Thursday, October 18, 2012
Worship or Worse-ship? by Linda Maynard
Worship refocuses our attention on what is worthy away from what is worthless When we worship God, we are not only affirming His worth, we are also reminding each other He is more worthy and more precious than anything else… Tim Chester
A life in which we go sailing along, not giving the Lord the attention and honor due to Him, is one in which we are on a vessel called the Worse-Ship. It sails aimlessly and is often in dangerous and tumultuous storms… Linda Maynard.
As a new Christian, belonging to a Worldwide Ministry, I was introduced to Worship. Well, actually I was introduced to Praise and Worship.
The Teaching Manual was comprehensive and thoroughly backed by Scripture. The teaching was actually wonderful in explaining a lot of the Hebrew language and Jewish customs of the day. In it, the authors differentiated Praise from Worship.
From that time in my walk, I remember that Praise Songs were the songs that began the set that a Worship Team played. They were lively and toe tapping kind of tunes. Then they gradually eased into Worship Songs. Those brought about a sense of intimacy, with the Lord, for me.
I told a friend, “I wish they would only do Worship songs” because I felt so close to the Lord when they were played. She said,” I wish I would like Worship Songs as much as I like Praise Songs.” She said she found it uncomfortable to get that close to the Lord.
I say, all of this, to let you know that my conception of Worship has come a long way baby! (Like many of you)
I know that there are also a lot of opinions and different tastes about “church” music. I was never and still am not a diehard current Contemporary (Bethel, JoAnMacFatter, the Rivera’s, Jesus Culture etc) or ever only listened to Vineyard…Hosanna type of music. There are beautiful Contemporary Catholic songs that I like, to this day including are very old ones that I sang growing up. Singing from a hymnal was a whole new experience for me. I was and still am astounded by the depth and the beauty of some of the hymns. I have had my eyes opened to really paying attention to the words of many Christmas Carols.
The closest I have felt to heaven is when I have been in a corporate setting and everyone is singing in their heavenly language (tongues). If you have never experienced that…it truly is otherworldly. It sounds like angels singing.
Eventually, I started hearing people talking about Worship being a lifestyle. I thought “Wow, that sounds so deep…I want that!” But what did that really mean? I still thought Worship was a song with a slower tempo. Now, its’ a lifestyle? I had to know. What did that mean?
I’ve come to understand that my very life is Worship. It is my connection to God. Thinking about Him throughout the day…meditating on His word…having Him be a constant part of my Life…being filled with His Love...my Love returning to Him…my conversing with Him.
It was a process, but I came to realize that Worship, as I had first known it, was an expression of REAL Worship. It wasn’t using a song to get revved up to feel close to God…once in a while. That “feeling” would wax and wane. I thought it can only come back if I listen to music.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still love to put on a CD and feel the presence of the Lord through music. I believe anointed music bypasses the soul and pierces the heart.
For me, music enhances what is already there.
It is a focus on the Lord. It is a lifestyle of honoring Him.
Worship, to me now, is about relationship. It is how I commune with the Lord, each day. When that communication is broken, I am pretty miserable.
Oh, I still falter and go in and out of my comfortable zone. Now the comfortable zone is not exactly like a comfort zone because a comfort zone could be a place I go to avoid something. No, the comfortable zone is where…all is well with my soul. I know I am one with Him.
I will never reach the perfect connection with Him here on earth. I am closer to Him than I have even been and want to keep going deeper in my relationship with Him.
I know Lord is happy when we desire to be closer to Him.
He will gladly accommodate me or anyone else who has the desire to more closely commune with Him.
And the reason being?
He put that desire in my heart, in the first place…so my desire is His very desire as well!