The fourth in a 6 part series on worship. I was invited to speak on worship in church; to articulate in 30 minutes the breadth and depth of what I have long experienced and believed to be biblical.
Click for sections: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Wonky (defn) :
1. shaky or unsteady
2. not in correct alignment; askew
3. liable to break down or develop a fault
My assertion: Worship is one of the most wonky and misconceived aspects in the contemporary church!
4. The perceptions in worship (cont.)
Now onto the second question; following on from the previous "what do you think of God?"
Q2. What does God think about you
So here's a thought: can you remember what is was like to be a teenager, or if you are now a teenager then think about your first crush where the other person doesn't even seem to know you're alive.
There's someone you think is awesome, someone who stirs up all those belly butterflies, someone whose merest glance cause you excitement, someone who if they speak to you makes the rest of the world fade into the distance. You're consumed by how they look, speak, act - and they can do no wrong, you'll defend them against any attack, yet to them you're a nobody. To such a person you're willing to be an absolute fool in their and anyone else’s eyes. You live in hope that they will someday desire to talk to you.
Until once day you grow out of it, you become jaded, and you move on to new passions.
So when we read God saying "But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first", we go "Huh, but you never paid me any attention."
Understanding how wrong this is, is really important for worship.
Many Christians live consumed by their sense inadequacy, their failure, whether consciously or behind a façade of "I'm OK", and think that God is not paying any attention because we don't deserve any attention.
How massively wrong we are. We forget that despite our massive shortcomings (for they are real), God really does desire our intimacy, and he is not that unattainable object of desire. When we comprehend (more than just hear) that God is a lover searching for a lover and so he made me, it transforms how we approach God.
Usually when we think about God's perspective on us (if we do at all) we gravitate to comforting verses like Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." We like these sentiments because it talks about a God of provision without having to deal personally with God. He's simply out there making sure things happen, like local government, or a companies CEO, busy with managing the system while we get on with our lives unseen, unrecognised, merely a cog in God's universe.
But then we also have verses like:
Imagine if I were to approach my spouse in that way, what sort of a relationship would that be. Quickly I would lose any benefit of friendship, of any comfort from intimacy, of encouragement and support -- all because I will not accept the intimacy offered, all because I don't accept their yearning to be close to me despite my inadequacies. All because I'm too proud.
In worship God says "I am worthy, not just because I am worthy, but in addition because I desire intimacy with someone like you". God is a lover searching for a lover, so he made me ... and you. In worship God is also asking, will you take a lover?
Do yourself a favour: watch this video.