Gather • Devotion #4: An Audience of One

What I know is true about me, is possibly true about you, that is I have an opinion. It is not on everything, but my opinions, right or wrong, have led me to prefer things be a certain way. For example, I prefer the temperature of the room is a little cooler. I do not like it hot. I also do not like it freezing cold. It has to be just right. I prefer my eggs scrambled with sausage or ham (not both), with peppers and onions in them. I do not like fried eggs, and I want my hash browns brown. I could go on, but I will hold back. My point is, just like me, you have a certain way you like things.

It has been my experience throughout the years in the church as an attendee and as a Pastor that there are certain preferences to worship that vary from person to person. While some prefer a more traditional style of worship with hymnals and a choir, someone else will prefer a more modern style with house lighting and a full band singing upbeat choruses. From generation to generation, and from the community to community, styles of worship vary, and we all have our preferences. These preferences have divided local church communities and the generations within that church for as long as there has been music as an expressive part of worship gatherings.  

Several years ago (at a different church), I had a conversation with a dedicated follower of Jesus that was convinced motion stage lights and anything above 90 dBs in the church was not worshiping; instead, it was a concert (or performance). The words or heart behind the leaders was not a factor; it was the production that set it apart according to them. When we are locked into our worship preferences, our focus is misaligned on ourselves as the audience. The act of worship is not what the church does for an audience of thousands, but for an audience of One. Our songs are not performances by a band for us to evaluate but are the words we sing to God who is the only recipient of our worship. He is the audience, not us. We all worship before an audience of the One and Only God!

We read in 1 Chronicles 16:23-25, “Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods.”

I picture worship from a perspective of all those in the gathering as they are standing on a stage, singing, and it is God who is the only audience member. We all worship before an audience of the One and Only God! It is not for us to determine which style is worship; it is for us to bring ourselves to God as an offering for worship. Worship is our chance to bring honor to God. Plain and simple, it is honoring God. 

Psalm 145:10-12 says, “All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you! They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.”

You should go and read all of Psalm chapter 145. It is a beautiful passage of worship by bringing honor to God through our daily lives as a testimony of God’s greatness. It is a testimony that is to be shared from generation to generation.

Do not allow your worship to be limited to a one-hour weekly gathering or limited to your personal style preferences. Seek to bring God honor in everything.

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