Spontaneous Worship

Justin and Courtney help us aim to be people who are led by the Spirit and who worship the Lord in truth. By Justin and Courtney Rose
Deeper, Web Exclusive

When we grew up, churches always took lots of their time and energy to prepare Sunday morning worship services. Plenty of preparation went into the music, sermon and overall layout of the service to make sure that everything flowed well and that we got out of there in a timely manner. If everything went according to plan, we considered it a lovely service. Very rarely did things vary from the meticulous, planned bulletin.

And isn’t this the way church should be? Isn’t our God all about order and peace?

There is a very interesting story found only in Luke 11. In this story, Jesus casts a demon out of a mute man who is healed immediately and able to speak. The crowd was amazed by the miracle, but some started to say that Jesus was actually healing through the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons. Jesus then goes into this long sermon about evil spirits, kingdoms being divided against themselves and the Kingdom of God having come in the midst of the people.

Then right in the middle of Jesus’ sermon, a woman in the crowd yells out, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed” (Luke 11:27, ESV). Can you imagine what would happen in a church service today if someone yelled out something like this? Not only was it disruptive, but she mentioned the female body parts that bore and nurtured Jesus. How inappropriate!

However, we see that Jesus does not rebuke or correct her. He does not quiet or dismiss her. But rather, he uses this outburst of praise as a teaching moment for the church saying, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it” (Luke 11:28, ESV).

Throughout Scripture, we see people honored and encouraged for their wild, heartfelt and unusual worship. In 2 Samuel 6, King David danced before the Lord with so much gusto and passion that his clothes fell off. His wife was angry with him, but the Lord was pleased with his worship. In John 12, Mary pours expensive and very stinky perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped it off with her hair. Immediately, Judas questioned her for doing something so wasteful, but Jesus honored her worship and sacrifice.

In Isaiah 6, the prophet has a vision of “seraphim” (big six-winged angels) crying out, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty.” They were so loud that the temple shook and was filled with smoke. In John 2, Jesus made a whip out of cords, flipped over tables and pushed everyone out of the temple courts because they had turned His Father’s house into a market. In John 4, the Samaritan woman was so overcome with awe that she runs from Jesus in order to go tell the others about Him. She couldn’t help herself!

True worship is often loud and messy. When we are confronted by the grace, truth and power of God, we can’t help but dance, sing, cry and shout. This is not disorderly, but rather a reminder of God’s presence. The Holy Spirit often wants to move and encourage the church, but we often do not let Him because we have food in the oven, the game is about to start or we are too busy making sure everything goes off without a hitch.

Let us aim to be people who are led by the Spirit and who worship the Lord in truth. Let us not concern ourselves with the idea of having “good church services,” but rather let us honor and worship our King.

Daily Readings:

  • August 1: Luke 11:14-28
  • August 2: 2 Samuel 6
  • August 3: John 12:1-11
  • August 4: Isaiah 6:1-8
  • August 5: John 2:13-25
  • August 6: John 4:7-30
  • August 7: Matthew 19:13-15
  • August 8: 1 Corinthians 14:26-33
  • August 9: Ephesians 5:15-20
  • August 10: Psalm 96
  • August 11: Psalm 33:1-5
  • August 12: Colossians 3:12-17
  • August 13: Psalm 40:1-3
  • August 14: Luke 1:46-55
  • August 15: 1 Samuel 2:1-10
  • August 16: Psalm 149
  • August 17: Isaiah 42:10-13
  • August 18: Luke 1:67-80
  • August 19: Habakkuk 3:16-19
  • August 20: Psalm 150
  • August 21: Psalm 51:10-17
  • August 22: Isaiah 61
  • August 23: Luke 7:36-50
  • August 24: 1 Chronicles 16:23-31
  • August 25: Exodus 20:2-6
  • August 26: Romans 12:1-2
  • August 27: 1 Samuel 15:22-23
  • August 28: 2 Kings 3:14-19
  • August 29: 1 Samuel 10:1-8
  • August 30: Amos 5:18-27
  • August 31: Acts 2:1-13

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