1) Remember the Original Design of Worship
Everything in Creation perfectly reflected God’s glory and declared His immeasurable worth. Adam and Eve lived all of life to the glory of God and for the pleasure of God. They offered the ceaseless praise of worship service in their work, play, relationship, and direct communion with God.
2) Ponder the Present Purpose of Worship
Because of the intrusion of sin and death into creation, everything is broken, including worship service. In His generosity, God designed and provided services of worship that show, tell, and celebrate His Story of cosmic restoration through Jesus. These services of worship initially were centered in the tabernacle and then the temple of Jerusalem.
Temple worship was fulfilled by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The Bride of Christ has become a living temple–a people inhabited by the Holy Spirit who are commissioned to tell God’s Story in their services of worshio and show His Story by their worship service. The restoration of broken worship now involves the creation and empowering of “lead worshippers,” who will offer worship service in every sphere of society and culture.
3) Meditate on the Future Plan for Worship
Every aspect of the new heaven and new earth will perfectly reflect the glory of God and will serve His eternal purpose and pleasure. The new heaven and new earth will be filled with “lead worshippers” who do all things to the glory of God for the pleasure of God, as they offer ceaseless praise through worship service.
In What Ways is Worship Broken?
Man’s glory has replaced God’s glory as the heart of worship. The first worship war was fought by Cain and Abel, and it resulted in murder (Genesis 4). Man’s pleasure has taken precedent over God’s pleasure as the goal of worship. Think about it. Are there any legitimate grounds for using phrases such as, “I really liked the worship today,” or, “I’m going to find a church that gives me the kind of worship I’m looking for?”
Nothing in creation reflects God’s glory as clearly as it once did. Life has been compartmentalized into the sacred and the secular (work vs. worship, worship leaders vs. lead worshippers). Services of worship have also been compartmentalized into the “worship” part of the service (usually the music) and the rest of the service. If hearing and responding to the Word of God is not an act of worship for us, then God have mercy.
The worship of the creature (man) and created things (idolatry) has replaced the worship of the Creator (Romans 1:21-25). Worshiping worship has replaced worshiping God. To worship God is to be preeminently concerned to bring Him pleasure and honor. To worship is to be primarily concerned with our pleasure and satisfaction. If we happen to enjoy services of worship, great! The truth is we should; for what should bring us greater delight than to pleasure the heart of God? But our enjoyment is not the goal; it’s simply a gift.
For Personal and Community Reflection
Are you a “true worshiper” or someone who simply likes “great worship?”
Is it God you worship or the experience of worship that you worship? How can you know the difference? When it comes to worship, do you have a consuming passion (a need to be fulfilled) or one consummate passion (a commitment to be poured out for the glory of Jesus)? Has worship become merely the musical/liturgical equivalent of your favorite ice cream, cut of meat, or Starbuck’s coffee?
What your particular “broken cistens,” your idols–the things and people that you rely on for life, fulfillment, and salvation? Your wallet? Boyfriend? Children? Computer? Refrigerator? Self-righteousness? Wounds? Ministry? Athletic prowess? Parents’ approval? Sexual addition? Drugs?
Come to Jesus today, like the Samaritan woman and those who believed her story. Where else is there to go? “The Spirit and her Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Revelation 22:17).