As I walked into the church for the very first time, I wondered what the worship would be like. I listened to hear what they were saying and singing. I watched to see how they were worshiping. As I watched and listened, I saw the congregation rise to its feet and sing quite loudly, “Thank you LORD!” Most of them were looking upward, some with hands raised.
Based on the above, would you say that this is God-honoring worship? Or is this worship which God frowns upon? I hope you can see that there is no real way to tell without knowing the condition of a person’s heart. But I do want you to see how much the above worship has in common with the worship of a certain Pharisee in the Bible. Read Luke 18:9-14.
9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men–extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
How would our worship service be different if we structured it according to the above passage? Have we taken all the humility out of our modern worship? When we stand, raise our hands, and sing loudly, are we reflecting the attitude of the Pharisee, or the attitude of the tax collector? Of course there is no real way to tell without knowing the condition of someone’s heart. I challenge you to see where your own heart stands in relation to God as you worship this Sunday.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman