There is a movement within evangelicalism right now that I personally believe to be a good movement, that God is worshipped in all things. Its a very biblical movement that simply says that in all we do we aught to worship God.
We don’t just worship God through Song, but there are other means in which we worship Jesus.
Giving is a means of worship.
Studying God's word is a means of worship.
Working unto the Lord and providing for your family is worship.
Prayer is a means of worship.
Taking Communion is a means of worship.
Really, according to Romans 12, anything that is a sacrifice unto Jesus is considered a means of worship.
If worship is everything, worship is nothing.
CS Lewis makes the argument in Mere Christianity, that if Truth is everything, than truth is nothing. Basically stating, if all truth is true, than no truth is true. The same goes for worship, if worship is everything, than worship is really nothing.
Worship is......Love Expressed
Expression of Love matters, and the way people receive that expressed love is different.
My wife Beth likes Quality Time, Back Rub, Talk on the phone. Personally, those things don't matter very much to me. I like to be served. That's my love language. Along the same line, you cant express love to people in ways that they don’t receive it. Love isn’t about you, its about them.
In the scriptures, we actually see certain ways that God likes to have love expressed to him. And often times you see that Posture matters as we express that love to him through song.
Lets take a look at how this is played out in the scriptures.
The original Hebrew language is very pictorial. What I mean by that is there may be 5 different words in Hebrew that we only can translate to one word. For example; the word Love in the Bible has 4 different words to describe it because there are different types of love. Personally I love basketball, calzones, my church, my wife, my kids, my friends, and Jesus. However, I love all of those things differently. Well, the Hebrew has specific words for those types of love.
The same is true for the word “Praise”. Praise has a variety of meaning in the scriptures, and how we translate to the word praise, the Scriptures have many different words for it in the Original Hebrew Language. Lets look at 5 Hebrew words that Gods uses when describing how He desires for us to worship and express our love to him. As we study these words, lets take a strong look at how our Posture before him matters.
Hallal: (Ha-lel) To praise, to make a show or rave about, to glory in or boast upon, to be clamorously foolish about you adoration of God
Psalm 22:23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify him, and fear him, all you offspring of Israel!
Psalm 44:8 In God we boast all day long, and praise your name forever. Selah
Psalm 63:5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips.
Barak: (Ba-rock)to kneel or bow, to give reverence to God as an act of adoration, implies a continual conscious giving place to God, to be attuned to him and his presence
Psalm 34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Be thankful to him, and bless his name.
Psalm 95:6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our maker.
Todah: (Tow-dah) an extension of the hand, avowal, adoration, a choir of worshipers, confession, sacrifice of praise, thanksgiving
Psalm 50:14 Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.
Psalm 69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
Zamar: (Za-mar) to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument i.e. play upon it, to make music accompanied by the voice or other parts of the body, to celebrate in song and music, to make noise.
Psalm 144:9 I will sing a new song to you, O God; On a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to you...
Guwl: (Gool) to spin around, to be physically under the influence of any violent emotion.
Psalm 32:11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Psalm 35:9 And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; It shall rejoice in his salvation.
Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
These words are good examples that should challenge us all. In these words we see that God desires a specific posture when we express our love towards him. He desires to have a good balance of acting foolish before him, yet reverent as we recognize who we are in light of who he is. We see that he desires for us to join in making a noise to him, whether it be with our voices, our feet, our hands or instruments. The band is there to lead us into worship, not to put on a worship show for us. God desires for us to raise our arms to him. This shows a number of things. It demonstrates surrender, excitement, and even the express of a child lifting their arms to their daddy in an effort to be lifted up.
In all, we simply see that posture matters to Jesus as we gather for corporate worship.
Our argument against this....
There is a temptation to say: “ We'll I don't do that. I don't express my love to Jesus like that.”
We'll quite frankly, its not about you, its about how Jesus likes to be loved and worshiped. If all we do is make worship about how we like to express it, than worship is about us.........And Worship is about Him, not us!!
I have had many people push back on physical expression during worship an say, "That's not me." I agree. Personally, I am a white American with little to no rhythm. When I think about my culture, it is safe to say that typically white westerners aren't the type you typically think of getting all excited about Jesus with dancing and singing. That's not my culture. That said, we have to ask the question…..do we want to be cultural or biblical. Surely we should be able to look at the scriptures and allow what it says to bump up against our culture. Isn't that the point?
At Netcast, it is my hear that we grow to become a biblical church, not a cultural church.
Why is this important?
Because he is watching…….look at these two verses.
John 4:23 (NIV) Jesus speaking....Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
2 Chronicles 16:9 (NIV) For the eyes of the LORD range to and fro the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
My encouragement to Netcast is this…..If Jesus is going to and fro the earth in an effort to seek worshippers who worship Him by (Spirit) the power and enabling of the Holy Spirit, and (Truth) in the manner and posture in which he enjoys and delights in; than LET HIM FIND US!!
Are those the only ways God enjoys to be worshipped? No, absolutely not. But they are a part of it.
This sermon is called "Body Language" and can be found at http://www.netcastchurch.org/#/audio-video