The Heart of the Matter

      One of the joys of being a Christian is being able to express your thoughts to God in song and in worship. It's often a very touching experience to open up your heart and let your feelings pour out for the one who has saved you from your sins. The great thing is, you can do this anywhere at anytime. A couple of years ago I heard a song that forever changed the way I looked at my worship to God. To me, it describes true and undefiled worship. The title of that song is, "The Heart of Worship," written by Matt Redman. The song suggests that when you strip all of the exteriors things away from worship, you are left with more than just music and songs, you're left with the true focus of worship: CHRIST. We often focus on the musical notes, the harmonies, and the abilities of the worship leader and preacher more than anything else. However, the heart of worship is Jesus and Jesus alone. It's all about Him. And just as the song suggests, we should feel true sorrow in our hearts for the things we often focus on during our worship to God. We've made worship something God never intended it to be: a performance and a show.

      After hearing this song, the tears fell from my eyes. I realized that I had often missed the entire point of worship. It's not about the preacher, the sermon, the song leader, the songs, the styles, or the people around us. IT'S ALL ABOUT JESUS!

      Once I realized this, worship took on a whole new meaning to me. When you realize the audience in worship is God and not those around you, your worship will change. You will only be concerned with what is pleasing to God. You will stop worrying about what is pleasing to your friends, your preacher, or the people around you and you'll focus your heart on praising God.

      I was "raised in the church" and have often felt like the audience in worship is almost as important as God. I've always heard phrases like "let all things be done decently and in order" and "be sure that you don't offend your brother." However, I've learned that Scripture teaches that true worship to God may sometimes offend the people around you. They might not like your offering of praise to God. (II Samuel 6:12-23.) In fact, David, a man after God's own heart, was quick to remind his audience that worship "is before the Lord ... therefore I will celebrate before the Lord." (verse 23)

      What a joy it will be when all of God's people are called home to be with Him. One thing is for certain, everyone will be focused on the heart of worship: worship that is ALL ABOUT JESUS. As we all fall to our knees and our faces before Him, we will be humbled like never before and we will sing the new song, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." (Revelation 5:12.) May we, as God's people, purpose in our hearts to not wait until then. Let's worship Him in EVERY ASPECT of our lives today, for that is the "Heart of the Matter."

To the glory of John 12:32,
Brad Pistole

Brad Pistole
17 February 2002

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