Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Worship Is More Than Music
It is a very unfortunate pattern of thought which has developed among our churches. The thought expressed in language that describes the music of a church worship service as "worship". It is the same thought that entitles music ministers as "worship leaders". Music can and should be a part of worship but worship does not equal music. Consider Abraham as he takes his son Isaac up Mt. Moriah for the great test of faith. Wood and knife in hand, he is ready to make a fire and offer a sacrifice of faith. Isaac notices that they are without an animal and asks, "where is the lamb?" Abraham responds, "God will provide." Abraham gave his servants directions to stay there with the donkey because he and his son were going to "worship". He is about to offer Isaac as a sacrifice in obedience to God's command, believing that God would take care of them. There was no praise team. No power point projector. No 5 piece band. No dimming of lights. Just a man offering his life in faithful service to his Lord. This is worship. Worship is obedience to the word of God. Worship is walking by faith, not by sight. Worship can include music, but more important than the emotions felt during musical performance is the question, "How do you respond to God's Word?" Are you just as worshipful at the time of invitation as you are during the music? The desire of the worshipful heart must be obedience to God's word as one leaves the parking lot and enters the week. I have noticed many people lusting after the emotional experience that music can provide instead of concentrating on the depth of Scripture. Therefore, there is a common act of idolatry present among us. Many are bowing their hearts to an emotional experience rather than concentrating on God's word and will. In John 9:31 is the testimony of a man Jesus had cured of blindness reminding us that "a worshiper of God does His will." I like power point and hymnals. I like every musical instrument (when played well with right spirit) under the sun. I appreciate other people helping to lead us in singing. But these are only a part of worship. The manifestation of true worship is a life lived out for the glory of God in submission to His word.