February 1, 2014 by Chris French
I was assigned a topic of worship. This is a topic that I do a great deal of thinking about, as is probably the case with all members of the Lord’s Church. Of course we think about the passages like John 4:24 which, among other passages, tell us that we must worship God with the right heart and also in the manner in which He authorizes us.
One that I want to think about today, however, is from the Old Testament. When Moses was approaching the Lord’s presence in the burning bush, an interesting situation occurred.
“When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said, ‘Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ And he said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.” (Exodus 3:4-6)
There wasn’t anything special about the ground on which Moses happened to stand in and of itself. However, the Lord allowed His presence to be known in that bush, and that made the area holy. I am always interested in the way Moses reacts here. He (surely) took his sandals off his feet and looked away, hiding his face. A respect and reverence for our Lord is shown here that is seen often in the Bible.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Even today, as we gather in worship assemblies, our Lord promises that He is with us. Are we offering up the same amount of reverence as Moses and others did under the Old Law? Our God hasn’t changed and He still wants our attention, praise, and respect.
I admit that I have room to grow in this area. Too often I allow my mind to drift during assemblies and am not paying the proper amount of attention to my worship. Will the Lord accept my worship if I don’t give Him everything I have during this time? I expect not. So I’ve researched this topic and compiled three things that we can do through the next few days or weeks to possibly improve in this area, if you feel that you have been falling short as I have.
- Spend more time in prayer about this concern. The Lord tells us that we should bring our cares and concerns to Him, so let’s do that! If we make a habit of asking the Lord to help us be more reverent, then surely He will open us up for growth in this area.
- Study the Word and find examples of five more individuals (Old or New Testament!) who were in the presence of God. Analyze how these people behaved and felt when in this situation and also study how their behavior and heart was received.
- Make an effort to minimize distractions during a worship assembly. I understand some of the readers here may be parents/grandparents/etc. who have a child with them. I don’t pretend to understand the pressures of this situation. However, we can all find ways to minimize whatever distractions we have. For me, personally, sitting too far back in the assembly can be a distraction. I begin watching other people around me instead of focusing on my worship to God. Whatever your distractions, if possible, minimize them.
Do you have struggles with this issue? I’d love to hear your thoughts! If not, help those of us who do by giving us some ideas on how to combat this problem. We all want to present our best to the Lord. This is especially the case during the worship assembly. Let’s continue to grow together!