Saturday Contemptation by Given O. Blakely ___________________________________ THE SIMULATED WORSHIP SYNDROME

The current religious fad is worship. The word is upon everyone's tongue. In fact, the staff of the average congregation has even been effected by the fad. Some assemblies have "worship leaders," "praise bands," "worship choruses," and "worship teams." It all very good, and has introduced a commendable spirit in many assemblies. However, we are told to "try the spirits, whether they be of God," and test them, we will (1 John 4:1-2). It is interesting to observe that, in Scripture, worship is assumed in the household of faith. It is never urged, or imposed upon the redeemed. Rather, it is written, "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil 3:3). It is not that those in Christ ought to worship God, they DO worship Him "in the spirit." That is the manner of living by faith. Real worship is not an objective, but is the result of perceiving the glory of the Lord. Because of this, worship cannot be accomplished by a code or imposed procedure. The thought of a person reconciled to God not worshiping Him, or worshiping Him incorrectly is nowhere presented, in the Word of God. It is an utter absurdity to suppose that a person could become a new creation in Christ Jesus, and not worship God. That is the point of Philippians 3:3. This new thrust of the contemporary church has not been as spiritually productive as we have been led to believe. We are told of being in the presence of the Lord, basking in His glory, so to speak. Nothing is more to be coveted than this! The question is whether or not this is what is being experienced. If it is, there will be evidence of it in the people. In many places, there is a noticeable lack of appetite for the Word of God. A sustained interest in the Lord and His great salvation is also conspicuously absent. Much of this new phenomenon is simply too orchestrated. In Christ, the worshipper is the point, not the worship. "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24-25). How refreshing to hear the mind of the Lord. "True worshippers . . . such people . . . those who worship . . . " It is not worship the Lord is seeking, but worshippers! Such individuals will give Him homage. Are you one?