Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Praising God is crazy when you think about it

At first glance, worshiping God through music may not seem crazy. As a Christian, it's what we do. If you go to church it's normal. The team of worship leaders get up and the congregation sings along to a power point slide, a hymnal, or, if you're really old-school, an overhead projector. Whatever the case may be, most Christians don't think praising God on a Sunday or even during the week, for that matter, is unusual. I would agree that for a Christian, it shouldn't be unusual, but let's stop and think about what is actually going on when we sing to Him.

When Christians sing to God, it's first and foremost an act of worship.  It's not merely spouting off words to a tune.  It's surrender.  It's an expression of thanks.  Ultimately, singing to God is an act of giving glory back to Himself and to the born again believer, this is the best thing since sliced bread.  But praising God is odd to anyone else because it requires the denial of yourself as the ultimate receiver of glory.  It requires trading your own ambition, desires, and goals for those of God.

I love to sing to God.  It's one of the greatest joys I have as a believer.  I love to lift my hands and jump and down in the joy I have in Him.  Still, some think it's weird that I do that.  In response, I have a question:  do you jump up and down and lift your hands at rock concerts?  If so, why do you do that?  It's because you enjoy the music and are expressing your satisfaction in it, right?  Or maybe you really like the band?

Then why is it when you come to worship the God of the universe, the very being who wove you together in your mother's womb, numbered the stars and knows them by name, breathed life into man, and died for you so that you could be reconciled to him, you stand like a stick in the mud and have about as much energy as a cardboard cutout.  We serve a mighty God, who despite his incomprehensibly vast amount of power and glory, loved you so much that He hung on a cross for you.  That's something worth dancing up and down the aisles about!  I still wonder why in certain Christian circles, there's this atmosphere of limitation in one's expression of worship.  Myself, I have no problem dancing, lifting my hands, falling on my face, and basically just being real before God.  What I'm not saying is that every Christian should go dancing down the aisles.  What I am saying though is that if you're a Christian, there's a reason to go crazy for Jesus and Jesus deserves more than just cattle in a sanctuary.

2 Corinthians 5:13-15 is one of my favorite passages in the entire bible because it explains to unbelievers why Christians go crazy for Jesus, while giving a summary of the gospel itself.  Here's what it says:

If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Think about what this is saying.  "Christ's love compels us."  In other words, we should want to go crazy for God.  What's even crazier is that we no longer live for ourselves, and we're okay with it!  In a world that is totally consumed with the idea of satisfying the self, this is a radical notion.  But a true believer, being transformed by Christ, desires more than anything to live for Christ, who died and was raised again.

So Christians, let's start acting like it!  Let's go before God not just in singing to him, but in all areas of our life, with a joyful and grateful heart, giving thanks and adoration to Him who sits on the throne of grace.

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