The W.I.F.E. We Are Called To Be (Part 1)
We void a product’s warranty when we misuse it or we use it the way it was not intended to be used. We also end up with a broken product. So also if our church fails to live up to the way God called us to live, we will be hurting people instead of healing them. We end up with broken people. How can we avoid that?
|Me and Pastor Charles Swindoll (2008).|
In his book, “The Bride: Renewing Our Passion for the Church,” Charles Swindoll shared our four major objectives as a church based on Acts 2:41-47. According to v. 42, the early church “devoted themselves” to these objectives (ESV). Swindoll wrote, “[Luke] uses a Greek term that suggests a steadfast, single-minded fidelity. … When the early saints met, intensity and full-hearted devotion blended with passionate commitment.” (Ibid) If we fulfill those objectives, we will be the church that God called us to be.
To make it easy to remember, he summarized it into an acronym, W.I.F.E. “W” stands for “Worship.” The early church “devoted themselves… to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (v. 42c) As a result, in the very next verse we read, “And awe came upon every soul” (v 43a). Swindoll added, “The scene [in the early church] is one of spontaneous joy and unrestrained responses of praise. … But, alas, worship is fast becoming a lost art, the missing jewel of this hurried and efficient generation.” (Ibid)
Yes, we are to enjoy worship. But keep in mind that we worship to exalt God, not to entertain ourselves. Of course, worship should be dynamic, not dull. But our goal is to declare His worth and not merely to have a warm feeling.
|I pray that our worship won't evolve (read: devolve) into something like this. Image credit|
Swindoll concluded, “Believe me, once you have tasted worship—the kind of worship that captures your heart and rivets your full attention on the living Lord—nothing less satisfies. Nothing else even comes close. Once you have tasted worship, you will never want to play church again.” (Ibid) God is still looking for such worship and worshippers. “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)
Brethren, “Come, let us worship and bow down.” Psalm 95:6a, NLT
(To Be Continued)