It seems obvious enough. But is practice today is often is not.
In Psalm 95, we have a powerful explanation of what is important to God when we worship. In 95:1-5, David, an anointed worship leader, sets out to lead his audience in joyous shouts of praise to God. And with good reason. But they were unresponsive.
So he made an adjustment. In 95:6-7a, He started over and called them to kneel and bow down as a sheep receiving ministry from a Shepherd. Nope. Still unresponsive.
Frustrated, David stopped. All he could say was “Today! If you would hear His voice!”
Then, in 95:7b-11, the most remarkable thing happened. David began to speak the very words of God prophetically. This part of the Psalm is in quotation marks. God is speaking. He expressed His revulsion at His people who had hardened their hearts, tested Him. They were saying, as did the rebellious Jews in the wilderness, “Is the Lord among us or not!” Exodus 17:1-7.
Fortunately, God didn’t cast them off as His chosen nation. But he did swear that they would not enter into His rest. This passage applies to us in the New Testament era because it is quoted in Hebrews 3.
That brings us to an application to the way we “do” worship today. They’re called “worship wars.” Self-preferences have divided the church. It is about style, or age, or volume. “Oldies but Goodies” verses Newies and Badies.” Or vise versa. But essentially, it has become about “me!” Or at least about my group and their culture, there preferences, and often their intolerance of folks who differ with them.
Many have asked me for this chart that I use to describe the essential of worship – namely, that we get our eyes back on the Lord. Upwardly directed worship is a joy and a disciple we all can share. We must take responsibility for our own worship – in spirit and truth, as Jesus said:
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-25.
I’ve prepared a graphic called The Open Worship Bell Curve.” I hope the title intrigues you enough to go to the following URL for the fuller explanation of Upward-Directed Worship. Check it out: https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://clearwaterfc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/3.-The-Open-Worship-Bell-Curve-2018.pdf&hl=en
Worship: Responding Appropriately to His Presence.
The most significant thing that is true when we come together on Sunday Morning is that God is present. He love us and loves when we respond to His love. Let’s respond by focusing upwardly to His presence together.