As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. —Ephesians 4:1
The way we guard against being a hypocrite six days a week and acting piously on Sundays is by applying the Word of God to our lives. Revival in a church may be quite extraordinary, but it is only a question of whether each member is following the conductor's score in his private life. In an orchestra, the sound is no greater than the sum of the different parts. As Paul says in Ephesians 4:16, "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love" (KJV). So our worship ought to be a glorious symphony to God—no one out of tune, no one playing too loudly, each person following his or her own score.
Though our worship is not a performance designed to attract other people, or pander to our own love of display, there is a sense in which it is a performance—a performance for God. Our worship is for God, the King of kings; should that not affect us as we prepare for the Sunday worship since our Sunday worship is the culmination of what we are all the time?
How do we actually achieve this? How does the right performance come about? The first is practice at the individual level.
We can all practice living in the presence of God from minute to minute. And in order to do this, we must outlaw all bitterness from our lives. We must seek to be filled with love, with total forgiveness, and acceptance of each other.
Excerpted from Worshipping God (Hodder & Stoughton, 2004).
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