Written by cycleguy on August 26th, 2014

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Several weeks ago I preached a sermon on John 4 and the woman at the well. I borrowed some thoughts from Chapter 2 of this book. First, some backdrop. We all worship…Someone or something. We have been created for that. It should be a given not everyone will worship God. As Jesus talked to the woman at the well, she said something to Him about drawing from a well without a bucket. His answer was “Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again, but I will give living water where he will never thirst again.”

Matt identifies three barriers to true worship:

Barrier #1: Wrong Wells

  • money and comfort
  • relationships and sex
  • respect and success

Barrier #2: Unconfessed Sin

Barrier #3: Ignorance

But there is so much more to worship than what hinders it! I firmly believe the barriers given do affect our worship. Let me clarify: they most definitely influence our worship. But in that same conversation Jesus also says something which strikes gold in His conversation with her and should with us. We find it in verse 24: “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.”  I like the way Matt puts it: “with both inflamed hearts and informed minds.” While some might think they are mutually exclusive, I don’t. I personally don’t think someone needs to check their brains at the door when he worships. Nor do I think someone needs to check their heart at that same door.

I know there are certain personalities. Some are emotional worshipers. Some are more “heady.” Neither one is right or wrong. I confess: I am more of an emotional worshiper than say, my wife. It took me awhile to learn it was okay to raise my hands, to let tears roll down my cheeks, to allow the Spirit to speak to me through the words. But I’m also okay with those who don’t express their worship in the same way. (In any case, I am not an advocate for uncontained worship either). I don’t care if one expresses worship emotionally, physically, or with his hands in his pockets, AS LONG AS THAT WORSHIP IS GENUINE. And nothing is so sweet as when the church (the creature) worships as one.

And you say?

This is a continuation of my blogging about Creature of the Word. Post #1 is here. I welcome your comments and thoughts.




22 Comments so far ↓

  1. Amen!!! I love worshiping together.

  2. Thanks for this bit of instruction and for enlarging my borders a bit, Bill. I’ve found that in this season of life, I’m craving the powerful beauty of worship more than ever.

  3. Daniel says:

    I have found it anything but genuine when a church tries to artificially inflate the “energy” in the room. I find that a real turn off. Let the spirit lead where it may and evoke a natural and genuine response.

    • cycleguy says:

      Totally agree Daniel. It is a fine line for some churches for sure, but genuine, heartfelt worship is a joy to see, hear, and experience.

  4. the Old Adam says:

    I wish I had a dollar for every sin that I have committed that I haven’t confessed.

    I’m quite sure that I have committed boats loads of them that I didn’t even realize I was committing.

  5. Jeff says:

    I don’t think I worship anything. I don’t think we are made to worship. Certainly lots of people worship Gods and spirits etc. I think there are 2000+ Gods that have been identified in history. I am sure we agree on the nonsense of worshiping any of them except maybe one.
    But I also see no harm in worshiping any of them.

    • cycleguy says:

      ‘Course you know I am going to disagree with you Jeff on being created to worship. I would also (as you would assume correctly) that I believe in worshiping only ONE. Appreciate your comment though. 🙂

  6. Ceil says:

    Hi Bill! I love that ‘wrong well’ point. How true is that? It’s a good thing to ask what I worship, kind of like a spiritual inventory.
    I remember being intimidated by people who worshipped differently than I did. I tend to be more introspective…but now I can appreciate any kind of praise, as long as it’s sincere. Just like you said. I think it takes a little maturity to open hearts to understand that different is okay!

    • cycleguy says:

      You are right Ceil. It is like a spiritual inventory. I remember the first time I was in a meeting where people raised their hands. I broke out in a sweat. 🙂

  7. I tend to worship in a more reserved sense. I tend to internalize things and get still and slightly teary (very, very slightly). And it’s interesting because I play in our praise band – where many of the other members worship in a very outflowing way. I seem bored or not involved, but it’s really a different style.

    • cycleguy says:

      You have worship with what is your comfort level Loren. I’m okay with it (as I said). I just want to know sincerity in mine.

  8. Caleb Suko says:

    The biggest problem I see in a lot of American churches is that worship has become “my experience” during the worship service. I’m OK with people who are more emotional than I am during the singing on Sunday morning. What I’m not OK with is when we people start seeking out that experience as if that was how worship is defined.

    • cycleguy says:

      Unfortunately, you are right Caleb and you have seen it firsthand. I def agree with you statement about seeking an experience.

  9. Ed says:

    Worship is very important, but has gotta come from the heart. I know I usually sing when I worship – in a very low voice. But usually I find my self repeating “Oh God, Oh God! I’m not an emotional worshipper, and you won’t catch me raising my hands (or arms?).

  10. Eileen says:

    Looks like an interesting book, Bill. Love the point to worship with both “inflamed hearts and informed minds.”

  11. Good thoughts and reflections. Very little gets people stirred up faster than talking about worship. While I do see that scripture gives us a wonderful variety of ways and actions in which to express our worship, it’s always supposed to be directed by His Spirit. Loud or soft. Expressive or still. When we’re all together in Him, it’s a beautiful thing. Thank you, Bill!