Yessssss posting just because feels so good! It’s like having a burden be lifted off my shoulders because of the fear that comes with posting and creating something palatable for the general audience.
Anyhow, as I was driving home today, I was listening to Bethel to keep me awake as I sucked on ice from an ice coffee I finished, and the song “Give Me Jesus” came on. I thought about all the things I heard about Bethel’s theology and some things that are associated with the Bethel Church in Redding (see Kris Vallotton’s article: http://www.ibethel.org/articles/2011/10/11/bethel-church-god-the-bad-and-the-ugly). I thought about how hearing about their theology (specifically about healing) somewhat put me off in regards to the music that they created. But in the midst of all this meta-reflection, the thought appeared: am I worshipping?
While it might be true that it’s unlikely for everything the Bethel Church believes in terms of theology will come to pass – though perhaps I just need more faith myself :P – it is also true that worship is worship, and I believe it’s a uniquely personal experience. Maybe some people laugh when they worship or they fall down or they kneel or they lift their hands in the air…but perhaps a better thing to focus on is the fact that I noticed them doing that in the first place. My eyes, in those moments, were not set on worshipping God, but observing how other believers worshipped Him (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). Watching other believers worship can be incredibly refreshing just as seeing a brother or sister’s passion for sharing the Gospel or serving those around them is refreshing. However, when that observation becomes quizzical or even judgmental, it sours this connection to God that is created through worship.
So, when this song came on, somehow, God revealed to me a purpose for worship: to fully express our own adoration and delight in Him. It’s not about worrying about what’s proper or what’s socially acceptable, but it’s a time to rest and reflect and enjoy God’s presence in my life. There is no space for me to judge what is right and what is wrong, what is true worship or what is just for show. Worship is not for me (sorry, not sorry Victoria Osteen), but it’s for God; it’s simply because we delight in God and we want to sing out for Him. One of the lines in the song goes, “Give me the One my soul delights in,” and it’s true – our body, soul, and spirit should all delight in Him, and that’s what we’re asking for in worship. Worship is joy in God, pure and simple, and it should be something we’re all excited for; it should be an attitude we always keep with us as we continue walking this walk of faith. Bethel probably doesn’t care, but I’m truly sorry for the bit of apprehension with which I regarded their worship because of their church’s theology/doctrine because it’s not about that at all. It’s about Jesus and loving Jesus and remembering all His love and mercy and justice and wisdom, and really focusing on that aspect and singing out to Him because of the wonder that comes with it. So, give me Jesus, and all the ways delight in Him is manifested because in Him my hope is securely found. I’ll end with Psalm 100 which, in its five verses of glory, says:
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.