and may I encourage you to start in Hebrews 13.
To get a sense of Hebrews 13 back up a bit to 12:28-29 where it reminds us to –
“be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”
The writer of Hebrews had just finished reminding us about Exodus 19…Moses at Mt. Sinai…the awe inspiring power of God. So much so that no one could even touch the mountain without dying…yikes. That’s the background before he starts talking about what is “acceptable” worship…with that in mind have reverence and awe.
Then he moves on to Chapter 13, and in my ESV study note it says “some say that this ‘acceptable worship’ is depicted in conduct described in Hebrews 13.” I think I would agree. I’m not going to copy and paste all of Chap 13 here because that would make this post too long and you would stop reading. So read Hebrews 13 here, then let’s pull it apart below. mmmmkay?
In keeping with my assumption that this describes acceptable worship, this is what Hebrews 13 says:
- Let brotherly love continue
- Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers
- Remember those who are in prison
- Let marriage be held in honor among all, let not the marriage bed be defiled (as in the pre-marital and the extra-marital stuff is a no-no, kids)
- Keep your life free from the love of money
- Be content with what you have
- Remember: I will never leave you or forsake you (IOW: find your total satisfaction in God thru Christ, don’t make me go Piper on you)
- Remember your leaders
- Remember Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever
- Do not be lead away by diverse and strange teachings (that would mean that you have to know the truth of the Gospel inside and out first)
- As Jesus suffered outside the camp – let us go outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured (go out of our comfort zones, big time – even if you get flack or even persecuted for it.)
- Thru Christ, continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God (Note the word ‘sacrifice’ of praise. It may actually cost you something…)
- Do not negelect to do good and to share what you have (‘do’, ‘share’…hmmm, those are VERBS aren’t they)
- Obey your leaders and submit to them — do this with JOY
Dang. I was hoping that he was going to tell me exactly how to structure my worship sets so that they rock. Or perhaps what type of music I should do more of…traditional, contemporary…opera. “15 Top Tips to Make Your Worship ROCK”. umm…NOT
The point I walked away with here, again (see Rom 12:1-2) is that worship is our whole LIFE. If we are not doing these things all week long, how is it that we can walk into church lift our hands and praise God in corporate musical worship? I don’t think you can. Tozer doesn’t either:
If you will not worship Him seven days a week, you will not worship him one day a week.
When we gave our lives over to God thru Christ, we promised to live for him with our whole selves. Our LIVES. Our everyday, going to work, hanging with friends, family, driving, eating whole entire SELVES. He wants that. You need to give him all of that. That is worship. Then…we can sing and play with JOY exuding from us in praise to our Savior.