Worship Q&A Continued
So many questions, so little time! We had over 30 questions come in on Sunday morning during our services, and of course we couldn’t get to all of them from the front. But, we can provide some brief answers to the ones that didn’t get mentioned, and that’s what we are doing here. The goal is not an exhaustive answer, but helpful, direct, biblical answers.
What does winning in worship look like today?
It looks the same as it has always looked: whole-heart, whole-mind engagement, praising and serving God with words and deed. It does not take one physical form (arms raised, eyes closed for example), but will include your body being used to bring him glory. Romans 12:1-2, Psalm 61:1-4, Psalm 150
How do I cure the worship wars within me?
A steady diet of gospel and prayer! Remind yourself of the gospel by reading passages like Ephesians 2:1-10, Titus 3:3-8, 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. And ask God to expose the false beliefs within you, out of which come worship wars within us. Ask him to show you and change you, as only he has the power to do so… and you can bank on that as a prayer he will answer with a resounding “Yes!” as you seek him.
How do I connect my everyday life with my worship?
Part of this answer is taking the word “worship” away from strictly singing, and give the word the full-orbed definition it really has in the Bible. Our life is a life of worship when we take verses like Colossians 3:17 seriously: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Realize that in your parenting, your working, your studies, your exercise, your hobbies, your eating or drinking, and so on, everything can be worship when we do it in thankfulness to God and a desire to serve and honor him in it.
Also consider listening to “All of life is worship”.
A very good book on the subject of our work and worshipping God is Tim Keller’s Every Good Endeavor
When you read about God in Scripture, how do you know you're not inventing your own “plastic Jesus”?
One important question to personally answer, which will help decipher if you follow the Jesus of the Bible or a made up Jesus, is this: When I read the Bible, am I submitting to everything it says about who Jesus is and what Jesus does? Or do you, like so many, read or hear the words of the Bible and say “Surely he doesn’t X” or “Surely he didn’t mean exactly that”?
To put it another way, when you are confronted with the Bible saying something about God that you have not believed in the past, are you prepared to believe it as truth and submit to it because it’s God’s word?
How can I regain my trust in Jesus when I can’t understand some of the roads I have been down with Him by my side? I know they have been for a reason, but I struggle to trust.
Tough questions like these deserve longer answers. Because so much is written on subjects of suffering and God’s goodness in suffering, consider reading these articles:
How does a biblical view of worship influence you on mundane mornings when you don’t “feel like” worshipping God?
Because worship is done in all of life, it is especially important to remain consistent even when positive feelings are lacking to spend time worshiping God. A Biblical view of worship leads us to understand that “mundane” is something we ascribe to a day that lacks excitement or a sense of newness in our eyes. But when we realize every day is a gift of God’s grace and an opportunity to live for his glory or not, it drives us to a worshipful attitude of love and thankfulness, even if feelings aren’t running deep in a given moment.
Who are other religions worshipping? Is it nothing, or Satan/demonic in some way?
Another great question with lots of good material already written about it. Consider reading the following articles for a biblical perspective:
Where is the place of singing in worship? Jesus doesn’t say anything about singing in John 4.
Singing is not the same as worship (contrary to the way we use the word oftentimes), but singing is a primary expression of our worship to God. When we sing to or about God, we are affirming the beliefs expressed by those words. Further, we know throughout the Psalms that singing (especially corporate singing) is a expression of worship. A few verses to see as a reference: Psalm 5:11, 30:4, 33:1-3, 95:1, 104:33-34
When you find yourself being greedy in your heart, what do you personally do to change your heart?
Two things must take place: repent and pray! When you are convicted in your heart for being greedy, confess it to God and turn from it. Call out to God for help to trust him and release the control that greed inherently seeks to the Lord. These 2 things are recurring necessities in the life of every Christian. Ask God for the strength to obey what he commands, for it must (and will!) come from him.
Often we equate greed with money, what are some other ways “greediness” can appear in our lives?
Greed focuses on control and power. So, any place where we seek to control people, circumstances, or possessions, we are being greedy. We can be greedy in our work, demanding that we receive the applause or attention; we can be greedy in our relationships by demanding time and love from others; and we can be greedy in our possessions by clinching on to them and not sharing and enjoying them with an open-handedness, seeing it as a gift of God.
You mentioned worship is meant for our benefit. Isn’t God also jealous for His own glory?
God is jealous in the sense of being passionate about what is of utmost importance in the universe, i.e. worshiping him as the only true and living God. Human jealousy happens when we wrongly assess the worth of something (ourselves, other people, certain possessions) and demand to receive something we aren’t receiving. God’s jealousy is altogether righteous in that he rightly assesses his value as supreme above all else. He zealously and jealously demands our worship precisely because he is after our highest joy and ultimate good. So worshipping God is for our benefit, because we are made for it and ultimately satisfied by it.
How does surrender work in worship?
When we are rightly worshiping God in spirit and truth, we are going to be fully surrendered to his will being done in our lives. As we worship consistently over time, we increasingly see the value of God above everything else. We recognize that his grace is indeed sufficient in anything we may go through (2 Cor 11:9) and that having him is literally better than life itself. Our grip on possessions, people, and literally our own lives is loosened because in the end, all of it will be surrendered. So we desire to voluntarily surrender all things to God in light of who he is and what he has done for us in Christ to save us.
How can my children and I worship?
Another question with lots written on it. Parents must realize this: there is a profound connection going on in the hearts of your children (from very little children to teenagers) as they watch you worship. Do they see you valuing corporate worship? Do they see you engaging in the songs being sung in church, and then do they see you privately living a life of worship?
3 things are key to helping your family worship:
- Do it in a way they can understand.
- Be excited and enthusiastic about worshiping God with your kids
- Remember that ultimately you must pray that the gospel takes root in their lives if they are going to become worshipers of God
If communion is a part of worship why don’t we do it each Sunday?
Jesus did not prescribe a requirement for the regularity of taking communion together. If he had, we would certainly follow it. Churches do it weekly, monthly, quarterly, even yearly! We feel that doing it every month provides a regular enough opportunity for it to be appropriately and regularly emphasized.
So if God was the source of Job’s problems, is He then the source of pain and suffering?
As you might imagine, there is no shortage of thought, disagreement, and penmanship on this issue! Rather than reinvent an answer, we suggest reading these 2 in depth articles on the issue:
How do we balance a natural desire for good things without idolizing good things?
One helpful question to ask yourself is whether the good things you enjoy are an end in themselves, or do they “roll up” into praise and thanks to God? When you finish a great meal, do you stop at sitting back and reveling in how good it was? Or is there a gratitude that wells up to God for creating such delicious foods, ingredients, and some kind of awe at his goodness to do so? When you are enjoying your favorite hobby, is your joy wrapped up in the activity itself or is your joy actually enhanced when you realize God gave it to you as a gift of his grace?
Another way of saying it is this: If the good thing you enjoy (doing something fun, eating something good, going somewhere on vacation) were removed from your life, could you be OK with it and still say God is good? If not, the “good” thing has become a “god” thing, and is idolatry in your heart.
Do you feel God pointed Satan to test Job specifically or did Satan notice Job himself?
From Job 1:8 and 2:3 it would seem God brings up Job to Satan, rather than Satan specifically hand picking Job to test his faith.
Christ tells us the true worshippers worship in Spirit and in truth. What exactly does it mean to worship in Spirit and truth?
In brief, it means to worship God according to who he is as revealed in the Bible (truth) and with your entire being (spirit), as well as by the Spirit of God. These 3 articles can delve more specifically into the issue: