This actually comes from a discussion I had in one of my classes, “Doctrine of God and Humanity,” and we came to the topic of worship.
Essentially, talk eventually went to John 4:24
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Discussion came around the subject of worshiping in truth. I have been to many church/worship services that are all happy go lucky, we all love God, we are Christians who don’t have problems. This is not worshiping in truth. I think people will relate to the following statement: if you’re life is perfect, calm, and you are care free, you are likely not following Jesus. As Christians, followers after Jesus’ example, in relationship with God the Creator of all things, we are going to run into trouble. This leads me to this verse (Psalms 23:1-6…I’m focusing on verse 4)
Even when I go through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff —they comfort me.
In most other translations, it is “I shall fear no evil, for You, my God, are with me.” The Psalmist (King David, if I recall correctly), didn’t say, “I don’t encounter evil because You are with me.” David understood that following after God did not mean luxury, an easy life, or anything like that.
So this gives me the big question – why is the Christian church trying to hide reality. In our worship, I rarely hear the worship leader give us time to repent, nor let us share our struggles – no, we are told to shake hands and greet people, and pretend that life and happy, and easy.
Reality check: life is messy. Christianity is messy. People are so hung up on theology, and trying to live a perfect life. Yes, I encourage you to make your life as Christ-like as you can. What I don’t encourage you to do is to hide reality from people. We are a broken people for God; we are persecuted for our faith, we come from broken families, we live broken lives. As a challenge to any Christian out there – make your worship real. Don’t be satisfied by asking “How are you” and the other person says “I’m good.” No, if they are good, they aren’t living out their faith in God. Instead, sit down with someone and I encourage you to share your struggles. Invest your time into their lives, because no one is perfect, but we can all work together as the body of Christ, and build each other up.
Now, with that out on the table, I don’t want you to go to a worship service with an overwhelming life, and be utterly depressed, because, Yes!, God is good, Yes!, God is working wonderful things, and praise His Holy and Most Righteous Name and Being. I’m not saying that worship is all about our human condition. What I am saying is that our brokenness should inspire worship; We are living testimonies that in our broken state, God still loves us, and He is working His miracles through the broken people. God isn’t interested in perfect people who have it all together; if they are perfect and have it all together, they are not going to really need a savior like Jesus.
Let me encourage you next time you’re at church, after the service, you grab a hold of someone’s hand, give it a good 5 minute shake, and get the real life story from them. Ask about their struggles, pray with them, pour your love into them.