Monday, March 11, 2013

Definitions of Worship - Part 2

Throughout the Old Testament, we find reference to ministry to the Lord. King David assigned Levites to minster to the Lord through prayer and praise.  “He appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to make petition, to give thanks, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel.” (I Chron 16:4).  In fact, the Bible probably gives us the best definition of the word Ministry.  In Psalms 101:6, the Lord declares, “My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.”  We must be pure in heart to approach the Throne.
Each Sunday we find ourselves in our respective churches celebrating the Lord through various rituals and elements of worship.  As we sing our hymns and contemporary praise anthems, read aloud the Scriptures, give of our tithes and offerings, and pray, ministry to the Lord should be our one and only focus.  All hearts, minds, and affections should be centered on the one who loves us beyond our comprehension, despite the cares of the week and burdens we carry.  And for those of us who are involved as pastors, teachers and worship leaders, we must constantly fight the dichotomy between ministry to the House of the Lord, and ministry to the Lord.  A question we need to ask ourselves daily…are we ministering to the work of the Lord or to the Lord of the work?  Watchman Nee writes, “ Let us note at the outset that there is little apparent difference between ministry to the House of the Lord and ministry to the Lord Himself. Many of you are doing your utmost to help your brethren, and you are laboring to save sinners and administer the affairs of the church. But let me ask you: Have you been seeking to meet the need around you, or have you been seeking to serve the Lord? Is it your fellow men you have in view, or is it [ministry to] Him?[1] (Nee 1930).  May those who lead church services (aka “worship services”) recognize that ministering to the Lord is more important than anything else we do…it should be part of our daily routine.   A friend of mine who started Integrity Music told me personally, “You can’t take people to where you have not been!”  In other words, if we haven’t been ministering to the Lord throughout the week and experiencing his daily presence, how can we possibly take others to a place of worship when we lead them in our services?  We should eat, breathe, and sleep ministry to the Lord.

[1]  Watchman Nee, Ministry to the Lord, c. 1930, (accessed Aug 28, 2010).

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