I prefer - by Ben Bonython
"But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24
The bible talks about Worship a lot! Yet go to any church service across Adelaide, let alone the world, and you will experience differences in worship. So here is a 10 second challenge....
What comes to mind when you think worship...
It is my experience that we all tend to describe worship in words and ways that generally relate to us. Often we describe worship as we prefer worship. I prefer worship to be: Quiet, guitar, loud, hymns, organ, free, orderly, reflective, choir, meaningful, exuberant.....and the preferences go on with smoke machines, dark rooms, bright lights, ripped jeans, suits and ties....etc! Yes, we even think about what we wear...
Think about David and His wife Michal and the preferences while worshipping. 2 Samuel 6:14 says that:
“Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing [only] a linen ephod [loincloth, kilt, or apron]”
When was the last time you danced with all your might in Church?
But that was the last thought on my mind., what about loincloths...
Could you imagine - you arrive to Church on Sunday and the band are wearing loincloths.....nothing else. To be honest, I do not look my best in a loincloth but worship isn't about me....or is that what I have made it to be? The truth is that worship is not for us...it is for God. Websters Dictionary in 1828 described worship as to 'honor with extravagant love and extreme submission'.
Whatever clothing David was wearing, it apparently was not the acceptable preference of His wife Michal, who accused him of attention seeking behaviour in the “uncovering of himself in the eyes of the ladies” (2 Samuel 6:20).
So here is something to think about....isn't it profound how God desires, and allows us, to be creative and give our own unique flavour and expression, and participate, and even be blessed and receive something ourselves, as we worship Him!
People have worshiped something forever....from weather to stars, nature and animals, fire and hand carved sculptures, other humans and overlords, and even ourselves! A google search on worship quickly shows us that Worship is a subject spoken very often in the bible!
So what can we say about Faithful Worship? Jesus speaks very clearly to us about Worship in John 4. Worship is more about heart, spirit and truth, than it is about all the other things we have made it. We are so blessed with our times of worship yet it is amazing how our own preferences can shape our ability to participate in worship. It is important we know the purpose of worship in our lives, and not just focus on great words to sing on a Sunday. At different times people make comments like... 'worship was amazing, it felt good and God was here'...But sometimes I didn't feel anything! So it is helpful to explore what the presence of God means for worship.
Faithful Worship is when true worshippers worship the Father in spirit and in truth. And Father God looks for faithful worshippers so we must worship Him in spirit and in truth. And let us note the obvious, yet the incredible - that there is plenty of scope for creativity, expression and unique distinctiveness' that can all fit into that faithful 'spirit and truth' worship.