When Life Is Out of Focus

10 08 2013

It is not uncommon, as one of the musicians in church, to hear comments like, “Worship was awful. I didn’t get anything out of it.”

The question begs to be asked, “Which part?”

Was it the way we drove to church that was awful? The way we parked the car? It might have been the argument on the way that made worship awful.

Was it the conversation we had with this sister or that brother that was the problem? Or the things we only thought because we didn’t dare speak what was on our minds?

Perhaps it was when they took an offering, or the type of sermon that was given.

“So-and-so should have been here today. The message would have been perfect for them.” Meanwhile we sit with arms folded, nodding off, while our Bible is at home collecting dust.

It could have been the delay in leaving the building because the people in front of us were taking their sweet time.

Oh, the music? That’s what they meant?

The singing is only a small fraction of “worship!”

Romans 12:1 reads, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (ESV)

On Sunday…and every other day of the week, for that matter…everything we do with our body is an act of worship: getting out of bed, brushing our teeth, breakfast, the newspaper we read, how we dress, act, speak, think, work, and yes, the way we drive our cars.

Who (or what) do we worship as we live? We worship something. We can’t help it, the need to worship is built into every human being.

“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV.

Whatever…hmm…that encompasses a very big territory.

Oh, and we can’t miss the focal point…God!

The centerpiece of our lives needs to be God.

Anything short of that is mere religion.

We need to know that we speak volumes when we state, “I didn’t get anything out of church today.”

“Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34b ESV

Ouch!

If we are not careful, we can treat our relationship with God, as well as life itself, like we’re at Burger King –

we want everything our way.

Especially, it would seem, at church.

The music must be a style that I prefer and at a volume that I appreciate. I’d rather they had a box in the back for people to put money in so I don’t feel guilty when I let it pass (again). I want feel-good sermons – nothing that challenges or convicts. When it’s over with, I want people to get out of my way so I can get back to my life.

When the building is emptied, I picture Jesus sitting there alone. His voice echoes in the empty space as He says,

“Well, maybe next week…”

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24 responses

12 08 2013
annabachinsky

Amen! I’ve heard people say the same exact same thing so often and it always makes me want to give them a little sermon on what worship really is. I almost wish we termed “worship” (as in singing to God during church service) as something different so people would understand it correctly. It’s interesting when people don’t “get anything out of worship”, who said they were supposed to? They are worshiping God so HE is supposed to get something out of it not us. Great post!

12 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

I’m with you. What term could we use for the music portion of our Sunday service? Maybe if we changed what we call it, folks would understand that true worship is so much more than singing!

\o/

12 08 2013
StephenWhoElse

Well said. This truth still escapes many people and it saddens me to see people criticizing worship, or coming to church only for the worship.

Worship is not about us. It’s about Him
Worship is not about singing or dancing. It is about glorifying God

Totally agree with your examples – you can worship God through any activity that glorifies Him.

Bless you!

12 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

Oh for a life that brings Jesus glory every minute, eh?

Nice to see your face again!

\o/

12 08 2013
StephenWhoElse

Hah! Thanks Tami.

11 08 2013
Dione~psalms348blog

Today’s sermon at church was “What is your focus?” (The message was about evangelism). And this was great follow-up.

11 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Lord!

\o/

11 08 2013
cshowers

Amen Tami! Do you know the first time the word “worship” is used in the bible? It’s in Genesis, when Abraham instructs his servants to remain behind, while he and Isaac went up the mountain to worship the Lord… He was going to offer the son of his heart to God in obedience to the Lord’s command… Worship is obedience… It is not for our enjoyment — it is for the Lord.

Several years ago, while I was in church, the praise band was playing a type of music that makes me grit my teeth. I prefer a more “worshipful” style of music, and I remember as the pastor and those up on the platform lifting their hands in worship, I prayed to the Lord, ”I can’t even lift my hands and worship You, Lord, because if I do, they might think people actually like this music, and keep on playing it.”

Just as quickly as that prayer went up, I received a response. “You will worship Me, regardless of what type of music is being played, for I am worthy, and worship is not an offering for you or anyone else but Me! Now lift your hands and worship Me!”

I’ve never forgotten that, and I choose to worship Him at all times, whether it pleases my flesh or not. Much love to you, beloved sister, and many blessings!

Love,
Cheryl

11 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

Wow! Yeah, I’d worship, too!

Thanks for sharing that bit of your history!

\o/

10 08 2013
darylgstewart

Check my revised Award Announcement on http://www.darylgstewart.WordPress.com for the announcement of your award. Congradulations!

10 08 2013
Peg

Twenty-one years in parsonage, and we’ve heard it all. Oh, that the body of Christ would understand worship. Great post, Tami!

10 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

Preaching to myself, my dear. 😉

\o/

10 08 2013
nopew

Strange, the gathering of people who follow Jesus is supposed to inspire us to be better disciples, not better critics. Blessings on all those who have found a gathering that is that, does that.
Peace

10 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

Amen.

\o/

10 08 2013
obiamaka onyebum

Our very lives are acts of worship. Very true! How we drive… Wow!

10 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

I wouldn’t put a “Jesus” sticker on my car for a long time because I knew it would be a bad witness. Finally bit the bullet and changed how I drive. 😉

\o/

10 08 2013
Pure Glory

Worship is for the audience of one–the one God. We act like it is entertainment and will will give the thumbs up or down and our assessment. We forget that it needs to please God not us. Tami, you are so right, that worship encompasses our whole lives. He wants to be first place in our hearts and that reflects on what we say and do. Thanks for sharing.

10 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

You’re welcome. May God be glorified!

\o/

10 08 2013
Toni Sprandel

Oh so true!!

10 08 2013
Prodigal Chick

Amen!!!

10 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

(I wrote this one for me. ;()

Amen!

\o/

10 08 2013
Prodigal Chick

:-)…. Isn’t it funny how our best material comes from our own weakness! If we were perfect we wouldn’t have anything to write about and no one to read it!! 🙂

10 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

That explains why I have an endless supply of material to share. 😉

\o/

10 08 2013
Prodigal Chick

And that is why we love you so much…you sharing your experiences enrich all of our lives and make us all better children of Father and a happy and balanced family!! 🙂

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