Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Gear, New Buildings, and the Problems in My Heart

I'm a Jesus follower
and a worship leader.
Because of this and this hunger to lead my life as one of worship,
this verse has struck a chord with me for a number of years.

Amos 5:21-24

How can we justify this verse when all around us we see
new worship centers being built and new worship services
that cater to our style or different age groups?
How can we justify it when we always need...
New gear
New songs
New buildings
New guitars...

I think the conversation that needs to happen is;
Is this what GOD wants or what WE want?

I want to be honest
I love all of those things!
I love it when I get a new guitar
or when I learn a new song

Especially when people who are talented and passionate about
production, lights, sound, or art,
use their talents that God has given them
to tell the story of God's love and redemption for His people and His overall plan.

I love it.

But are we missing an important element?

Worship is a response to what God IS doing, what He HAS done, and what He WILL CONTINUE to do in our lives.

What has happened is the Church, which includes me, has traded a life of worship for an event.
The glorious life that I should live in response to Jesus and the gospel has be traded for a lesser idol of new buildings, new lights, new guitars, and creative shows!

None of these are evil things
but they are just things.
They WILL FAIL us and they will NEVER give us what we are truly seeking...

That's who we truly want.
The beautiful thing is He tells us exactly
how to get Him.

What God wants in our response to Him is:
a "flood of Justice"
and "righteousness like an ever-flowing stream"

Things that God has called good
can quickly become bad.
Passions that God has put in our hearts
will become idols if they are not put into check.

John Calvin said: "The human heart is an idol factory... Every one of us from our mothers womb is an expert in inventing idols"  

Our hearts want to cling to physical things instead of God.

That's what God is telling the Israelites in Amos.
Along with the other idols that they have adopted
they have made the way they worship to God an idol.

When we put what we want before what God wants
it becomes an idol.
Again, God is clear in what He wants in terms of our response to Him.

New worship venues and styles of worship are good things
when put in the context of true worship.
They are good when added onto true worship that is already happening.
They are not the main thing.

I have been ignoring that verse for years....
because, I thought that what I wanted was better than what God wants.
And now, I am abstaining from those good things
because my heart needs to be put into check.
And I think that a good form of worship for me is
telling God that I want Him more than I want
a cool venue,
or a new guitar,
or to write new music...

my heart needs God not these idols that I've created.

What are some things in your life that might need to be
put in check in view of what God has said in His word?

Are there things that we might be putting before God?

Is our Joy anchored in Christ or is it anchored in things?

Let's get better together.