Reverence In Worship
Of the many problems that plague the church, a lack of reverence in worship is a particularly irritating one to those who desire to worship “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). It is extremely offensive to them because there should be no reason for anyone, especially one who claims to be a child of God, to have an irreverent attitude when the saints assemble to worship God. Yet, no matter what congregation you assemble with, irreverent attitudes and actions are displayed over and over by a few. It should not be so! Just keeping a few facts in mind should help in the solution to this problem.
Reverence is honor or respect felt or shown. In worship that reverence is to be directed toward God. To Him belongs honor, because all honor and glory is due Him (1 Tim. 1:17; Rom. 15:6). Respect is due Him because of His love (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8) and His wrath (Hebrews 12:28-29).
Acting in an irreverent manner puts these people in the same dilemma in which Ananias and Sapphira found themselves (Acts 5:1-11). Even though they thought they were only lying to men, the apostle Peter told them that, in reality, they were lying to God. When people act up in or disrupt worship today, they are not just being disrespectful to those people around them, they are being disrespectful to God, an act just as evil as that of Ananias and Sapphira.
The reverence that is necessary for proper worship is not based on externals such as dimmed lights, etc. The proper reverent attitude that is to characterize every worshiper of God comes from within the individual. A person will only be reverent when he realizes the love of God is upon the obedient but that the wrath of God is upon the disobedient. While this attitude must come from the heart of each person there are a few things that would aid worship and help develop the reverence needed. Here are a few suggestions to help us improve our worship:
Get to bed early on Saturday night. It is important to be well rested mentally and physically. Get up early enough so that you are not in a mad rush to get to Bible Study/Worship. Pray that our worship will be acceptable.
Second, prepare your mind mentally for worship. Know what you are doing and why you are doing it. Read a passage from the Bible, look over some of the songs that are to be sung or pray a silent prayer for strength and focus before worship begins.
Keep the use of the restrooms and water fountain by yourself and your children to a minimum during worship. Moving around is distracting.
Be aware of toddlers to teens. They are watching us! They are never too young or too old to worship. Remember, attitudes learned while one is a youth are carried into adulthood. If you sleep during worship, if you don’t sing, if you are distracted during the Lord’s Supper or if you don’t listen attentively to the preaching of the Word; they likely will not worship acceptably either! If you are not genuinely interested in worshiping God they will probably not be either. If you don’t ‘enjoy’ worship, they probably won’t either.
Work hard to concentrate/focus on what is going on. Put all other things out of your mind. Acceptable worship requires a lot of self-discipline.
Take notes during the preaching of God’s word. This will help you discipline your mind, give you an outline for further study and help you remember the things that you hear. Teach your children to do the same. It will pay untold dividends.
–written by Gene Taylor and adapted