We’ve been making some changes in our worship service at church. Yes – we touched a sacred cow. How dare we do things differently. Some people aren’t happy.
Our goal in worship should be to connect the people with God Almighty. Worship is a verb and it needs an object. Only something worthy of being worshipped should be that object. Don’t worship “the church”. Don’t worship the “service”. Don’t worship the “worship”. Worship the King of kings and the Lord of Lords.
Worshipping God is the reason for which we were created.
I was reading in Isaiah 6 this morning. It gives a great example of worship. Isaiah was mourning the death of his friend, King Uzziah. Then he had a vision and in that vision he found himself in the middle of a heavenly worship service.
He says, “I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne”.
He goes on to describe the seraphim and he says that they call out
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
Their voices were loud and shook the whole place and then the temple filled with smoke – symbolizing the presence of God. I can’t imagine what that would have been like. I think I would have fainted.
Go back to what Isaiah said. He said, “ I saw the Lord.” He was seeing the worship service but not really participating in the worship service. Do we have people like that in our church? They attend the service but they watch others worship. They don’t actually participate in it themselves.
How do we move people into worship? We don’t. How did Isaiah get moved into worship. God showed up. Isaiah moved into worship when he saw God.
Look at verses 5 – 8.
““Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
When God showed up, the first thing that happened was Isaiah recognized his sin. When we come into the presence of a holy God, our sin is more than we can bear. God doesn’t point out our sin to condemn us but he shows it to us so we can be forgiven.
Look at what happens to Isaiah next. He goes from a sideline spectator of worship into a participant of worship. In the matter of a moment, he was suddenly ready to do whatever God wanted him to do. (and he was enthusiastic about it) That's the amazing change that God can make in a person’s life when they see Him for who He is. They repent and then worship.
This can happen in our worship services but we need to pray for it. Pray that people see God. Don’t pray that the music goes well. Don’t pray that there aren’t any mistakes. Pray that people come into contact with God. The God that loved them so much He sent His Son to die for them.
2 Chronicles 16 tells us that God is searching the earth not to support those who can sing the best or shout the loudest. Rather, he seeks for people whose hearts are fully committed to him. As worshippers, that must be our foremost goal.
* A final note – I am not making excuses for lousy worship leaders. We should practice and do our best. There are plenty of references in the New Testament that talk about whatever we do, to do it as unto the Lord. We are to bring our finest offerings unto God. I’m merely saying that our hearts are the most important element in our worship. So, yes – you can pray that God will help you do your best as a worship leader but more importantly ask Him to take your best and use it for His glory. If our heart isn’t right, nothing else matters.