July 20, 2022
When your mind wanders where does it tend to go? When your mind wonders what does it wonder about? Those big spaces in our minds are intended to be filled with God. I want you to have big thoughts of God (that is what good theology is) so that you will have deep and convictional affections for God (that is what good worship is) so that you will have faith-driven and joy-pursuing obedience of God (that is what life is). Therefore, our gathering for worship is essential to who we are as a church.
First of all, we have to gather. In order to be a church, we have to gather since gathering and assembly is literally what the word “church” means. But our gathering is not for a sporting, political, educational, or musical event. Our gathering is for worship. Is our worship actually biblical worship?
Much of what is called “worship” in the contemporary church is thinly-veiled idolatry. True worship is not just concerned with the glory of God, it is consumed with it. True worship is not how I feel in response to a mood, a beat, a sound, a familiar and sentimental old song, or a familiar new one. True worship is not my reaction to what I like and how I like it. Worship is all that I am responding to all that God is. If there is little attention given to God, and if we have a shallow understanding and appreciation for who he is, then our worship will be shallow. If your understanding of God is shallow and your focus on him is fleeting, then your view of God will be small. A small God does not take up much room in your mind and heart. Therefore, there is a lot of space left for fear, doubt, anxiety, addiction, stress, anger, lust, and bitterness. If your view of God is small, then your view of yourself or your view of other people or other things will be disproportionately big.
So, ask yourself now. Where does my mind wander off to when it wanders? Does it go down the road of fear, anxiety, doubt, lust, stress, anger, bitterness, loneliness and darkness? It doesn’t have to be that way. “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers….” 1 Peter 1:18 I need to set my affections on things above. Our gathering for worship helps me do that. I need to fill my mind with big thoughts of God, our gathering for worship helps me do that. I need to be encouraged by the faith-driven and joy-pursuing obedience of others. Our gathering for worship helps me do that. But, in order for me to wring all of the goodness out of our gathering for worship I need to come ready and intentional to do that. I need the Spirit to help me come ready. I need the Spirit to help me think more about God than myself. I need the Spirit to help me think more about others than about me. I need the Spirit to help me worship. Jesus said, “God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”