Heart of worship - Jesus Army Life, Day 404

Last night in our cell group we decided to spend time in worship. Seven of us ventured down to the prayer shed, we explored some scriptures and then began to worship.

Now, worship is never an easy thing in my experience. Of course, loving God is childsplay, it's the simplest thing to sing out your heart, even the birds can do that. But mankind is a complex creature and, because worship requires two participants, if God doesn't show up you're a bit stuck. The reality is, of course, that God will always show up, (he's omnipresent!) but will we always recognise him? We're not always in a place to receive him. And sometimes, if we're honest, we basically can't be bothered.

And that was the experience of some last night.

by 3rd foundation of flickr.comTrue worship, like prayer, requires an exploring of our own hearts, it means facing up to God - and that is not always easy to do. Jesus said that the kind of worshippers the Father seeks will worship him "in Spirit and in truth" remember. I don't think you can really worship if there hasn't been some spiritual rebirth in you, and you certainly can't if you're not willing to be honest with God. It's fundamental.

Truth be told it's one of the reasons I don't get on too well with charismatic worship, give me a soul searching, bitingly honest dirge over a lively 'Jesus is my girlfriend' song any day of the week. I need the grip of reality to express myself. I can't worship if I'm not being honest about where I'm at. I'd far rather worship with tears than with lies.

You can call me a moody old sod if you like (and you'd be wrong - I have a PhD in moodiness and am well able to blast my own self-pity out of the water when necessary...) in fact, I love a good energetic soul-satisfying knees up; the child in me always longs to dance. But nothing puts me in a stupour as much as falseness.

And I think, in one way or another, that it's the same for all people. True, we come to God by degrees, the closer we get to him the more horrified we become at the cruelty of our own hearts. Yet, whatever stage we're at worship comes down to a basic "I want you God" and an honesty to follow through the implications wherever they may lead.

May we raise men, humble enough and passionately honest enough, to lift the roof off when we cry out to God. And as they break through, may God say "Son, your sins are forgiven."