Posted by: Susan Gaddis | June 20, 2009

What Governs Your Worship?

Photo by Kriss Szkurlatowski
Photo by Kriss Szkurlatowski

In The Body Broken, Robert Benson calls us to understand the self focus in what we prefer regarding worship and our spoken or unspoken statements about what God prefers.

Many of us assume that our opinion is God’s opinion concerning the proper way to worship. Of course God would agree that our preferred way is His! Therefore, the church up the street isn’t really as correct in their style of worship as we are.

In reminding us that it is God who decides what type of praises He will inhabit, Benson states, “There is scriptural evidence to suggest that God has gone for everything from dancing naked before the Lord to sacrificing lambs to speaking in tongues to blowing a ram’s horn to going off to a mountain to pray alone.”

I wonder how many people “church shop” with the motive of finding a style of worship that suits their personality instead of finding a place where God is honored in the worship regardless of the style. Most of us don’t feel like we have been to church unless the style of the service meets our expectations. We really are a self-focused group of people aren’t we?

What governs your worship? Is it your unspoken judgments or your submission to worship regardless of the style, experience, or abilities of the worshippers you have gathered with?




  1. How many people understand that worship has three dimensions that correlate with the Outer Court, Inner Court, and the Holy of Holies? Outer Court worship prepares us to move into the Inner Court worship, which in turn readies us for the worship in the Holy of Holies.

    However, some prefer to stay in the Outer Court worship and are caught up with style, experience, or abilities They seek the traditional, the bombastic, or a trip down memory lane. Some will move a little further into the Inner Court, but how many want to enter into His presence with the simplicity and passion of worship?

    I am one of those that desire to move into the Holy of Holies with deep worship emanating from my heart to my Savior. I’m sorry but “I’ll Fly Away” doesn’t cut it. The simple songs of personal adoration directed to the Lord were composed for worship in the Holy of Holies, whether it’s the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” or Michael W. Smith’s “Oh Lord You’re Beautiful”. Worship becomes passion!

    Living where the spiritual oppression is heavy, entereing into His presence is so important for my relationship with Him to stay healthy. Although I need the Outer Court experience to revive my soul, it the worship in the Holy of Holies where I obtain the spiritual victory.

    • Interesting thoughts, Beth. I liked your comparison to the temple courts. Great thought. I agree that all of us have certain songs that help us enter into the presence of the Lord, but first and formost it is a heart attitude that initiates and sustains worship. True worship is a mixture of worshiping in spirit and in truth and doesn’t need an external setting to facilitate its expression. As a believer, I should be able to enter into worship in any culture, setting, or situation be it a jail cell, a meadow, a church singing my type of songs, a fellowship singing songs I can’t relate to, a nursing home, a crowd of people or my lonely couch. What if we lived where there were no churches to choose from? What if we had to meet secretly and in quiet like so many of our brothers and sisters in other countries do? Would it matter what song we couldn’t sing? Worship is not dependent on the externals. Worshipping with those who follow Jesus is a joining of spirits together to worship Him alone. Having such an attitude helps me enter into worship when others may not be doing so in a way that I find easy to relate with. It is Jesus that connects us and it is His Spirit that weaves it all together.

  2. Good stuff. Worship is a lifestyle–a laying down of our life in reverence, be it in a song or holding a toilet brush. We can “choose” to have our life be a life of worship, no matter where we are.

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