We are a people that hate to wait and we are a nation that hates to wait. We love our fast food, fast cars, microwaves and interstates. But we must learn to wait patiently on the Lord. God is not obligated to operate according to our timetable. Waiting on the Lord is active, not passive. Someone once said, “Patience is not passive: on the contrary it is active; it is concentrated strength.”
We can wait eagerly on God’s promise because we know that it will come to pass. Part of worship is waiting on God’s promise and receiving God’s promise in His proper time. The prophet writes in Isaiah 40:31, “They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
G. Campbell Morgan said, “Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.” Psalms 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”
This summer at Crosspointe, we have been walking through what it means to worship God faithfully and consistently. Here are a few thoughts we’ve covered.
1. Worship is a lifestyle, not an event. Worship on Sunday is an overflow of what God has been doing in your life throughout the week! Worship is a life you live, not a service you attend.
2. Worship is about God’s glory, not my preferences. If I’m concerned more about my preferences than God’s glory then I’m actually not worshipping God, I’m worshipping myself.
3. Worship is a spiritual experience, not an outward show. Who is your audience when you worship? Are you more concerned about what those around you think, or about what God thinks?
4. Worship is about what I put into it, not what I get out of it. It’s not what I get when I come to worship, it’s what I give!
Someone once offered this definition of worship: “Worship is our response to what we value most.” And if worship is our response to what we value most, our faithfulness and participation in corporate worship will reveal the value we place on our personal relationship with Christ.
Let me say it as simply as I can, with grace and love; It is impossible to be a good Christian while voluntarily, consistently and purposefully missing corporate worship. People have a thousand reasons to stay away from church. This is not a new problem. The early Jewish church had a fall-off in attendance due to persecution, ostracism, false-teaching and arrogance. Today, people stay out of church for different reasons. Today, there are all sorts of reasons but every single one of them comes back to a simple philosophy; my wants and desires are more important than God’s directives and commands.
Kent Hughes said, “It is true that a person doesn’t have to “go to church” to be a Christian. Just like you don’t have to go home to be married either. But in both cases, if you don’t, you will have a very poor relationship.” Simply put, it’s possible to be committed to church without being committed to Christ, but it’s impossible to be committed to Christ without being committed to His church!