Only Christ-followers can worship God. It is only because the sacrifice of God's Son and our acceptance of Him as our Savior that we can have a relationship with God. Worship is conversation with the Almighty and there is no conversation without reconciliation. Persons who are not Christ-followers can participate in actions of worship and be moved by the emotion of the service and even be convicted of their sin by the Spirit but that is not worship.
One of the most tense moments in family life is to try to carry on a conversations when there is unresolved issues from disappointment and hurt. There have been occasions as a father where my children have made decisions that have caused tension in our home. There may have been conversations among us during these times but they were guarded because of the unresolved issues.
As the father I continued to love them unconditionally and even guide them toward steps of correction. It wasn't until there was admission of wrong doing that there was forgiveness which opened the opportunity for deeper conversations through reconciliation.
Christ-centered worship is a relationship that is free from barriers and tension that hinder the conversation. The only way to be free from these barriers is to confess our sins before engaging in worship.
For the person who is not a Christ-follower that means making a conscious decision to follow Christ through confessing their sin and accepting Him as Lord.
For the Christ-follower that means to examine our lives in the light of God's holiness and confess our short-comings...it is then we can walk through the door into true worship in spirit and truth.
I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find thy mind in thy Word, of neglect to seek thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ.
Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of thy grace in me, everything that prevents me taking delight in thee.
From the book The Valley of Vision, Prayers of the Puritans.
This post is a part of the series Preparing for Worship written for me and the people I lead in worship at ClearView each week. Below are some other items that will help prepare and preview our worship this week.