Free to Worship Part 2
In part one we talked about the fact that a) God cannot be contained in a building; b) we are now the Temple of God; and c) we are to worship God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. David understood this. When the ark was brought into Jerusalem he worshiped properly.
Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets. As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart. (2 Sam. 6:14-15)
First let me set one thing straight. David was not naked as many claim. Neither was he in his underwear. That would have been lewd and inappropriate for worship. The bible says he was “wearing a linen ephod.” It is recorded in 1 Samuel that Samuel was wearing a linen ephod.
“An ephod was a priestly garment worn over a simple robe; there was nothing immodest about it. David just had simple (humble) clothing, not his kingly garb that would have designated him as above the others, he was dressed as the rest of Levites bearing the ark.” (http://www.bereanwife.net)
Having said that, let’s focus on the more important part.
››David danced before the Lord… ››With all of his strength… ››with shouts… ››and shofars (actually Hebrew is not trumpets, but shofars)… ››Leaping and dancing…
And yet there are churches all over the world that would have a collective heart attack if people started jumping, leaping, dancing and shouting to the Lord with all their strength.
How did we get to the place where our services are so boring, so free of spontaneity? Most churches have shortened their services in order to attract more people and host more services, but how does God feel about this? Don’t get me wrong, I am with you. There are few things worse than a long, drawn out service. However, we have made the wrong tweak!
Instead of shortening our worship time (some even have a bright clock in the face of the worship leader or preacher to hold his or her feet to the fire) we simply need more of God! I have found that if God is moving during a worship service—people are prophesying, others are dancing and all are entering into His presence—no one minds staying longer!
However, in most charismatic churches today, there is no room in the script for prophesy or to stop the service and move in a different direction. We need to remember why we call ourselves charismatics.
Listen, I am a pastor and I oversee a worship service almost every week. (Something I have not had to do for a long time.) I am very sensitive to time. People have children. I get it. We come every week with an order of service—a plan. I believe in order. However, if the Lord starts moving we’ll throw that plan out in a heartbeat. We want to meet with God, not be enslaved to a schedule.
If we want to see God move at a greater level, then we must choose between conforming to the desire of our culture and conforming to the will of God. I had the great privilege of teaching in the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry. During the Brownsville Revival, services lasted sometimes six hours! People didn’t leave or get bored because the place was dripping with the presence of God. People came with high expectations, hungry to meet with God. The issue is not the clock, but is God showing up? If God is showing up, so will the people. In the words of Kevin Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, in Field of Dreams, If you build it, they will come!