Come, now is the time...

Another re-run from last year. Be back soon.




I've been an active Christian for over 40 years. (Please, do not do the math!) But there is an element to Christianity that I never truly understood until recently.

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I won't give you all my credentials, but they include Bible college, mission work, countless seminars, faithful church attendance, Sunday school teacher, etc. I only mention that to underscore the curiosity of what I'm about to say.



I believe there is an aspect of modern Christianity that is grossly understated, to the detriment of millions of professing Christians. It has been abused in some circles and avoided in others, neither of which is what God intends. I'm talking about true unrestrained worship of our Lord.

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Worship, by its very nature, requires a giving up of oneself to the majesty of another. Oddly we have no difficulty offering unrestrained worship to the winning team, the hottest rock star, or a Hollywood celebrity within our reach.


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But when it comes to worshipping the only One we have the right to worship, we are suddenly full of reserve. We stand sedately, hymnbook in hand, muttering obscure words and hoping we're not going to do all five verses. Even in so-called "contemporary" services, often the emphasis is on how good the worship team is or whether the songs make us feel good. None of that has anything to do with real worship. Worship forgets about me and makes it all about God.


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Scripture is packed with models, enticements, and outright commands to worship our Creator with everything we have. With instruments, with dancing, with the lifting of our hands. That in no way implies chaos, disruptions, or theatrics. Scripture is clear about that too. And worship is not an emotional hemorrhage that looks spiritual but leaves nothing changed on the inside.


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So why is personal worship of God not more emphasized in American so-called "worship services?"
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There is a natural resistance in the human heart against the giving up of self to the authority of another and that's what worship is all about. Worship requires me to let go of my pride, my self-sufficiency, my achievements, and offer everything I am and will be to the control of Christ. It reminds me that He alone is worthy of the best I have.


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Worship takes us directly into the throne room of God where we cast off anything that doesn't belong there. Worship shines a spotlight on the ugly blotches still present in our hearts and gives us the opportunity to confess and get rid of them. If we refuse, the light dims and the object of our worship is no longer so accessible.


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Unlike prayer, worship is God-controlled. Many times, our prayers are merely lists of items we need to discuss with God, while the items He wants to discuss with us are left unchecked.



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But don't confuse worship with praise. Praise is important and goes along with worship, but the two are separate. Praise thanks God for what He's done. Worship adores God for who He is.





In worship, there's no one else in the room. Through lifting our voices, our hearts, our souls as an offering to Almighty God, He is able to release in us His presence, His peace, His joy which we've kept bottled up in a box in the corner, wondering why it isn't working for us.


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Worship opens the box. Worship reveals the majesty of God anew every time you enter into His presence---and who wants to go through a day without seeing God?






What about you? Have you learned to come before His presence in real worship or are you tied to your traditions, your background, your denomination?


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Worship cuts through all that. It's not confined to our human tradition or limited by our understanding. Worship keeps our pride in check, our priorities in perspective, and reminds us Who is in charge.


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If God has seemed far away lately, check your worship meter.




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