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Saturday, April 24, 2010

What Is Worship?

Surveys conclude that most people who attend church do not worship. How can I say this? Because most church attenders say they do not have any real contact with God. Why is that?

I wonder if people are expecting God to be spectacular when He has contact with them. Maybe people expect God to be as Elijah expected Him to be. Elijah had been the prophet of the spectacular and had some amazing encounters with God. Should he expect God in the wind, the earthquake or the fire since he had seen God bring fire from heaven to light an altar? It is easy to expect God to knock you down every time He speaks. Yet, as Elijah learned, sometimes He speaks in a still small voice.

Some people just don't expect to meet God when they go to a worship service. They expect to sing, pray, give and hear a sermon. They want it to be done expediently since they don't expect anything else to happen. They are seldom disappointed since nothing else happens for them. They think they have done enough by showing up. They have never imagined that a prepared heart or an expectation of meeting God is necessary for worship.
Some preachers may support this idea. They may personally think that people came to sing and hear them preach. Therefore, they try to be as spectacular as possible. After all, they are representing God and He should be able to put on a tremendous show.

People gather from everywhere to hear these preachers. Everyone says they are great communicators. Are they? Or are they just great showmen? People can easily miss hearing God when there is one whose actions say, "Look at me! Look at me!" Some people will believe that this is God speaking.

An encounter with God does not need a preacher. . . or a praise band, choir, really catchy songs or killer videos for that matter. An encounter with God happens in the heart. It may come without expectation but it generally comes from someone who is listening for God. God initiates the encounter to ears that are capable of hearing.

You still your heart and listen for Him. You come into His presence. He doesn't have to speak. It is enough that you know He is there. You tell Him that you love Him and that He is your God. Somehow you know that He has heard you. He is pleased with your coming to Him.

And you have worshiped.

Psalm 95:6-7 (NIV)
6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; 7  for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice,

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