The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
I don’t like confrontation.
I try to avoid it, and when it cannot be avoided, it agonize over it. Which is funny to me, because, as a worship leader, I think of gathered worship largely as an act of confrontation.
I agree with author Jonathan Leeman when he says, “The Word confronts your present reality, and the Spirit gives you a new one.” And because our worship is always in response to what God has revealed in His Word, it will always involve being confronted by His Spirit. Which is something we all need.
If you wanted to, you could cater your daily worship of God to your personal preferences.
You have some level of control. Prayer, Scripture reading, the worship songs you listen to—all of it can serve to confirm your perception of God, yourself, and the world around you. Which means that, left to yourself, your perceptions are less likely to be challenged. You never have to ask yourself, “What if I’m wrong?”
But when you come to church and worship with others, you are no longer in control. You no longer get to avoid uncomfortable questions—questions about how you spend your time and money, or questions about how you conduct your relationships with God and others. No, your present reality is most assuredly going to be confronted by the Word of Christ which dwells richly in His people (Col. 3:16). God will question you (Job 38:3), and this is a good thing!
The human heart is bent on deceiving itself, which means you and I need to be confronted.
Without the gathered church confronting us with the Word, we will allow confirmation bias to infect our worship of God. Therefore we need the voice of Jesus coming to us through our brother and sisters, “proclaiming the Gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time has come, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the Gospel'” (Mark 1:14-15).
The Gospel Word is, by nature, confrontational, because we tend to put ourselves and our understanding of God at the center of the universe. But through the church’s witness, God wants to confront us by exposing our hearts to the reality that His Kingdom is at hand; He is inviting us to repent and believe.
PRAYER AND REFLECTION
- How often does your worship of God challenge your perceptions? As Augustine once said, “If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” Ask God to search your heart and expose anything that would hinder you from being responsive and receptive to the whole counsel of His living and active Word (read Heb. 4:12-13). Pray for a greater sensitivity to the Spirit’s voice moving forward.
- Do you see LifePoint’s gatherings as a vital practice for the Christian life? Or do you tend to view them as just another part of your busy schedule? Pray that God would show you your need for the church and its gathered worship.
- How will you pray for LifePoint’s gathering? As you look forward to Sunday, spend some time praying that God would make His church responsive and receptive to His presence. Ask that His Word would confront our present reality, and that His Spirit would give us a new one.
Set List for Sunday, February 10, 2019:
- Welcome the Healer (B. Brown, S. Curran, J. Johnson, B. Younker)
- O Praise The Name (B. Hastings, M. Sampson, D. Ussher)
- This I Believe (The Creed) (M. Crocker, B. Fielding)
- How Deep The Father’s Love For Us (S. Townend)
- Build My Life (P. Barrett, K. Kaple, K. Martin, M. Redman, B. Younker)