Wide Open Worship - Pt. 2
A friend of a friend of mine literally puts his life on the line for the Gospel. He enters particular countries and gets Christian material to underground churches. For his safety, I don't want to specify where he goes or how he gets in. He has been doing it for years and plays an integral role is facilitating revival in those countries. If he were caught, it would be certain death. There are things going on elsewhere that we like to think do not happen anymore. Atrocities go on in these countries that meet or even surpass the Holocaust in terms of cruelty (probably not in terms of numbers...yet). I tend to forget how much of a privilege it is to have the freedoms that I have living in the United States. It is so easy to take those freedoms for granted.
A few weeks ago I had lunch with the friend who knows this man. Apparently the guy is looking for one or two people to accompany him on these trips. I did not (and still don't) feel a leading to be a part of it, but it did get me thinking about my knowledge of the Word, my prayer life, and my worship. If I knew my life was in danger because of my beliefs and the sharing of those beliefs, I would not speed through my Bible reading, my prayers would be much more fervent, and my worship would be on a completely different level. It got me thinking, "Why am I not reading, praying, and worshipping like that now? If I tried to hide some sort of media in a guitar case, got caught by the authorities, and had the opportunity to play/sing one song with guns are pointed at my head, what would I sing? More importantly, how would I sing (and play) it?" I have been pondering that for weeks now and it is out of those thoughts that I came up with Part One of this post - describing worship that is focused, sincere, reckless, reverent, and passionate. I want my worship, whether private or public, to be full of every one of those ingredients. To a certain extent, it is uncharted territory.
Two or three weeks ago in church I started worshipping as if my life depended on it. In a way, it was scary. I say that because I am used to being in control. Tears often fall when I worship, but I hit the point where I was a step away from just falling to the ground and bawling. I pulled back because I usually sit in the 3rd row at church (1st two are reserved for staff) and therefore am easily seen by those behind me. I'd like to say that I just didn't want to distract others, but I know part of it was being concerned with what others might think. Sure, there is a responsibility on all of us not to ruin the worship experience for others by doing something that distracts them, but I still should have let go more than I did. I guess the point is that I want to reach much higher in my praise and worship. My heart's cry is to sing in such a way that it grabs God's attention and invites His power to fall. The walls in my life will crumble. The chains in my life will be loosed. I wonder...What would happen if every one of us worshipped like that? What would happen if worship leaders led like that? What would happen if we as the Body of Christ all truly connected with God in worship instead of "playing church" or simply offering lip service? It starts with you and me.