Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fast Food Worship

     As it is said that confession is good for the soul, I must now make a confession. A few years ago I….bought a “New Orleans style” shrimp po’boy from a fast-food franchise. There, I said it, it’s now out in the open. It was a poor decision and I have regretted it ever since. I hope you won’t think any less of me.

     I’m sure some are reading this and saying to yourself, “Huh?” Anyone who has ever had a real, genuine po’boy in New Orleans knows exactly why getting a po’boy anywhere else is such a
travesty. It’s like getting a Philly cheesesteak in Arkansas or New England clam chowder in Montana. It’s not that there is anything inherently wrong with these things, it’s just when you’ve been to the source and had the best – anything else is just “settling.” But then again, “settling” is a big part of our lives. Our society is based on settling and making compromises. We are w
illing to settle for less in one area to gain more in another. We are willing to sacrifice quality for convenience, speed and price. This truly is a Wal-Mart and McDonald’s world. But don’t blame them, they are just giving us what we want – convenience, speed and price.

     This trend has also affected the church. Multitudes are willing to sacrifice genuine worship and a genuine relationship with Christ for what is quick, convenient and requires little effort. What is truly unfortunate is that for many it’s all they know. They’ve never been to the foot of the cross or come face to face with Christ. They’ve never experienced genuine worship in the presence of the creator, so they settle for “good enough” because they have never tasted extraordinary. It’s a shame that so many people believe that corporate worship is nothing more than three hymns and a sermon. No wonder they are thinking about the buffet line half way through the invitation.

     When we gather for corporate worship we should be seeking a genuine worship experience in the presence of our God and Creator. We should be seeking His Spirit and longing for a life changing moment. I’m not referring to manufactured emotions or gimmicks, (that’s like trying to cover up a bad sandwich with a lot of condiments.) What I’m referring to is worshiping the Father in Spirit and in Truth. That’s what He desires and it’s what we should desire as well. We should leave worship closer to God than when we entered. We should leave loving Him more, with a greater desire to serve and please Him.

     So, why don’t we? Why has corporate worship become just “something we do on Sundays?” Well, the problem is certainly not with God, it’s with us. Remember, what we’re looking for is speed, convenience, and price. We want it fast; we want it when we want it and we don’t want to make a big investment. If we truly want to experience genuine worship, if we want to be changed then we must accept that it will be done on His terms, not ours. We must be willing to slow down; we must be willing to wait for Him and we must be willing to invest ourselves. Remember, while we may be willing to settle for less, God isn’t and He doesn’t. He doesn’t have to settle for quick, cheap and easy.

     Once we’ve experienced genuine worship with God, we won’t want to settle for anything less. We will ache for those moments in His presence. We won’t be willing to settle for fast food worship when we’ve tasted the real thing.

In His Service,