30 ‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. Mark 12:30 (NKJV)
It is the temptation of every minister to be thinking about ministry to the people during worship instead of ministry to the Lord. I have made it my passionate priority to focus completely on the Lord during worship, even if it is for a brief few songs. I need to get lost in His presence, filled with His Spirit, renewed in His love- before I stand before the people and deliver the Word of the Lord!
Music is not worship. It helps us, but it is not worship. Worship is a heart attitude and relationship with the Lord. In the Bible many people came to Jesus and worshipped Him. There was no music, no singing, no band and no lyrics- just desperate and grateful hearts. God knows hearts. He looks at the heart. Where is our heart during the time we set aside to “worship” Him? And do we really praise and adore the Lord- or are we just warming up the service for our own ministry?
The reason some churches get religious, professional and hypocritical is because they go through the outward motions and sounds, but their heart is not set on God. Their lips proclaim one thing, but their hearts are far from Him. Musicians are in the greatest danger for this to happen, but how much more the Minister who leads the people of God? Oh, how we need to repent of empty praise and shallow worship. How we need to return to a true and sincere love for the One Who bought us with His blood.
The Pastor needs to set his or her mind on the things of the Spirit, on the Lord, on the blood, the Word, and the wonderful attributes of God Almighty. Make a fresh determination to worship with all your heart, soul, mind and strength for twenty, thirty, or forty minutes. Focus, worship, pour out your heart. Every Pastor needs this.
23 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24 (NKJV)
– Pastor Wendell