Of Kissing & Worshiping

We seem to speak of worship like it is its own thing, its own entity, like kissing. For example, I might say that kissing is something I do, something I like to do. It makes me feel good, romantic. It gives me goosebumps and makes me feel all tingly. And there are all kinds of ways to kiss, many styles and situations where kissing is really enjoyable. I’m all for kissing.

But clearly, something is missing here; it actually makes a difference whom you kiss. I could kiss my aunt or sister or a total stranger on the cheek (a la the European greeting), and it does not feel the same as kissing my wife. I really must talk about and focus on whom I kiss for someone to understand what makes kissing so filled with wonder.

Like kissing, worship is something I do, something I like to do. It makes me feel good, reverent. It gives me goosebumps and makes me feel all tingly. And there are all kinds of ways to worship, many styles and situations where worship is really enjoyable. I’m all for worship.

But do I love worship or God? Do I love the feeling of worship or the One whom I worship? Do I crave the various styles and situations of worship, or do I crave the Living Christ? I really must talk about and focus on whom I worship for someone to understand what makes it so filled with wonder.

Worship is NOT its own thing, its own entity! The thing that makes worship continually meaningful and alive is WHOM I worship. I must focus on Yahweh, his actions throughout history, his attributes, his mysterious ways. Worship is merely the appropriate response of the creature to the Creator.

I don’t love kissing; I love the one I kiss. And I don’t love worshiping; I love the ONE I worship! How we say it makes a difference.

14 Responses to “OF KISSING & WORSHIPING”

  1. Marsha Skidmore says:

    Jim- thank you for this. I would love to show the video in our service this coming Sunday. Would that be possible?

  2. Janet Fredrickson says:

    Beautiful, Jim, just beautiful.

  3. Sandra Ruben says:

    Wonderful!! Thank you for sharing with us!!

  4. Greg Helland says:

    Excellent reminder that we need to keep our love fresh with our Lord. I often struggle with telling God WHY I love Him so much because I don’t want to make it sound like I love Him only because of what He does for me. Yet, He shows His love to me through his actions, just like I show my love for Him through my actions.

    Thanks for the reminder, Jim.

  5. Sue Sprigg says:

    Thank you, Jim, for reminding me that I need to stretch my comfort zone. In this stressful world, that is a daily challenge.

  6. Chris Monroe says:

    The Numbers 3 passage has always been intriguing to me. Thanks for encouraging us to ponder it from a worship leading perspective. I appreciate how you emphasized that “We must not settle for somewhere that feels like the Most Holy Place, but isn’t.” One of the most needed aspects in worship renewal today — especially among evangelicals — is the reaffirmation that Christ’s real and very presence can be identified and experienced in — let’s say — the Eucharist, or the reading from the Gospel, or simply the people-of-God-gathered, whether or not we get “Holy Ghost goose bumps” or “feel” anything for that matter. That said, may we all increasingly burn with the Spirit’s fire rather than that of our own making.

  7. Kent Walkemeyer says:

    Love your insights, Jim. Thank you! I’m so grateful you are teaching our worship leaders.

  8. Robert Streets says:

    I wish that everyone who leads Worship could have the chance to read this insightful message. I’ve forwarded it to
    all of my colleagues, and they have had the same reaction as I. I pray that you will continue to write these truthful words and look forward to new thoughts and revelation!

  9. Randall Goulard says:

    thank you Jim… i will be using that thought this weekend in worship

  10. Kimberly says:

    my favorite word is,,,GRACE,,

    DTB from Mexico

  11. sally says:

    Is it that our church is different – or is it that we live in a different spiritual era than that of the time the Psalms were written? Granted, there are indeed some churches where worship has been more entertainment than God encountering. But now that the Spirit indwells every believer, each believer now has the ability – and the responsibility – to nurture his or her relationship with God in Christ. If that is occurring, then the believer is ready to encounter God and express responsive worship even before a sermon.

    Secondly, a time of worshiping or focusing on God, His character and His worthiness encompasses such things as adoration, praise and thanksgiving. When believers have a chance to redirect their focus from the many activities of daily living to God in these ways, they are in a much better position or frame of mind to receive the word that is spoken afterwards such as in a sermon.

    A strong case can be made, from the Scriptures, for worship times before hearing the Word publicly. Why not do it before AND after the sermon? We do that a lot.

  12. Coule I get a copy of the DVD? We have a group meeting at my house on Thursday nights and I would love to share this with them. I have shared your worship DVD with many people. Thanks.

  13. Jim Altizer says:

    Absolutely; tell me where to send it.

  14. Joanna Quintero says:

    Your writings and the lessons you teach are very helpful in so many ways! I appreciate your life!

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