How Many Ways of Worship?


I gotta tell ya… my ways really haven’t changed over my 25 years of salvation. But what has changed is my understanding of why I do what I do. Worship is a very personal thing. If we’re speaking of the worship of God Almighty, we have to make that clear first. Because there are people who worship many things, and some “know not what” they worship. There is nausea in my belly when I think of the many that might fall in to this category. They know there is something to be worshipped. Or Someone to be worshipped, but the world has left them confused as to who or what specific “god” is that they’re to worship. Or what is acceptable worship. I must confess that in my earlier years of salvation, I would follow the cues of the church I happened to be in as to what style I was to worship in. And then they’re came the day when I just decided, that “this” was the style of worship that God had laid upon my heart and I began worshiping as I felt was the Spirit’s leading no matter where I was. 

But there is a method to madness of worship, and there truly is a little madness in the mix with some people. Who I’ll not mention. I’ll just discuss what the word says about worship, because that’s all that we need to know. 

188 times worship is mentioned in scripture. But in Philippians, Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles tells us of the worship experience and the warnings. 

Philippians 3:1-3 KJVS

[1] Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. [2] Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. [3] For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Flesh is certainly an issue with worship. I’ve seen it in action as I’ve watched as people competed to see who could worship the best and the loudest. The most “spiritual.” And then again there are times when I want to say to whom ever sits beside of me “Here, hold my mule,” so I can shout the glory down…. But then I don’t because I wonder if it’s the Spirit or is it me. Perhaps I’m wondering what people will think.  Perhaps I think too much. When I say I haven’t changed, I haven’t, I’m a relatively free wheeling worshipper who shouts Amen! And praises God with lifted hands and all the stuff worshippy! (It’s not a word, I know you grammar natzi’s) but it is a feeling. I don’t however want to bring attention to me. I want to bring attention to God and He alone. 

Questionable Worship

Stifled Worship.

I’ve seen some questionable worship. Such as the “stifled worship” of the religious. Nobody raises their voice above a whisper, and for certain you do not make a spectacle of yourself by raising limbs or standing up. That’s just ridiculous! Rising up is rebellion you heathen. That’s really how I feel when I go to a Spirit stifled church where everyone leaves the same way they came in. Dead. 

Mark 7:6-8 KJVS

[6] He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. [7] Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. [8] For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

They are pretty people. But I’m pretty sure they’re not God’s favorites. Just saying, not judging. How is God glorified (which is our job by the way) in a dead church? Jesus said they honor Him with their lips but there heart is far from Him. Because if you have Jesus in the right position in your heart, your heart is about to jump out of your chest. It’s exciting! Here, hold my mule and I’ll tell you about it. 

Secular Worship

Wait a minute. How can there be secular worship when secular means nonreligious, nonchurch, temporal, worldly, earthly, profane; unsanctified, unconsecrated, unhallowed? If a church believes they should agree with and stand with other god serving religions, accept lifestyles that go against biblical principles, and support decisions that take the life of an unborn child, then God’s not in their church. He is holy. He will not be where sin abounds. Scripture makes that very clear. So there can be all appearances of a spiritual service, but God’s not in it, because their hearts are not serving Him. Am I judging. No. I’m reading the Bible. 

I follow on instagram, a conservative, right wing, outspoken young black man who is HIGHLY opinionated when it comes to conservative things, but he’s a proud gay man with an effeminate  character. I follow him out of curiosity in hopes that the Lord will one day open the door for me to speak with him and ask him (in love, not hatred) how can he say the Bible is the inerrant word of God and be gay without remorse? It’s the same as a church saying the previously mentioned things are okay, but their God’s people. No, if you were God’s people you’d never under any circumstance say His book and Word was wrong. 

If you belong to a church who puts their seal of approval on sin. Leave. That’s my advice. 

Simple Worship

In my travels I’ve been to many little country churches across the nation. And  many of them have been my favorites. There is no choir, except the congregation which may have been counted on no more than two hands. There is no fancy pews, just hardwood, backbreaking, bottom hurting benches! The preacher isn’t a college graduate. Sometimes he’s not a high school graduate. But what He is is God’s man and God teaches His own. In the words of Tony Morgan, “Simple People have Simple Ways.” Indeed. And sometimes it’s just what God wants. No fluff, just favor. And the Spirit of God in His people whose love is evident. Simple worship. They may be God’s favorite. 

I’ve always felt like God’s favorite. I’m not. But God makes all His children feel that way who love His presence and look forward to His coming. The churches who are not following and studying His book may not even be aware that He’s coming back. Some have even denounced it. Because we can do that you know. Tell God what He’s going to do. Oh… my …. Stars… the arrogance of this world we live in! 

Silly Worship

I almost didn’t address it. Because some of these people I adore. They’re good hearted, Bible believing children of God, but they’re picking and choosing what parts of the Bible they want to focus on. Most will tell you every word is truth, but certain words mean more or certain actions mean more. They border on works because of their belief that if you don’t do certain things, the Spirit of God is not on you or in you. There’s a problem with that.

1 Corinthians 14:23 – If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? 

Anytime any church does something that causes mass confusion, it’s not of God. Because the scripture says in 1 Corinthians 14:33  – For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. That clears up the issue of tongues for me. Only one time in my entire life have I been interpreted to by a Pentecostal friend when speaking in tongues.  It was not an open church service, it was a private prayer. They spoke in tongues, not I. I still didn’t understand it. But I appreciated their respect of my belief and I respected theirs. We have an awesome friendship of peace. I don’t think the people are silly, but to an unsaved person, who may be looking for Jesus, I can almost guarantee they’ll think it’s silly and it won’t point anyone of them to Jesus. Which is our job. 

So what do I consider acceptable worship? 

It’s not what’s acceptable to me that matters. It’s what lines up with scripture and what points people to Jesus. It’s not how others worship that matter to me, unless they’re apart of my congregation and they’re worship is disruptful or unbiblical. Many years ago we had a group come into our church to sing and one of the singers got “happy in the Lord” and ran the aisle. Then he slid into home plate. Literally! Slid down the aisle leaving black tread marks from his shoes on the carpet. The church janitor who had to scrub those black marks out of the carpet was not a happy camper. It turns out a few years later we found out that the aisle runner was having an affair with the lead singer… dear gussy! 

The question would be, was he happy in the Lord, or was he covering for sinful behavior? Again… that ain’t none of my business. But it calls into question, why people do what they do? God know the motive and that should scare false prophets to death. 

Now let me tell you of another time when I fake praised. I was struggling spiritually for reasons beyond my control. I didn’t want to bring attention to my issues because with attention would bring unwanted questions and hard feelings when I’d have to say why I couldn’t say. So I fake praised, and it was no doubt apparently fake. But nobody questioned and I was cool. Right or wrong, God will have to decide. As will he on the cause of all others who praise without the Spirit’s involvement. 

I guess that’s a pretty lengthy blog post today, but I really needed to get it off my mind. And I pray it helps you when it comes to your relationship with God. Worship in Spirit and Truth. And that alone. Amen.

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