Today I was noticing that people here in Ghana are also captivated by their own idols.
So very many people here are still held captive by the devices and deceptions of the Enemy. Nearly everywhere we travel we are coming face-to-face with the shrines that people have built trying to appease the spirits and gods of their minds. It is sad to see people living in mud houses while they have built block and wood structures for these lifeless gods. I see people taking gifts of fruit and vegetables to the shrines while also pouring libations on the ground around the shrines, begging their idols to hear their prayers and intercede for them. This godless and hopeless ritual reminds me of many of the things people in America do too.
While we certainly do not necessarily build these little shrines, I am convinced that we fundamentally do the same things. Often our shrines and rituals are, like people here, are shrouded in religious exercise. We, like most people, have carelessly confused religious rituals and activities with a genuine walk of faith and relationship.
We exchange true praise and worship for a time of singing during a church service. We pour out a libation of fleshly talent and showmanship while thinking that it is honoring to God. Too often in the modern church, people are far more concerned about the talent on the stage than the testimony to the Savior. I’ve watched “want-to-be” Rock Stars use flashing lights, fog machines, and fireworks while performing in “worship.” I’ve listened to people try and separate the “worship” from the “teaching” in the church setting. I’ve seen singers leave the auditorium after they preformed because they had something more urgent to do. They have time to perform but are too busy to sit under the Word of God.
When the performers use energy to jump around the stage and try and whip-up the audience into a cultural frenzy, I am convinced that nearly all is “lost in translation.” All too many of these people are frustrated “rock stars” who lack the talent to command an audience in stadiums and secular venues.
This so called Praise and Worship style that we see sweeping the country is often little more than the satisfaction of the desire on the part of those involved to introduce their own personal bias into the corporate worship gathering.
None of this is about style in worship. It is about worship in style. Too many today are arrogantly biased that the only music that should be in worship is the “new music.” Too many are preaching a false doctrine of relevance. In other words, people tell us that the message of God must be made relevant in order to reach people. The problem with this line of thinking is that is hinges on the belief that
1. we are somehow the one responsible for making God’s Word appealing to people,
2. that somewhere along the way, the Word of God was irrelevant.
The Word of God is alive and active. It does not hinge on us … we hinge on it. It’s time that we tear down the shrines and idols in our own lives. It is time that we worship God in the sanctuary of our hearts and meet Him in the private places of our lives. Once we worship God here, we will learn that Praise and Worship is an on-going, never-ending part of our daily lives. This … Is Heavenly Worship.