Do You Have A Healthy Worship Environment?

December 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Holidays & Celebrations

Do You Have A Healthy Worship Environment?

When you leave church do you feel convicted, inspired and encouraged to grow spiritually? Do you feel that your intimate personal relationship with God is growing? Do you have a desire to create a home, living and work environment where God’s principles are practiced daily? Do you desire to know God through His word? Have you truly accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? Is the Holy Spirit active in your everyday life? Do you really embrace repentance? Or do you subscribe to the “nobody’s perfect syndrome” and excuse any faulty behavior under the guise of unconditional love? After taking a sincere personal inventory of your own life can you say you are truly growing spiritually? Or have you really just conformed so you could be accepted? “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty”. Godly liberty does not sanction anything that goes against His principles. Neither does it make you conform to legalistic rules, concepts or beliefs. God always gives us the freedom to choose. Of course, you must be aware that there are consequences for whatever choices you make. God is a God of balance. A liberal healthy spiritual environment teaches you that God is sovereign and points you to His Word. It is in the Word of God you will find multiple examples and solutions for day to day living.

In contrast, in an unhealthy church environment the right of the individual to choose is greatly diminished. Instead you are encouraged to conform. Unity means to agree not to rock the boat. Asserting yourself and exercising what you believe is discouraged. Instead of strengthening family relationships an alliance to leadership is encouraged. Leadership then dictates and controls how you should think, live and give. Your pastor often becomes your voice of God and the only one to interpret the Word of God. The sermon is usually directed to someone who is not conforming. Once you have truly experienced someone who will prayerfully meditate on God’s Word and consecrates themselves for worship you will see a significant difference. Telling the truth of God’s Word rather than trying to manipulate people to do things their way is the desired goal. They really don’t have a hidden agenda. The message is for the giver as well as the receiver. This is why it is so important to know the Word of God. This is also how you can recognize if you have experienced an abusive worship environment? When you leave an unhealthy church environment you are usually trying to figure out what member was he talking about today?

If you are regularly worshipping in a healthy church you really know when you are truly growing spiritually. You are not just lead by your emotions and compulsively respond in the flesh when situations arise. When you embrace the Truth of God’s Word you are not derailed by the many obstacles life brings. You not only attend a healthy church but during the week you desire to continue to aggressively apply His Word to your life. In contrast in an unhealthy church there often are moral double standards. You are one way on Sunday and live differently Monday – Saturday. Praise & worship is just a channel you turn to on Sundays. The pastor usually is the only one with authority and does not welcome comments or an opinion that differs from his. Any outside speakers are prepped and are given a preliminary screening and encouraged to “back him up” with their comments. All too often leadership tolerates and sanctions immorality. They have an agreement with one another rather than honor Godly principles. Their weaknesses and flaws are again excused, kept under cover and fall under the guise of “nobody is perfect.” Those who oppose are put under a microscope and labeled unloving or negative. Sexual misconduct is merely given a slap on the wrist. If you look closely beyond the surface you will find that this type of environment encourages codependency and quite often members experience mental anguish as well as breakdowns and various continued addictions. Tithing, giving and regular attendance exempts you from undesirable consequences when you are a part of the group regardless of your behavior. It guarantees that you will be given unconditional support. Your dedication to the system demonstrates that you are supportive and have a teachable spirit but do you really? Disagreeing with the pastor means you are disagreeing with God? In an unhealthy worship environment the pastor is accountable to an inner board of hand selected “yes men and women.” Rather than serve God they serve their system. They often serve the pastor rather than carry out the true commission of the Church.

Today it is still very important to be prayerful and seek Godly direction. Just about anything goes today. God really does have a solution. God really does want you to live victoriously. Did you know that you can believe all the right things and be quite wrong? God really can deliver you from whatever? On the other hand He can and will keep you from falling! God truly is deserving of all the praise! When you read the Word of God you will find that Jesus spent a significant amount of time talking to the established church as well as reaching out to the lost. Jesus and His disciples were not readily embraced because they did not subscribe to or adhere to their legalistic approach. The seven churches mentioned in Revelations actually did exist. Notice they all lacked in some area. Did you know the rules and regulations of the law were fulfilled when Christ died on the cross? If you carefully, slowly and prayerfully read Hebrews it will give you a better understanding of God’s Grace and Favor. Grace and Favor are gifts from God. Did you know that when you accept Jesus Christ that your body becomes a Temple? His Holy Spirit resides within. you. God said, “I will put my laws in your mind and write then in your heart.” God wants you to have a personal intimate relationship with Him. He already knows you and everything about you. He knows everything! He wants and desires you to know Him and the “power of His Resurrection.” He also wants you to have a healthy worship environment. He does not want you to be a spiritual yoyo. God has all power! He can even turn an unhealthy worship environment into a place where His Spirit is truly welcomed. Repentance is key. This will allow you to start anew and become open and willing to be led by His precious Holy Spirit!

Jesus’ life, death and Resurrection really means something! He made atonement for all the sins of the world. That in itself is reason to praise Him! True worshippers worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. The children of Israel wandered for forty years in the desert because they were disobedient. Their hearts were hardened by sin’s deceitfulness and they did not even realize it. We must combine the Gospel with faith. Nothing is hidden from God. When you truly know Him you can approach His throne of grace with confidence. Not in yourself but in Him. When you have a relationship with Him you can be patient. You know and realize that He will take care of you in any and every situation. Your desire is to please Him and have His will done in your life. Abraham received the promise by faith. God cannot lie. You can depend on His promises! Hope and trust in God will be an anchor for your soul. You know by faith He will impart His grace to you and help you in time of need. Jesus is the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.

The true tabernacle is not made by man. Christ is the mediator of a new covenant. We have been declared righteous. We have been made Holy because Jesus sacrificed His life for us. His body is now the curtain that covers us. His blood has cleansing power! We must learn to draw near to God through faith and a sincere heart. Always know God knows your heart. God wants you to set aside anything that hinders your spiritual growth. God will discipline you for your good so that you may share in His holiness. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” Check out Hebrews the 11th chapter to find out what faith in God did for them! God is good and is so deserving of our sincere praise. Give Him a continual sacrifice of true honorable praise! Not “tinkling cymbals sounding brass” there is a difference. God really does want you to experience a healthy worship environment! God can and will equip you with whatever you need to do His will. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” To God be the Glory!


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