I feel really ashamed sometimes, because in America we form huge choirs and have churches in spectacular buildings, but I know across the globe people are holding churches in secret, people are holding churches and they’re physically starving and thirst, people are holding churches in building with no ventilation and it’s 100 degrees outside. Yet, we form our huge choirs in our air conditioned buildings and do very little with what we have in comparison to those across the globe. It just bothers me that we can sit in all this, with spectacular music, blasting as loud as we please; air conditioned buildings, we’re dressed really nice; and we aren’t physically hungry or thirst.
However, spiritually… we need a move. We are starving; our souls are crying out for more than good music and preaching, but we rarely fulfill it. We rarely take worship to that radical of a phase. We rarely enter it, because we don’t know how. In reality, what we have is awesome. The opportunity and freedom is amazing. I love it. I just know there’s more there spiritually than what is on the surface, and I know there are millions of less fortunate people that enter radically into that level of worship. But, I’m comfortable and in need of nothing, and I find myself unable to scratch the surface of that level. I want that level!
If anything, I feel like i should enter that level, because God has blessed me that much and how dare I give anything less than that level.
Which brings me to what worship is. True worship is not dancing. It’s not clapping. I always hear, “Get radical with your worship.” The first reaction I always see is we shout louder, run the aisles, clap louder, or do our wave offerings more vigorously. That has power… on one condition. While David did dance before the Lord with all his might in the sight of all of Israel (II Samuel 6:14); understand that while David danced he was completely submitted to God. Here is the king of Israel, and he is LEADING the worship. He’s let go of all his pride, dignity, and his position to worship in that way. David was a king that was submitted totally to God in that moment, which made his worship radical.
Why call it radical though? That’s what society has made it. It is radical to trust God completely in an age of information where we have everything we desire to know (or not know) in our hands.
You will never reach that level if your worship based solely on corporate worship where people can see you. This level of worship is found when you begin building some altars. It’s found in Gethsemane. What makes David such an amazing leader in worship and of a country is what he did alone, in secret. Amnon is killed by Absalom, his first child with Bathsheba is taken from him because of David’s sin, Tamar will never marry because of the rape done by her half brother; Amnon. David’s life is upside down from the moment he is anointed to be the next king of Israel. Maybe outwardly the guy has it all together, but inside.. the guy is a wreck. Before ever becoming king David’s men wanted to stone him, because Ziklag was burned and the inhabitants taken captive. But David calls Abiathar asking for the ephod (the worship garment).
Talking to a friend at my college campus the other day, he’s not Pentecostal. He asked me a few questions about our worship, more specifically our shouting, running, dancing, and excitement. I told him that we still do all of that, and it is very much part of how we worship. However, I’ve also seen a shift. I go to many national conferences between the ALJC and UPCI. I’ve been to National Youth Convention (ALJC), North American Youth Congress (UPCI), in addition to many regional/sectional services of the ALJC. The exciting part that Pentecostalism is known for is there. There is shouting, running, dancing, etc.; but I saw and heard much more emphasis on the altar worship where you truly change, repent, and submit.
Understand that I am not a prophet, but I want to make an observation and say something I feel in my spirit. This generation is being called much deeper than shouting, running, clapping, and dancing. There is something in this generation that is absolutely crying out for a level of worship that absolutely breaks us apart and then rebuilds us.
Why? Because our generation, the lost of it, need it. The Church must have the experience to be able to reach someone who needs it. A generation is arising that is not concerned with cultural relevancy as much as they are concerned with what God is speaking to our generation.
The world needs radical Christians. I’m not talking about people who are physically violent, causing death and destruction. I’m talking about a people who are so dedicated to the holiness of God and His call that they go when God says, “Go.” This people will not care what others think of their worship. They won’t be over-indulging in the materialism of the world so much that they lose their focus on the Kingdom. Their focus, cause, and life is the Kingdom. Worship is not just something that they do on Sunday morning and Wednesday night; it is something that they wholeheartedly embrace and live. They daily do as Nehemiah had done in recognizing the reproach of their people and rebuild some walls and altars that have long been torn down. That is what our nation, our generation, and our children need.