No higher privilege is afforded man than gathering together to worship the Lord. The Creator allows the creation to come into His presence. Saints stand before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to adore, praise and honor the love freely given at Calvary. When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am Almighty God” (Genesis 17:1). Moses was told to remove his sandals at the burning bush because he stood on holy ground. When God struck Nadab and Abihu dead, Moses told their father Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified’” (Leviticus 10:3).
Throughout holy scrip, reverence is demanded by all those who worship the Lord. He is God. He is the Almighty. Jealous is His name. The psalmist declared “Holy and awesome is His name” (Psalm 111:9). Isaiah declared that he was unworthy to stand before the Lord, as he was a man of unclean lips dwelling in the midst of a people of unclean lips (Isaiah 6). The prophet had a clear view of how great God was and how lowly man was. John, the beloved apostle, was so enthralled with what he saw in the revelation he fell down to worship before the feet of the angel. Then he said to John, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” (Revelation 22:9)
Every first day of the week, man is given the honor to assemble as one body in the One Body to enjoy the blessing of worshipping the Lord God Almighty. Prescribed by the will of the Lord to obey His commands, the church of Jesus Christ comes together to commune over the supper of the Lord, praise in song and prayer and meditation of the spoken word as His own special people, a royal priesthood and a chosen nation. We often refer to this as “going to church” and more often than not “going to church” becomes like going to the beach, or the rodeo or the mall shopping or anything but what we are assembled to engage in. The world has greatly influenced the worship of God with a lessened sense of respect and honor.
A movement within the church is creating a more ‘relaxed and casual atmosphere’ to worship God because worship is more about the “me bubble” than Him. Instead of seeking to worship God for who He is, we have remolded the Lord into a more user friendly, politically correct image of what we feel more comfortable with. The casual worship defines our own personality rather than the holy character of God. If we were called before a judge, it is doubtful we would dress the way often found in services of the Lord. Receiving an audience with an important official reveals we would never consider standing before them in shorts and t-shirts; and yet coming before God, we feel it is acceptable. Some clothes resemble pajamas that are worn to a place of holy consecration in the memory of Jesus Christ.
The hearts of worshippers have changed. Hungering for the word of God has given way to satisfied appetites in worldly delights. Worship is a frantic clock watching exercise of getting out the door to play, work or sleep. Bibles are seldom opened, discussions engaged or spiritual candles lit to know more about the Lord God Almighty. Sunday services are a brief moment in time with little relevance to anything else in life. In the end, God is something done on Sunday morning. Maybe on Sunday night and less during the week.
Church services must return to the purpose for which they were designed. Worship to God on the first day of the week is not to appease the Father who demands His children obey Him. The part of our life that is worship is about praise to the glory of the Father. We want to make it about us and the Lord reminds us it is about Him. Children play during the worship services ignoring all the beauty of Godly praise. Parents fail to instill in their children the holiness of the hour and wonder why their children have no interest in the Lord when they grow older.
Worship is about respect. “And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up” (Nehemiah 8:5). This is an attitude of attention and respect. We live in a world where men refuse to stand for the national anthem and the flag infuriating people for their lack of respect. The church has become a place where the cross of Jesus is shown less respect. The problem comes from the heart and the failure to worship in spirit.
Worship is not about how many songs we have to sing, how long the prayer or sermon is and how soon can I get out of here. John saw in the Revelation the attitude of those who stood before the throne of the Lord God. “The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created’” (Revelation 4:10-11).
David expressed it so well when he praised the majesty of God and His character at the provisions to build the house of the Lord. “Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name” (1 Chronicles 29:10-13).