Sunday, February 2, 2014

Narcotic Worship

Monday, February 3, 2014
Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize.  When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said.  But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.   1 Corinthians 14:26 (NLT)
Is church sometimes the narcotic of choice?

If we are rocked to sleep by our routine, have we REALLY worshipped?  Or are we gently nursing at what is comfortable and comforting?

And if so, what is so wrong with that?  Shouldn’t worship comfort?  Why does worship always have to disturb us, propel us into action?  Can’t worship just warm our hearts (even strangely) when we’re cold?  Can’t it strengthen without pushing us to the edge?  Must it throw us into the deep waters, sink or swim, live or die, trusting God with a reckless abandon or new plot?


Yes and No; it all depends on God’s Kingdom and the condition of my soul.

There are times when I’ve been so cold – down, discouraged and ready to quit, that the only real need of my soul was to be warmed, filled, lifted and given the strength to continue.  

Worship does that!

There are other times when my coldness is more resignation to the reality that I can change little, and therefore I (cynically) don’t try.  At such times, the only thing I need is a quick “kick-in-the-pants” to get started serving again.  

Worship does that!

There are times when I’ve been overwhelmed with choices of direction – do I serve at the soup kitchen, go visit the sick, witness to my kids and their friends….it’s like a humanity buffet out there – how shall I spend my time?  Worship somehow manages to help me refocus, and I am drawn to the next step.

I love that worship does that!

I was informed in seminary (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) that my job as worship leader/pastor would be to Comfort the afflicted and Afflict the comfortable.

I’ve found out over the years what’s really neat is: I don’t have to decide which is which. 

When leading worship I don’t have to evaluate the sheep, or think outside my own afflictions and comforts – I just have to worship.  God’s Spirit knows the sheep, and when we approach the throne, those who are afflicted find the warmth, hope and courage to go on; those steeped in comfort may find a path to the woodshed.

I love not being in charge!


May I suggest that whether you’re comfortable (and needing affliction) or afflicted (and need a little strengthening), draw near the throne in a little personal time of worship right now. 

You’ll find what you need.

Worship does that!

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