I don’t have much against flashy, neon-drenched worship services courtesy of starched hair and skinny jeans.
That’s because I don’t know the hearts of the hair and jeans. When the great test of worship comes at 3am – when they get the dreaded phone call, or when they simply wake up with the old terror pressing in – for all I know, they pass with flying colors. They trust God. They worship at their bedside. Why assume they don’t?
See, your greatest worship experiences probably won’t come at church.
I attend a church that doesn’t have one of “those” worship experiences every week. We try to stay simple, competent, and authentic. Fortunately, it’s also a church that teaches us to think of ourselves with “sober judgment”, which has helped me check my critical spirit towards other churches and how they operate. We celebrate when other churches succeed.
After all, what access do I have to the hospital rooms in which the rubber of those believers’ faith meets the road?
What access do I have to their last late-night session with their thinning checkbook?
What access do I have when twenty years of isolation finally breaches the dam of their hearts and leaves them curled up against a silent wall, even after all their valiant demeanor from stage?
Your greatest worship experience won’t come at church. It comes unscheduled, unrehearsed, unforeseen, on days other than Sunday, when your character and trust are tested by life’s nastiest assaults. It comes when you’re on the ragged edge of snapping at your coworkers, or when the bottle’s comfort just feels irresistible, or the arms of someone you know you shouldn’t be seeing. The true and only question is simply this: will you choose him? Over despair? Over idols? Over distance?
Raising your hands on Sunday means nothing if you sin with them the other six days. Tithing means little from a resistant giver. A degree from a Bible college is pointless if it’s not put into practice. This sounds harsh, but I can draw no other conclusion from Jesus’ words.
Worship at its deepest form happens not on the stage, but in the closet.
That’s actually comforting. It means your life doesn’t have to be the internal equivalent of multicolored spotlights and smoke machines for you to come before him. It means that humble churches without such assets can still run to him. It means that the “robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10) is ours regardless of the rest of our wardrobe.
Worship with your life.
And if it’s been a while since you did so, worship with repentance right now, in your closet. It can be done. Jesus awaits with open arms.
I’m glad you tuned in today. If you found this post to be of value, feel free to share on social media. Thanks a bunch!
Great reminder. I’m not an auto-racing fan, but I’ve thought of the Christian life in auto-racing terms. The real race takes place seven days per week. Our time in corporate worship (Sunday morning, small-group studies, midweek services, etc.) is the pit stop: We get our gas tank fueled, tires replaced, and other maintenance so that we can complete the race. However, it’s what we do outside the “pit” that really shows how we are doing in our relationship with God.
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That’s a great analogy.
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