Worship 3: I’m coming back to the heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
Where it’s all about You
All about You, Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
‘Cause it’s all about You
All about You, Jesus

So goes the chorus of Matt Redman’s well-loved song “When the Music Fades”. Yet I wonder even with it’s many years of popularity within the church, how much we have really got this message yet? Matt has written a song with such a key to our worship lives yet I think it has yet to really dawn on us.

I have a confession to make – I’ve tended to get slightly frustrated on occasion when as worship teams or even just groups of friends have set out to ‘define’ what worship ‘is’. We’ve determined some things we think happen, what form it ought to or can take, we’ve tried to work out which way the river flows and who is affected and what the meaning is and why we do it. I remember times when discussions have branched in all sorts of funny ways like “which direction do we think worship goes?” – this was funny because the answers seemed to be everything except “up?” There was all this talk of the people and what the people think and how they are affected and how they affect worship – and it just felt like we were stuck in a paradigm of thinking that worship is just a bunch of people singing at a semi-concert with a band on stage.

I’ve got to be honest – I really think most processes like this have actually only served to draw us further away from the true worship. I’m not denying that things happen, that people are affected, that worship has definition, that is has a form, that it does flow, or that there is a reason for it. But I feel that we are prone to over-complicating the issue.

What if – potentially – worship were as simple as: us loving God? What if the primary direction was upward and everything else that happened was a response back down from heaven? What if we got away from caring about what people thought about the music, the attitude behind worship, or even whether they were having a good or bad day – and just worshipped? What if things happened during worship not because we were trying to make them happen or because we had a theological reasoning as to what things take place during worship, but rather because we were so lost in God that the atmosphere of heaven broke in and God’s will was done on earth as in heaven? What if we could really give to the Lord the glory due His name (Psalm 29)? Church has become so people-ministry focussed that I don’t think we can even worship without trying to help people. This is noble! Yet loving our neighbour was surely always meant to come second to loving God? Whilst I don’t deny that it may be a wise thing if the Spirit instructs, to start praying for people during the worship, I think we sometimes jump the mark a little too quick, because we’re used to a certain measure of His presence, a certain way of doing things.

I really feel there is a lot more glory to give to His name. I believe He’s inviting us to push the envelope. Only once or twice in my lifetime have I been in a meeting where all the songs just keep focussing us more and more on the Lord and the whole room has been caught up into just worshipping Him – which is loving Him for who He is and for what He has done. It is an amazing place to be. And it is one of the best atmospheres to enter in church life because it stirs faith in God. What if we could strip away all our ministry agendas and simply do ministry to people out of our ministry to the Lord? He loves to be worshipped! And we were made to worship Him, I believe that. Nothing fulfills us more.

Jesus help us to come back to the heart of worship, where it’s all about You. We’re sorry Lord that we’ve somehow made worship about so many other things, when really, it’s just all about You. Take us into new places in worship where we enter Your presence just through loving on You. Teach us to love You more, Lord.

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