Freedom In Worship
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
A few days ago something remarkable occurred. I went to the gym and it happened that, just for a few minutes, I was the only person in the free weights room. I literally had the place to myself. Now, for someone like me who prefers to work out alone it was absolute bliss. The perfect environment for me to have my workout. The thing is, however, within minutes the place had started to fill up again and by the time I finished my workout an hour or so later, the place was buzzing.
What I realised is, my actual workout was no better for the place being empty, I just preferred it that way. My workout is between me and the weights and other people being there really shouldn’t impact that at all.
We all have different church settings that we prefer. Some of us like it quiet and contemplative, some of us like it loud and energetic. For most of us, a mixture of the two is the best formula. One of the things that has always bugged me slightly as a Pastor, is when I hear people say, “The worship was good today” or conversely, “I didn’t enjoy the worship at…. (wherever)”. What they mean, of course is, “I liked the choice of songs” or “The music was too loud” etc.
Our worship is not something reliant on other people, the music style, or even our environment. It’s between you and God and it’s what you bring to Him, not something that you ‘receive’ (although there is plenty that we DO receive from God!)
When Paul and Silas were in prison in Acts 16, they praised God and they worshipped – even in the worst environment, in the worst of circumstances… And their chains fell off.
May each one of us realise the freedom that comes from worshipping God. May we realise that it brings us closer to him, despite our surroundings – or through our surroundings. And may we realise that chains are loosed when we bring HIM our adoration.
God Loves You!
For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life. JOHN 3:16