Psalms 5:7 – KJV – But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
This is an interesting choice of words in this verse. The word fear is yirah meaning: fear, terror, respect, reverence of a terrifying thing.
Over the years, I have seen a turning away from the fear of God towards a more lax reliance on His mercy. It is true that God is merciful. The verse above says that. But we have lost sight of how awesome our God is. This is reflected in our worship.
There are many expressions of worship: lifting our hands, shouting, kneeling, dancing before the Lord, and even being silent at times. All of these are proper and good as the Spirit leads. As we engage in these, we must keep in mind the awesomeness of our Father and continue to FEAR Him and give Him the reverence that He deserves.
John 4:23 – KJV – But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Did you know that God is seeking for worshippers? That sounds like He is having a hard time finding the type of worshipper that worships Him in spirit and in truth. How can this be when we have church services at least twice a week? We have our professional worship teams and our structured services all over America. Is God not pleased with this? I believe the answer is in the verse above.
The Greek word for worship in John 4:23 is Proskuneo. It means: to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand. To crouch, i.e. to prostrate oneself in homage, do reverence to royalty, adore.
All of these show a love to God that goes beyond our pride. It enters into the Fear of God. We must be so intent in doing what pleases Him that it is reflected in our worship. Not our agenda, not our program, not our selves. We must delight to do His will.
Isaiah 8:13 – NAS – “It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread.
We have lost the dread of the Lord in our worship. We are not afraid anymore to bring Him a halfhearted effort. Even worse, worship teams direct songs at the congregation that are meant to be directed heavenward. And please forgive my straight forwardness here. For example: The song YOU.
The lyrics say, “You are awesome, you are God. You are an awesome God.” This is a great song. But when the worship team is looking at me in the audience with big smiles and singing it to me, I want to shout, “No, I am not an awesome God. I am not worthy of that. Turn your eyes toward heaven and sing it to the one that is worthy!” This is when you can tell that the worship team is engaged in “the show”. They are more concerned about what I think of the performance rather than actually worshipping.
The International Standard version puts it this way:
Hebrews 12: 28 -29 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and worship God in reverence and fear in a way that pleases him. For our God is a consuming fire.
We must stop worshipping in a way that pleases people and return to worshipping in a way that pleases God. The word reverence in the above verse speaks of bashfulness, modesty, and shamefacedness.
Let us learn again to worship him with trembling:
Psalm 2:11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
I agree with Mike Yaconelli who said “I would like to suggest that the Church become a place of terror again; a place where God continually has to tell us, “Fear not”; a place where our relationship with God is not a simple belief or doctrine or theology, it is God’s burning presence in our lives. I am suggesting that the tame God of relevance be replaced by the God whose very presence shatters our egos into dust, burns our sin into ashes, and strips us naked to reveal the real person within. The Church needs to become a gloriously dangerous place where nothing is safe in God’s presence… except us. Nothing – including our plan, our agendas, our priorities, our politics, our money, our security, our comfort, our possessions, our needs….Our world is tired of people whose God is tame. It is longing to see people whose God is big and holy and frightening and gentle and tender…and ours; a God whose love frightens us into His strong and powerful arms where He longs to whisper those terrifying words, “I love you.”
If you know a worship leader who would benefit from this, please share it with them. I want to thank everyone who is reading and commenting. If you are receiving the link on Facebook, hit the share button and pass it along. The sooner we begin to worship God in a way that pleases Him, the sooner we will have revival and turn our nation around.