There has been a lot of football on the TV lately. Of course it has. It's that time of year. Bowl games and playoff games filling the airwaves in great number! Stadiums filled with ravenous fans rooting on their favorite team. Add to that the millions of fans watching by national television. It's all because 22 men on a field - battle it out for a trophy, an egg, a championship, a title, and bragging rights for the next year. Yes, it's that time of year again.
You see the strangest things during these contests. You see guys wearing absolutely no shirts during games where the temperature is below freezing. Do they care? No. You see faces painted with team colors. Do they care what you think? No. You see folks with wigs on their heads (weird wigs). Do they care? No. You see people dressed in costumes (weird costumes). They don't care either. You see folks with horns on their heads or big letters painted on their bare chests (guys of course). But they don't care. Know why? They are participators. These avid fans are more than spectators, they are participators. While they may look foolish to you, the truth is they don't care. They are committed to exalting their favorite team.
Participation is even more essential and eternally significant when worshiping our God. I mean after all, He is the Most High, Eternally Supreme, Creator God. Did you know that it is very easy to be present during corporate worship and not participate? Many assume that being in the room where worship is taking place is participating. That is not participating, that is spectating. You can stand inside a restaurant, but that doesn't mean you're eating a meal. You must participate. You must get involved. That is your part in eating in a restaurant. The same is true during corporate worship. Your part is to participate. God designed His worshipers to be participators, not spectators.
To participate in corporate worship requires more effort than to spectate. But the returns are far greater. A participator focuses on Jesus. A spectator focuses on everyone else (including self). A participator is less aware of his/her surroundings. A spectator is aware of everything and everyone in the room, including those on the platform. A participator is touched and filled by the manifested presence of the God worshiped. A spectator watches those who are touched and filled by the manifested presence of the God worshiped.
Participator or spectator. The good news is that you can be a participator. Just make the commitment. Simply make the choice and then do it. You won't regret it. God will be pleased and you definitely will be pleased. Add to that the life-changing presence you will experience, dissolving all the apprehensions and inhibitions that hindered you before. God is patiently waiting to meet you as a participator in corporate worship of Him at the very next gathering!