It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

05 December 2011

Worship: More than Church Karaoke – pt.7

4:50 AM Posted by steve flores No comments
[Part One]; [Part Two]; [Part Three]; [Part Four]; [Part Five]; [Part Six]
I nearly lost my life, physically, but that day, I did die. I died to old ways, old habits, that I had made a way of life. I died to the inauthentic, disingenuous, fake person I had become. I was ready to surrender and I did. I wish I could tell you I was perfect after that, but I was not. I am not. I believe we will find ourselves surrendering often, daily. As a matter of fact, Luke’s account of the verse in Matthew throws in the word “daily” - let him deny himself and take up his cross [daily] and follow me. If we neglect to surrender, then worship becomes church karaoke. It becomes a performance, a Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, or whenever else you choose to invite God into your time. “Hey God, come here. I’m performing for you! Aren’t you proud of this? Doesn’t this look good? You see, I haven’t lost my touch! I may not be as close as I need to be, but I’m not that bad. Right, God?”

I don’t know what that performance might look like. It might be those things I mentioned in the last post, making righteous things traditions; it is just going through the motions. Like I see Dassah hiding behind her curtain (post two, end of first paragraph), God sees us and Isaiah says those righteous deeds become nothing more than filthy rags before God. “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…” –Isaiah 64:6 (New International Version)

To help you understand the foolishness of church karaoke and to discover how this looks to God when we do it, we have to go the book of Leviticus to grasp the imagery of Isaiah’s comment and Jesus’ quote. It is very descriptive. When Isaiah uses the term filthy rags, the literal translation is a menstrual rag (Leviticus 15:33). Yes, you read that correctly. Disgusting, I know, but what is eye-opening is shifting perspective to what God sees. When we try to impress God with our righteous deeds in worship, it is like we are waving a menstrual rag (or modern day equivalent) around! It is foolish. It is empty. It is hollow. What we think looks beautiful, God sees a filthy rag! This is why worship is much more than a performance, much more than church karaoke, because it is not as impressive as we think it might be to God.  

Remember, here is what Jesus said, “Isaiah was right when he spoke about you hypocrites. He wrote, ‘These people show honor to me with words, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is worthless.’” –Mark 7:6-7 (New Century Version) Let’s put down the karaoke mic and begin to lay down our life.