I absolutely love this generation! This generation is full of so many people who are called, gifted, and anointed by the Lord. They are passionate and dream big dreams. They want to be used by God. They also have access to more resources than any other previous generation. Thanks to social media and technology, we can find out what God is doing all over the world. We know what sermons are being preached, what songs are being sung, and what books are being read in an instant. There is something to be said when there are countless videos of worship songs getting millions of views online!
So many people, including myself, get inspired and encouraged by these things. Yet the temptation is to just mimic what others are doing expecting the same results. While what God is doing in building a worship culture around the world is both inspiring and powerful, let us not become a generation that is governed by what is trendy rather than what is true. I believe that God is wanting to disciple a generation in authentic worship rather than a generation that’s discipled by just worship culture. Here are some values of what authentic worship looks like.
OBEDIENCE OVER SACRIFICE
True worship is about obedience unto the Lord. Obedience in even the smallest of things is greater in the sight of the Lord than extravagant expressions of sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). We see this in the life of King Saul. Instead of obeying God, King Saul does what he thinks is best in his own eyes and understanding. He covers up his own pride by spiritualizing his actions only to be rebuked by the prophet, Samuel. The temptation is to think that only big sacrifices are worship unto God when in reality your obedience to Him in the unseen and unnoticed things bless His heart. Can it be that we might want to make a big sacrifice so that we can be seen by others? Don’t discount faithfulness in small things, especially when it’s done in secret, because that is worship.
RELATIONSHIP OVER DEVOTION
Your personal devotion to God is vital. Yet more than your quiet times with Him, it’s how you relate with others that prove the genuineness of your worship. If we can’t love people we do see, how can we expect to love a God we can’t see (1 John 4:20)? The temptation is to think that as long as I am praying and reading my Bible, it’s okay that my relationships are falling apart. The reality is if person A has issues with person B and also with person C and not to mention person D, the real issue might be person A. It’s time to stop hiding behind religion and our own devotion, and start doing what we can to make relationships work. It is true that in order for reconciliation to happen, it has to be a two way street. Yet I don’t need an apology to forgive nor do I need a reason to honor. Respect might be earned, but honor is unconditional. Honor is more about the person giving it than it is the person receiving it. Valuing relationships is so important to God that He would rather have us reconcile with others than make a sacrifice to Him at the altar (Matthew 5:23-24). If we are ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19-20) we must keep pursuing reconciliation with others in light of our pursuit after God.
More than your quiet times with Him, it's how you relate with others that prove your worship. Click To Tweet
PROCESS OVER PLATFORM
Being able to worship through the process says more about who you are than your ability to worship on a platform. Trust God to lead you through the process for all promotions come from God alone. Too many gifted leaders feel entitled to a platform or a leadership role than they are qualified for simply because it’s not your gifting that qualifies you, but your faithfulness in the process. There are no shortcuts in the Kingdom of God. He will elevate you. Always, but in due time. That’s why Peter admonishes the young to submit to authority and relate to others in humility. And to ultimately humble ourselves before God, because He will lift us up according to His timing (1 Peter 5:5-6). Another reason why you want to embrace the process rather than reach for a platform is so that when God does elevate you, you can lead younger leaders under you by your own example. Trust Him and His process.