by Noah Willson
I believe that worship is a huge waste.
Corporate worship, in the context of coming together with song and scripture, is a huge waste of time from the perspective of secular culture and of human-strength "churchianity." We are not producing anything material, anything physical of earthly value that can be measured or scooped up and carried home. There are noble and good things that we otherwise might be doing with our time. Spending time playing with our kids, time serving our neighbors, time preparing for ministry-related work, etc…these are all good things that often produce tangible results in our relationships, our career, even fruit for the Kingdom. The thing about worship is, we’re not telling people to “go and tell," but to “come and sit." We’re telling Martha to stop serving and sit at the feet of Jesus for a while. We’re allowing the Holy Spirit to squeeze us even closer to Jesus and the heart of the Father in a huge, Trinitarian-bear-hug! Hugs don’t get stuff done. Hugs, sitting at Jesus’ feet, receiving a heavenly kiss on our child-like head from the Father, these things don’t produce any riches we can measure on this side of eternity.
Read this account of David and three of his mightiest men:
“And three of the thirty chief men went down and came about harvest time to David at the cave of Adullam, when a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. And David said longingly, “Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!” Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate and carried and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it. He poured it out to the Lord and said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.”
(2 Samuel 23:13-17)
David was thirsty. He jokingly mentions around his faithful friends that he’d LOVE some of this water from a certain well. They risk their lives to violently retrieve this water for their beloved king. David’s response is to pour the water out as a love offering to his Beloved King! He doesn’t even take a sip! What a message this must have displayed to the three, plus everyone looking on! What a waste! At least try SOME of the water - didn’t these guys just risk their lives for it? David poured the water out as an offering not because it didn’t have value but because it was immeasurably valuable, and all the more reason to “waste” it on the Lord. The long-term message this would send to his men was that, for as much as they love David, their devotion and love should go to their Heavenly Father even more.
Stopping, focusing our hearts and minds on Jesus, and praising Him for an hour and a half is a waste! But the Kingdom is an upside-down kingdom, where holy waste of earthly efforts produces an eternal weight of glory!
Stopping, focusing our hearts and minds on Jesus, and praising Him for an hour and a half is a waste! But the Kingdom is an upside-down kingdom, where holy waste of earthly efforts produces an eternal weight of glory! It’s better to give than to receive. But it’s such a small waste in light of what God has done for us, and such a small amount of time to put aside to pause activities and just worship.
We need to be people who are operating out of the overflow of our time sitting at the feet of Jesus. We need to be seen wasting our treasures and lavishing our praises at the feet of Jesus. We can be lethargic when it comes to applying spiritual disciplines such as prayer, fasting, and worshiping without looking at the clock on the wall. I include myself in this. It’s a struggle in the flesh. But, God promises to protect our hearts and minds:
...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Noah Willson, along with his wife Bora and their two children, has been a part of Outward Church for several years. He is one of the drummers in Outward's worship band.
Love Jesus. Live Outward.
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