I was recently reading a book by my favorite author , A W Tozer, who made the statement
"I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven."
Many thoughts went through my mind after reading this. One could see this as very harsh or judgemental or as exactly how the Lord Himself see the situation or even somewhere between those extremes. I am simply curious as to others thoughts on this statement.
I think the thing that we have to remember is that people worship the Lord in different ways. Some may draw, others dance, some sing, some will sit and quietly reflect, others go for nature walks, some study scripture, others read devotions, some serve, some are quietly grateful, others are bold and loud, some will sit and weep .... etc etc... There are so many more options and ways to worship our Lord. Some people may have a hard time to worship... That's between them and God.
There is just such a wide array of personality types and preferences, and along with these different personality come different ways of worshipping our Lord. I have done all of the above at one point or another depending on my mood.
Blessings and Love In Christ, Carla
You have made an excellent point about the different personalities having a great afffect on the method (for lack of a better word) that we employ when we worship. I am more the 'sit and quietly reflect' and take long long walks when I best comminicate with God. That is what Imiss the most about living in the mountains. I would take long hikes back to where there were few ,if any other people. That way I could speak to God as I do to anyone else and not be concerned about being stared at.
Charles, interesting subject.
Yes Carla, I agree.......countless forms, types, and methods of worshiping God.
Have to admit, Bro and Sis, wasn't really comfortable myself, in a few places......an on-looker probably thought I was bored or turned off.
I am so glad that God does the judging........because He knows one's heart. Amen.
A couple of passages from the New Living Translation on this matter:
II Corinthians 2:15-16, " Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those being saved and by those perishing.
To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved we are a life-giving perfume........."
And - Paul's words in:
I Corinthians 2:13-15, " When we tell you this, we do not use words of human wisdom. We speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren't Christians can't understand these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means. We who have the Spirit understand these things, but others can't understand us at all."
So Charles, maybe this is what Tozer was referring to about non-believers being bored and turned off.
Just a few thoughts............
Grace and Peace.
You have made an excellent point ; "I am so glad that God does the judging ... because He knows my heart."
I have been kind of looked down on at times because I wasn't "letting go and letting God". Whatever that is even supposed to mean. God truly knows our heart, including whether our worship 'is in vain' as Jesus accused some of.
I've been in services where the evangelist threatened to stop and go if people didn't get into the 'spirit of worship'. I know my attitude wasn't right at the time but I was thinking that it might have been better for all involved if he did leave.
I'm sure that you are familiar with the phrase "having church'. Or sometimes if there was a lot of loud and boisterous worship we were said to have really 'had church'. The 'success' (for lack of a better word) of a service is sometimes judged by how loud and excited the people became. Please don't get me wrong, if someone wants to run and jump and shout or whatever , that is their business. Just don't judge me by the fact that I don't (or at least haven't yet).
Just a last thought , I'm not sure that Tozer was so much reffering to non believers ( though I'm sure they were included) I think that he was reffering to people who wanted to get the 'feel good' from going to church but there was no need to get 'excited' about it. And by 'excited' I don't necessarily mean loud because we can become very excited in our spirits with little outward manifestation.
What came to my mind was a couple memories. One was I remember I was in church and the church was in worship. I remember I was standing there with my eyes shut... My fingers locked in front of me and down. The church I attended was a vry lively Assembly of God Church... it was always loud during worship. I never prayed outloud nor did I worship outward. Anyway, I remember while I was standing there silently, I was talking with the Lord.. I was loving Him. All of sudden the preacher yelled in anger.. He said quote " For the life of me I can not understand how people can just stand there and not worship our Lord and Savior" unquote. I opened my eyes and the preacher was glaring straight at me... it wasn't my imagination... he really was angry at me. I was embarrassed but glared back at him. In my mind I did take it offensively. I may have been just standing there but I was loving the Lord in silence.
Another thought... I went with a couple co-workers to a small church because a missionary lady was a guest. I remember Sue and I were at the back and Sue grabbed my hand and said come on she is praying for folks. I didn't want to go because of not wanting to squeeze through the packed church, but Sue didn't care and pulled me. When I got up there I never said a word to the lady but she layed her hands on my head and pushed me backwards... someone caught me and layed me down. I was embarrassed then too... I mean should I get up and knock the lady down for knocking me down. I remember people were praying and I kept hearing this one man keep saying give the Lord praise... praise Jesus. I remember feeling bad because my focus was on me and the lady. I rememeber shutting my eyes and praising God again silently. I remember I felt the most beautiful feeling I had ever felt. I remember the peace and the love. I remember my hands trembled but nit in fear. I also remember as soon as that feeling stopped I got up and pushed my way back to the back of the church. I am sharing that last part because.. I remember for a long time I thought wow that may be what heaven will be like. It was very spiritual... I remember when it started going away I was like no no come back.
Im not sure what Mr Tozer was meaning but these things are what came to my mind
Janie, Was the missionary Avis Goodheart? She was at my home last week... I was hosting her while she was at a conference in Toronto.
No it wasn't her. This church was in Oklahoma and that lady was from way off. Avis is awesome isn't she..... I can still remember when she took me out to eat and also remember when she invited me to her home and she fed us some of the best beans and taters. We were strangers and here I was at her house. :). I normally didn't warm up to people as quickly as I did her.
She's lovely... It was a blessing to have her stay with us.
I found this video of Avis. She is very much used by God. There are some things in her story I can identify with, such as the point when she decided that being a good girl got her nothing but pain so she was going to make herself happy. The difference is that God spoke to her before she rebelled and changed her mind. You are very much used by God, too, Carla, to have hosted Avis, helping her and supporting her work for the Lord.
Thanks for posting this Amanda.. Avis works with my Mom in Peru in the orphanage. We're going there as a family in February for two weeks.
Avis is the most humble, grateful and encouraging person I have ever met.
I wondered if the lady that Avis mentions in the video as being her translator is your mom.
There are a few translators.. but it is possibly mom she is talking about. :-)