All too frequently churchgoers gather to worship God, but have never had a fresh vision of God's holiness. Nice songs are sung, religious thoughts are offered to God, and well-crafted words are uttered, but all this falls far short of true worship. This worship may be more psychological and fleshy than spiritual. This kind of worship bears no resemblance to the worship we find in Scripture. The psalmist writes, "He is to be feared above all gods...splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary...O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before Him all the earth." (Ps. 92:4-6, 9) Godly fear, majesty, the beauty of holiness, and splendor and majesty were ready themes in the hearts of the worshippers of old. How this should challenge our hearts!! There are many who study theology, but where are those who study to be worshippers of God? Where are the churches today whose passion is to "worship God in spirit and in truth"? Where are the books exhorting, teaching, and equipping this generation to worship God? A.W. Tozer exhorted the fundamentalist-Bible-believing church prior to his death in 1951, "Many of our popular songs and choruses in praise of Christ are hollow and unconvincing. Some are even shocking in their amorous endearment, and strike a reverent soul as being a kind of flattery offered to One with whom neither composer nor singer is acquainted. The whole thing is in the mood of a love ditty, the only difference being the substitution of the name of Christ for that of the earthly lover. How different and how utterly wonderful are the emotions aroused by true Spirit-incited love for Christ. Such love may rise to a degree of adoration almost beyond the power of the heart to endure, yet at the same time it will be serious, elevated, chaste, and reverent. Christ can never be known without a sense of awe and fear accompanying the knowledge. He is the fairest among ten thousand, but also the Lord high and mighty. He is the friend of sinners, but also the terror of devils. He is meek and lowly in heart, but He is also the Lord and Christ who will surely come to be the judge of all men. No one who knows Him intimately can ever be flippant in His presence. If Bible Christianity is to survive the present world upheaval, we shall need to recapture the spirit of worship. May God raise up such an army of worshippers, those who long to reverently remember Him who first remembered us on Calvary's cross. Might God raise up tender-hearted worshippers; but more than this, may He raise up those whose passion and aim is to equip others to worship God.
-David Dunlap, Bible &Life, March 2003
Emphasis was added.
How true this is and a challenge for God's children and a prayer that true worship will return to our churches. To learn more about Biblical worship, study God's Word, look through the other posts on this blog, or order your copy of my book, Pleasing or Deceiving: A Dangerous Compromise.