Authentic Worship – Discipline more than a Feeling?

Hmmm … Bible Teacher, John MacArthur has given me something to chew on for a few days and I decided to let you join me in the meal! After you’ve let it sink in for a while, give me your thoughts….(if you aren’t familiar with him, let me say that his spiritual gift is NOT mercy, so beware!) Here goes:

“Sadly, I’ve watched many Christians lose the wonder of worship as the years pass. Life for them grinds on monotonously and church attendance becomes rote behavior–you sing, you listen to a sermon, you greet a few people with handshakes and smiles, and you go home.
If that sounds familiar, return to God by submitting to James’ imperative: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (4:8). To know the one true God is your glorious calling. Are you ready to draw near? Let me give you some practical encouragement on how to do that. Try these four things:


1) The Checkpoint of Sincerity – We are to draw near “with a sincere heart.” That speaks of a genuine heart, devoted to pursuing God. It is hypocritical to be worshiping God when you are really apathetic or preoccupied with self. Draw near to God with your whole heart.

2)The Checkpoint of Fidelity – We are to draw near “in full assurance of faith.” The Hebrews were clinging to Old Covenant forms of worship to find acceptance before God; but the coming of Christ put an end to ceremony and sacrifice. Each person had to be willing to say, “I’m coming to God in full confidence that I am not saved by a system of ritual. I come fully by faith in Jesus Christ.” You too are to be fully assured that God accepts your worship, not because of what you do, but because of what Jesus did in providing atonement for you.

3)The Checkpoint of Humility – We are to draw near to God “having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience.” That is, you come to God with the knowledge that you are unworthy to be in His presence. The only reason anyone can come to Him is the blood of Christ, which was shed on the cross as a cleansing for sin.

4)The Checkpoint of Purity – We are to draw near having “our bodies washed with pure water.” That refers to the daily cleansing by the Word of God. The process of sanctification ferrets out sinful thoughts and exposes sinful behavior. Before you worship, confess the sins that God uncovered through His Word so you can draw near in purity.

He goes on to say: “God has redeemed you so you can worship Him. It is the purpose for which you were created. Continue living in the light of the wonders you discover about God in His Word, and ask Him to teach you more and more by experience what it is to worship Him in spirit and in truth. That is a prayer our great God will delight in answering. “

As I read those words, my thought is that I want worship to be easier … happy songs and feelings of adoration for a wonderful God. But, I really do think it’s more about disciplines, selflessness, studying Who He is through His Word, and a constant awareness and confession of my own pride and desire for that personal feel-good-all-the-time high! I really do believe God wants each one of to experience real joy … I just think it comes through more time spent in the basics than listening to the radio for that perfect song to make me feel better. Kinda deep, I guess. But Carol said I need to blog!?! 🙂

5 thoughts on “Authentic Worship – Discipline more than a Feeling?

  1. normalisboring (aka tanya t) October 18, 2006 / 4:48 am

    cool! no lie: i was just reading two of john macarthur’s sermons online tonite before i read your blog….he has some really good stuff!ps: carol hasn’t blogged in forever, and she’s telling YOU to post? tell her to remove the plank out of her own eye……lol

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  2. DEWintheblogwithCOOKA October 19, 2006 / 12:09 am

    hey – watch it tan!i prefer to read the deep thoughts of those around me & to comment on their stuff rather than to spend my time on my blog….seems selfish to only work on my blog while ingnoring the wonderful words of wisdom from others. 🙂 hee, hee. does that sound like a cop out or what?

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  3. normalisboring (aka tanya t) October 19, 2006 / 5:00 am

    if you had any idea, carol, how incredibly insightful you are and how much wisdom God’s given you, then you’d realize just how much the rest of us appreciate your thoughts!! geez, that was a really long sentence!! love ya

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  4. dawnelaine October 19, 2006 / 6:45 pm

    Good post..again. I like point number 1. I’ll have to work on that. I’m allready working harder to read the word every day. And I’ve found that once I pick up the bible, it’s hard for me to put it back down again. By the way…. Carol needs to blog as well. (so do I) here goes….

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  5. Sally Jo October 27, 2006 / 12:58 am

    i like it when carol bloggs, then idon’t worry about being selfish, i’m great compared to her! 🙂good words from John MC. I like it that he’s just straight to the point. thanks for sharing that mel. i’m totally guilty of losing the wonder of worship, mostly during the week when i don’t have the guidance of the pastor and the church family to help… uck, what’s it like when it’s up to me? great mel, now you’ve messed me up…

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