The Spirit Of Worship

The Light
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A large part of our Christian life is devoted to the worship of God. It seems that this devotion to God is our primary objective for being. While most disciples under­stand their duty to attend the assemblies of the church, it is evident that many do not have a clear understand­ing of the meaning and manner of worship.

Singing is vital to the spirit of worship, but we do not assemble just to sing! We are there to worship God with this vocal praise. Some love singing, even as they love eating or football. They just happen to love to sing gospel songs. They sing for personal pleasure. For these, it is not important that singing spiritual songs should constitute an act of worship.

However, just singing a religious song does not constitute worship, else every country band that sings "I'll Fly Away" in a concert is wor­shiping God; every Dixieland band that performs "When the Saints Go Marching In" is worshiping; every pop singer that performs "Amazing Grace" is worshiping. When we wor­ship in song, we are praising and adoring God. We are teaching and admonishing one another (Col. 3:16). It is a sacrifice of praise offered up to God, through Christ (Heb. 13:15) and done in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Entertainment is not a consid­eration when we are worshiping God.

Concerning praise worship, one brother rightly observed, "Only that music is good which, without [thrust­ing forward] its own charms, opens the mind to Christian teaching and disposes the soul to holy thoughts. Music without words cannot do this; hence instrumental music was ex­cluded from public worship."

When we are assembled to wor­ship, it is no time to attempt a song unknown to the leader or congrega­tion. It is not the time to practice on songs not well known or to tackle difficult songs that are beyond the capability of the leader or the congregation. It certainly is not the time for a leader to display his imagined prowess by choosing songs others dare not attempt to lead. It is far better to sing "Jesus Loves Me" than some unknown, difficult song which can only be sung with struggle and difficulty.

Tragically, the song leader might actually hinder and even defeat the worship of the people. If his songs are pitched too high or too low; if they are paced too fast or too slow; if they are unknown or too complicated; if they are poorly written or if they do not fit the occasion or situa­tion, they hinder rather than help the worshipers. This places a responsibil­ity on those who are privileged to lead in this aspect of our worship, not always realized.

When we come into the presence of our Great and Holy God, may we truly worship Him. Where this is done, we will leave the assembly with a blessing rich and full, a heart overflowing with love for all that is righteous, -adapted. Fortify Your Faith