Thursday, March 24, 2011

What Keeps You From Worship?

Acts 16:22-25  "The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown in to prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God and the other prisoners were listening to them."

What is worship to you? Where do you worship? At our church the auditorium is called the "worship center" - is it? What do you do to prepare yourself for worship? How do your circumstances affect your desire or ability to worship?

Consider - Have you ever said or heard someone say this about a worship service:
  • The building was too hot/cold.
  • We don't sing enough hymns/praise and worship songs.
  • The service is too traditional/too contemporary.
  • Preacher too loud/not loud enough.
  • Someone got my seat/parking place.
  • I can't believe he/she wore that to church.
All of these things distract us from worship, from giving God the adoration and attention He deserves.

Now consider this - You are arrested on false charges.Someone takes you out and chains you to a pole. They take a whip and beat you until the skin is ripped from your back and there is nothing left but raw flesh. When you are almost too weak to stand from the pain and loss of blood, you are placed in a jail cell with some less than desirable characters. Just to make sure you don't go anywhere, your raw and bloody back is placed against a stone wall and you are chained to it. Do you feel like worshipping? Is praising God for His goodness the first words that leap to your lips?

Paul and Silas prayed and sang in the midst of tremendous pain. Their outward circumstances did not determine their ability to worship - their inward circumstances did. They could worship anywhere at any time under any circumstance because they understood that what God has done for us is greater than any pain we may have to endure - physically, emotionally, spiritually. They understood that their bodies were the temple of the Holy Spirit that lived in them and that they were bought with a price (I Cor. 6:19). They understood that we do not come to the sanctuary to worship - we bring the sanctuary with us.

What is keeping you from giving God the attention He deserves? Is it REALLY that important? Worship Him right now for who He is and for what He did for you. It's ok - He gave you a portable temple..

"Lord, forgive me for being distracted when I should be worshipping and for letting anything come before You. Help me to focus on You and Your greatness in spite of how I feel or what kind of mood I'm in. Thank You for living in me and letting me be Your temple."

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