Its All About You Jesus
Recovering and Restoring the Meaning of True Worship
By Eddie L. Hyatt
I'm coming back to the heart of worship
It's all about You, its all about You
I'm sorry for the thing I've made it
Its all about You, its all about You—Jesus (Matt Redman)
Much of what is called "worship" in Pentecostal-Charismatic circles has deteriorated
into an anthropocentric (human centered) religious exercise that is more concerned with the
act of worship than with the object of worship. God is calling His Church to return to a
christocentric (Christ-centered) expression of worship that focuses on the object of worship
rather than the human act of worship.
Who Is This For?
This was made very real to me recently as I sat in a meeting and noted a troubling in my
spirit during the praise and worship. Outwardly, everything was great. The musicians and
singers were superb. The congregation was enthusiastic and some danced in the aisles while
others waved banners. As I prayerfully pondered my experience, the question was posed to my
mind, Who is this for? The answer then became clear. This was for them. They were having fun.
They enjoyed doing this. They were reveling in their own excellence and feeling good about
their expertise in "worship." They were more enamored with their act of worship than with
the object of worship. This experience reminded me of God's rebuke to Israel for their
anthropocentric worship. They too had lost their focus in worship and had become centered on
themselves. They were doing the right things, but for the wrong reasons. Through the prophet
Zechariah, God said, During those seventy years of exile when you fasted and mourned, was
it really for Me? And even now in your holy festivals, you don't think about Me but only of
(Zech. 7:5-6, NLT).
Music, Singing & Dancing Do Not Equal "Worship"
One mistake we have made as Spirit-filled believers is equating music and singing with worship.
We thus have a time of "worship" before the preaching. Did you know that the great
revivals in history did not have "worship teams" and "praise bands?" Frank
Bartleman, a participant in the Azusa Street Revival, wrote, "In the beginning in Azusa,
we had no musical instruments. In fact, we felt no need for them. There was no place for them
in our worship—all was spontaneous." Don't get me wrong! Anointed music can be a wonderful
means for expressing worship to God. True worship, however, encompesses all of life as can
be seen from the meaning of the word itself.
"Worship" Encompesses All of Life
"Worship" comes from the old Saxon word weorthscipe meaning "worthship" and
referred to any activity utilized to recognize or describe the "worth" of a person or thing
to which homage was being paid. Worship is thus synonymous with the whole of a reverent and
devoted life. We ascribe "worth" to God by the way we prioritize and live out our lives.
Listening to God's word can be an act of worship as much as singing and dancing. In fact, even
hoeing one's garden can be an act of worship, as is illustrated by the following story from
the life of Francis of Assisi.
Hoeing One's Garden Can Be "Worship"
Francis was hoeing his garden one hot afternoon when a friend passing by stopped and posed
a question. "Francis," he asked, "What would you do if you knew that at sunset
you would be standing in the presence of Jesus Chist?" Francis replied, "I would
finish hoeing my garden." Francis answer revealed how that, for him, every act was a sacred
act done for the glory of God. Even the hoeing of his garden was an act of worship. We must
get beyond the idea that worship is something we do for a half hour on Sunday morning.
Our Life Must Become Integrated
Most Christians have segmented their lives into the sacred and the non-sacred, or secular.
When we go to church and lift our hands and sing, that is sacred. But when we are sitting
around the dinner table or when we are working at our job, that is secular. This dichotomized
approach to life has hindered us from becoming true worshippers of God. To the contrary, we must
see all of life as sacred, lived for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom. As
1 Cor. 10:31 says, Therefore whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory
of God. Remember how the Father spoke from heaven at the baptism of Jesus and said, This
is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased
(Matt. 3:17)? This was before Jesus had healed
a single sick person, cast out a single demon or preached a single sermon. His life had been
lived in the carpenter shop, making chairs, tables, plows, etc. Nonetheless, His was a life
of worship because everything He did was for the glory and honor of God, and God was well
pleased. Question: Are we living all of life for the glory of God—every thought, every word,
every deed? That is worship!
We Must Repent For Our Wrong Approach to Worship
The third line in the above worship course by Matt Redman says, I'm sorry for the thing I've
made it [worship]. What have we made it? We have made it a performance—a show. We have made
it a religious exercise within a restricted time frame on a Sunday morning or Wednesday evening.
We have shifted the emphasis from the condition of the heart of the worshipper to the expertise
of the musicians, singers and dancers. My heart trembles when I think of it, but I am afraid
that what we call "worship" is more about us than it is about Him.
Let's Keep It Simple
In Exodus 20:24-25, God instructed Moses that when the children of Israel made an altar on which
to offer their sacrifices to Him, it was to be a very, plain altar of earth. If they built
an altar of stone, they were not to cut or hew the stones but to merely pile the stones, for
if you use your tool on it, you have profaned it.
The altars—the means of their worship—
were to be plain and simple. Why?
God was giving guidelines to protect Israel from the human tendency to become enamored with
that which is outward and sensory. The means of worship must never eclipse or obscure the object
of worship. This does not mean that God puts any premium on ignorance or crudeness in worship.
It does mean that he looks on the heart and is not impressed with our pomp and circumstance.
What impresses God? Isaiah 66:2 says, This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite
in spirit and trembles at my word.
Many churches today would do well to dispense, at least
for a time, with the elaborate means of worship and emphasize, instead, the inward condition
of the heart in worship. Simplify the means of worship and focus the attention on the object
of worship. The Fire of God will fall! His Glory and Presence will come! After all, worship
is not about us, but about Him. Its all about You—Jesus!
By Eddie L. Hyatt, D.Min., M.Div., M.A. From Dr. Hyatt's website:www.revivalandreformation.org
. Used with permission of author.