This is strictly my observation, and it has caused my heart to ache. Not because I am better, I am not, or have arrived, I have not. I only have come to this by the pure grace of God who gave me a desire and hunger for the reading of his Word and being under sound teaching and preaching.
I have gone to church all my life. Gospel music has been a great part of my life, for it was through the music that my heart either was soothe, encouraged
, and sometimes an overwhelming rejoicing that resulted in outward praise.
Yes, sometimes I shouted aloud in the midst of the congregation not ashamed to proclaim God’s goodness. Why isn’t it what the Psalms say?
I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Psalm 22:22
My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation; I will pay my vows before them that fear him. Psalm 22:25
Oh, clap your hands, all ye peoples; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. 2 For the Lord Most High is |awe-inspiring|; he is a great King over all the earth.
But my praise to God has to be continually nourished through his Word, not just my experiences. This is where we sometimes leave it. The praise is good enough. We leave church feeling we’ve “had church”. However, there is no desire to go deeper into knowing the God we praise.
Shai Linne, is an Assistant Pastor, and Christian rapper who explains the importance of both the Word and the praise. He writes on one of his tracks of his album Lyrical Theology, Pt. 2, Doxology – in the Doxology Intro, in which he states that while some say they just want to praise, he explains that doxology without theology is idolatry.
Can you go days, months, maybe even years without daily personal reading of the Word, and being on our knees before him? I know I have been there. I’m not talking about reading devotionals, that is fine to supplement but it does not replace the reading of the Word of God.
Yes, you listen to the Word at church, go to Sunday School and even Bible study but what do you do to nurture your personal relationship with the God who is the great King over all the earth? Besides, how much Word is really being preached at church? Has it ever made you feel naked before the Lord? Has it made you to feel like at any moment you may have to give an account before our Holy God? Has it caused you to repent when you see how you have grieved God with your sin?
The Apostle Paul’s heart ached for his people, the Jews:
BRETHREN, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them |witness| that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. Romans 10:1-3
Today many churches have been focused on the numbers; so gimmicks, tactics, even strategies are used to build the numbers of the church which results in fewer churches preaching the uncompromised Word of God that makes one see themselves naked before God, or cause one to repent.
Don’t be satisfied with the froth, which may be light or entertaining but of little substance, and just leaves you feeling good as you leave church. Rather, crave the sincere milk of the Word.
Like newborn infants, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation. I Peter 2:2 ESV