Sunday, as folks were connecting with God during the worship service, someone cut loose shouting a first person word from God – “Worship Me! Worship Me! I love you! Worship Me!”
Though the Summit Church believes all the gifts of the Spirit are still in operation today and such startling expressions used to be the norm, there was an immediate mood change from a God-focused time of worship to a man-focused time of wonder – some wondering why this fellow was shouting we should worship him.
I am amused at the way different generations experience God. Ecstatic outbursts were expected when I was a young man but today they can spark confusion even in Charismatic churches. Because He looks at our heart I don’t think the Lord cares if we change the definition of proper worship behavior but when we change the definition of proper life behavior we drift toward disaster.
It is easy to compare ourselves to unbelievers and think we are different than the world when in reality we aren’t different, just 15-20 years behind. What was shocking fashion 20 years ago is now church attire. What was anathema a decade and a half ago is now accepted behavior. It appears that as the world abandons one level of ground to sink to deeper levels of depravity, the church rushes in to occupy the vacant land. Tragically, as we sow the same seeds of lifestyle, we also reap the same harvest of selfish living – high divorce rates, addictions, financial struggles, greed, loss of purpose, etc.
It is true that some things once condemned from the pulpit were not based on Scriptural standards but in our rush to avoid “legalism” it is easy to swing too far in the other direction. God’s standards, however, don’t change and if I want to experience the blessings He promises for those who walk in His ways, I must discover His ways. The only place to do that is in His Book. I have got to get into the Bible to discover what brings joy and honor to Him.
I wish I could look to the church to guide me in that, but sadly, even many leaders in the church today are adrift pursuing the world. I love the church and I love God’s people but I have got to keep my gaze fixed on Jesus and His Word to be my standard of conduct. I will give account to Him based upon His Word, not based upon how everyone around me is living.
Lord, help me stay engaged and in love with the Body of Christ but when it comes to daily decisions and life standards keep me laser focused on Jesus and Your Word. Teach me Your ways. I want to learn to follow You more perfectly every day.
4 Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. 9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. 10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant. 12 Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. 13 He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land.