Salty breeze making its way through the welcoming windows proves that the works of man’s creation of fans and what not cannot compare even late at night! The drops of the ocean are tossed about and waves lap at the rocky shores and not quietly at that. The mind decides to be calmed to the point of leading the body to a point of physical rest! Yet at times the train bull dozes its way at a high pitch alarming shrieking noise jolting me out of that blissful state!
Often our time of sincere worship of being at rest spiritually and physically, being in tune to the Father’s voice with a deep yearning of our hearts is disrupted and halted by a good old loud tone from a nearby instrument. Yes it may be gospel music or accompaniments to it – but nonethless it can actually KILL someone’s worship just like the train that is taking passengers from one destination to another.
The following questions and more have been racing through my mind as I ponder on this topic. As usual I’m REFLECTING and NOT drawing a conclusion as at the end of the day each one is accountable to God in what they do and in what God leads them to do.. However as believers it’s important to weigh every action and test it against God’s Word in context and against His nature.
I look around me and see various approaches being implemented for outreach. Purpose? Great! Yet are these effective?
Likewise with many of the methods of outreach in today’s world with the fancy expensive trims – outreach to children through VBS programs and what not, and outreach to youth through ‘gospel’ DJ-ing (do the two words go together to start with?)… Does GOD”S WORD really need all the trimmings and entertainment? Is it attracting people to God’s love and to the TRUTH or is it attracting people to simply shift their pagan secular lives with the ‘cover’ of the gospel? Just because the gospel is PRESENT doesn’t make it pleasing to God. Even Satan used Scriptures to try to tempt Jesus in the wilderness. Scriptures wrongly applied is the scheme of the enemy.
If the enemy can steal our worship he confiscates the most powerful weapon we have to fight against him – Anon
Would it help to understand the term ‘worship’ as intended in Scriptures to evaluate the scenarios we witness or do and to seek answers to these questions?
In the Old Testament, the term is translated from the Hebrew word shachah which means to be prostrate, to humbly beseech etc. This term occurs 171 times.
In the New Testament, the term is translated from the Greek term proskumeo which means literally or figuratively to prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence, adore) and this occurs 60 times. Another Greek word employed is sebomai which means to revere & adore. This occurs 10 times while doxa occurs 168 times and is from the base of glory with application of dignity, honour, praise and worship.
The Greek Latreuo translated as worship in English occurs 21 times and has the meaning of ministering to God that is rendering SERVICE.
That’s just a glance at the terms and the pattern is evident.. It is about God, it is making HIM be at the centre, not man getting the attention or glory. If at the end of the day ‘man’ is getting the latter then the question needs to be raised is this ‘worship’ to God?
Is our worship and ‘service’ actually leading people to a relationship with God, to immersing in His presence and resting in HIM? Or is it like the train that jolts one out of that blissful state?
Are our trims and fancy methods indeed ‘tools’ or are they unnecessary or even detrimental distractions? At the end of the day Jesus tells us to teach what He has taught us.. and we bear in mind that all ages of the Jewish culture including Jesus Himself knew the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) by the age of 12.
Are we using TRUTH for outreach or are we using snippets or worldly pagan methods to reach out or even promising ‘rewards’?
What is the walk of a believer all about? What do the two greatest commandments centre on? Will our HYPE end up being like the seeds sown on the path or rocky ground or amidst thorns or is it indeed on GOOD SOIL that is ready to receive God’s Word as it is? “He who has ears let him ear” (Matthew 13:1-9)
Who has ears will hear, – and it’s to those ears that we prayerfully reach out in ways that glorify God not distract with the trims and skills.