Monday, October 26, 2015

Simplicity = Power In Worship

One thing I've noticed about humans over the years I have lived (being that I am a human) is that we have a natural tendency to make things complicated. Things can start out simple, but we tend to drift down the path of complication as time passes. I am convinced the root of this tendency is pride. Pride can affect our effectiveness in many ways! Corporate worship is a good example. As we humans make our attempts to polish, perfect, and perform...things get complicated. Bottom line: When things get complicated we focus more on us than God.
Isn't worship all about focusing on Jesus? If more effort is being expended to keep the "well oiled machine" going...our focus is removed from God and placed on our own efforts. This is pride. Simplicity is not a lack of proficiency. Simplicity is the means in which we hone our focus on Jesus. The truth is Jesus is not impressed by what we can accomplish, unless He is glorified in it. Let's allow Jesus to search our hearts to make sure our motivation in worshiping Him is simply to glorify Him and not ourselves.
This brings me to worship lyrics. In a corporate setting, simplicity is the key to our focusing only on the King of Kings. There are many songs being sung in corporate worship today that should not be. Not because they are bad songs, and not because they are not anointed by God. But because they have so many words that most people are focused more on the overhead monitor, and getting the words right, than on the object of our worship...Jesus. Many of the "overly-wordy" songs sung in worship are great ballads (love songs) that should be sung to Jesus in a one-on-one setting.
The best Scriptural example I can recall is that of King David. David took a very complicated worship system and made it radically simple. Under the Old Testament Law, worship was a very complicated sacrificial system. If not done properly, people died! However, David, the psalmist comes along, throws up a tent, and puts the ark of the covenant in it on top of the mountain. He even comes into this tent often and simply worships God. Many of the songs he used in his worship (now the Psalms) were written while a shepherd boy, tending the flocks out in the fields.
God honored David's method of worship because it was pure and simple. He allowed access into His very presence even though this simple procedure was still under the Old Covenant. David led many people into God's presence this way. There was nothing complicated about it because David had no pride in this. Why should this be so significant for you and me? Because David's worship (David's Tabernacle) is a foreshadowing of what was to come. It was a look ahead to the New Covenant in which the one-time sacrifice of Jesus provides you and me access into God's presence through our worship, not a completed system.
God has graciously gifted us with the vehicle of music as a powerful way to worship Him. This involves our voices, instruments, and our bodies. Seek Him for simplicity in the ways we worship Him. It is true that we progress in our own abilities and styles as time passes by. But it is not "going back" to simplify things in worship. Remember, in the corporate setting it is our goal to focus on Jesus with our whole being. The singer and the musician as well should be able to focus keenly on Jesus, not the chord charts or the words. When Jesus is the focus our worship becomes powerful and lives are changed.

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