How easy do we have it here? How easy does the “Western Church” have it?
We can go to church every Sunday. We can watch Christian worship/ sermons/ conferences on our computers without the threat of our government screening our internet usage and ready to kill us over what they find. We have no limits to our capacity and availability to worship. And, in that, we have become nominal worshipers.
You have heard the phrase a “nominal Christian,” often common to hear more in the Bible Belt of the South. A nominal Christian is a similar term to a person being Jewish. It is a part of your inheritance and your culture, but it is not necessarily a faith. It is a growing up in the Church, knowing who Jesus is, going to church on Christmas and Easter, at least, even going to church every Sunday, doing the VBS’s as a kid but never really knowing what and why you are doing what you are doing. Never meeting Jesus for yourself. Never understanding The Story of the Bible, but knowing many stories from the Bible.
Well, in our comfortable lifestyle, worship has become nominal. It’s just something we do. We sing songs and nobody cares. We do not realize the value of worship. We take it for granted. Our brothers and sisters across the world are losing their lives, literally, over a chance to worship. We go to church once a week, sing 3-4 songs, and think, “That’s enough.” Or even worse, we skip church, because, “There’s always next week.”
If we really, I mean really, caught a glimpse of the beauty and the honor that it is to worship God, I doubt that we would go about it so casually. It would become life-consuming. We would jump at every chance to worship Him. We would probably stop caring about what other people are doing in worship – how they worship, what’s “allowed” and not “allowed.” We would stop caring about what other people think about HOW we are personally worshiping and WHAT we may or may not be doing.
If we felt for even one moment that today is our last day to worship the King, how could we not leave it all on the altar, knowing that He is worthy? If we then entered every time of worship with that mentality, with a glimpse of His worth and the humbling honor it is that any word or sound out of mouths, any expression of our bodies in dance, any note played on an instrument, any paint stroke on a canvas held something that was actually worthy of our King, we would worship differently. We would worship passionately. We would enter His courts with thanksgiving, not because of what He has done in our lives this week, but because He has let us enter in. We would become the burning ones. We would not cease to worship. It would not be acceptable to come together once a week. It would be daily, hourly, unstopping, and unstoppable. It would be just the beginning of Acts. From there, who knows just what would become possible.
My guess? We would see the fulfillment of the Church in the world today, and every tribe, tongue, people and nation would receive the Gospel – not just in words but in power. It would change the world as we know it.
Can you imagine that? Can you even fully grasp what that could really look like? I don't know that I can, but it entices me to draw close to the Presence and to hope for it, dream for it, believe for it. This is where I am going to start: I am going to choose worship today. To worship today with our brothers and sisters across the globe. Realize that this is not religion. It is not something we do because we are supposed to but because we cannot keep praise from our lips and worship from our hearts. Entering His courts with thanksgiving and draw close to the One who was before there was a was, the One who loves us, delights in us, and chooses us, even when we haven’t chosen Him. He is worthy of our praise.
He is worthy. He is worthy. He is worthy. He is worthy. He is the King of kings. He reigns on high. He is from beginning to end, the Alpha and Omega. He is the One called Faithful and True. He is mighty. He is kind. He is loving. He is compassionate. He is more than enough. He is holy. He is holy. He. Is. HOLY.