There are different types of Sunday morning worship related problems which can always be traced back to a common misconception among believers. The idea that worship is somehow supposed to be for our benefit, gratification, or edification, instead of the Lord’s. Often when worship fails to meet people’s expectations, they will find fault and complain saying “That it is to emotional!” or “It’s not emotional enough.” Some are offended when people do not stand or raise their hands, or when some do. The root to the problem is that they had an expectation in the first place. The expectation of receiving some personal satisfaction.
There is an illustration that brings this to light. Abraham and Isaac went yonder to worship. They had plenty of wood and fire but no sacrifice until Isaac got on the altar. That’s when it become true worship. A lot of people have plenty of wood and fire but never get to the place of true worship, because they never sacrifice their expectation of self gratification on the alter.
There is a never ending battle to educate believers that true worship is a “sacrifice” of praise, a free will offering of my will, my freedom, my preferences and without that attitude in my heart, it is not worship, no matter if I stand, sit, use guitars or organs, or sing hymns or choruses.
The Lord has allowed a diversity of worship expression ranging from the liturgical to the radical, such as electric guitars and drums, precisely because certain types of people will be more comfortable with one or the other.
The true worshippers heart will be worshipping the Lord not worship. That is the model of the heart of a true worshipper before the Lord. We at Calvary Chapel seek this heart and desire to teach, convince, exhort, all who come here with all patience and longsuffering to enter into true worship. Some will catch this true heart of worship from us and others will not and we pray that the Lord will teach those who do not.
Perhaps the Lord has allowed some to feel restricted or offended so that they can make the choice to check their hearts to see if they will:
1. Sacrifice their freedom of expression, or lack of it, upon the alter of true worship.
2. Or to continue to insist upon their freedom, or lack of it, of expression and worship at the altar of self-gratification.
It is our desire to see all grow in truth and in love, it is through this growth that we will grow as true worshipers.