Today we start another week ! Christians will head to church and hear a sermon, pray, they will serve in their church, offer their tithes to the Lord, and fellowship with the saints. All in all, we’ll engage in worship. Yet on my way to church on this nice weekend I’m sure I will see folks “out on the links” playing golf. I’ll pass by RV’s leaving the area from tailgating yesterday at the Penn State game. Some will still be laying prostrate in their bed worshipping the god of leisure and rest while I’m worshipping at church ! People worship in many ways and to many gods.
Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well has always shown me that worship can be perverted but is also explained for us in that conversation He had with her that day. This lady was restless in her soul and had went through several relationships: “For thou has had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband” (Jn.4:18). However she worshipped, it wasn’t making a change for the better in her. Her remark in verse 20 reveals a flaw in her thinking about worship when she told the Lord, “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the PLACE where men ought to worship.” Though we worship in our churches as believers, worship isn’t to be isolated to a place. Sometimes that we have been to church we fall into the false perception that we have indeed worshipped, maybe but maybe not ! – her idea of worship was more the opposite of what Jesus would explain when He stated, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him MUST worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (vs.24).
Yes, we can worship in our homes and gazing at a sunset but those places shouldn’t become a cop out for the place of the local church. Neither should the local church become an excuse to not truly worship God INTERNALLY or to use Christ’s words “in spirit” ! Nor should we forget that worship is to be about God, not us ! When churches cater worship to what people want rather than need, when they try to make it pleasing to them and compromise the truth to do so – so worship must be solidly based on the truth.
What Paul prayed for his Ephesian friends touches on what worship should entail and agrees with Jesus’ instruction to the woman at the well when he prayed that they’d be, “. . .strengthened with might by His Spirit in the INNER man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. . . that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Eph.3:16-19). So next time you attempt to worship God, watch you don’t get caught in a rut of callous or merely outward actions. Let the Word penetrate deep down into the recesses of your soul and change you from the inside out ! Go away with a good look at the Lord and a greater appreciation and adoration of Him. Remember, its the Lord’s Day !