Kermit the Frog on Worship
Kermit the Frog, in his own unique way, sings of the woes of ordinary life of a frog in the song, “It’s not Easy Being Green.” Green-ness is normal for the frog, but apparently that does not make life any easier. It can sometimes feel the same way with us as Christians. I hope no one has ever been promised a life of ease and comfort as a Christian. There will be joy, but sometimes through hardship and trouble. Real, daily Christianity is often difficult and requires an ongoing daily commitment to do what God says. We battle a subtle foe. It is not enough to just say you believe it, yet that is as far as many Christians ever get.
It is only by continually identifying those areas that must come under Christ’s Lordship and actively working to bring them to His feet that we will find victory in our daily Christian life. We must see the world and its lusts for the spiritual trap that they are, learn the patterns of life and methods from Scripture that give us a solid foundation for a spiritual life, and then actually put those methods into practice every day, day after day. This is the true life of worship: it begins by the internal renewal of the mind and grows outward into the total transformation of our lives.
Recognizing the importance of our thinking is essentially a call for theological renewal. This theological renewal is at the heart of how we think about worship and is much broader than simply doing a study on worship as it is found in various biblical texts. Our theology of worship must be based upon a holistic understanding and foundation of what God meant for our relationship with Him. What it was like at the beginning, what happened that distorted it so grossly, and what He has done to restore (redeem) us for Himself. This pattern of thought—creation, fall, and redemption—is the classic pattern used in discussing worldview systems. Ultimately, our theology of worship unfolds out of our own worldview. Only in this broad-based picture can we truly develop theology which is both consistent with Scripture and tradition, yet adapts itself to our modern times and situations.
It is, therefore, imperative that we seek to mold our view of worship to one that is grounded in Scripture. We must seek renewal, not based upon new methods and theories, but by renewing our minds and hearts based on a study of God’s word (Romans 12:1-2). It is time to redeem worship theory and practice and return to foundational truths that transverse denominations, styles and cultures. It is, in short, time for reform.
The Daily Work of Worship
John writes, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world” (1 John 2:16). We can examine each of these a little further to help us identify them in our own lives. We must daily and actively seek to stem the tide of desire that continues to reside within us, even after salvation. This is the damage sin has caused, but the Lord has provided tools with which we can combat the effects of sin in our lives.
The “lust of the flesh” is that set of desires and cravings that cause us to selfishly provide for our own wants. The flesh is a powerful inner voice, part of the nature of man that seeks our own “good” in spite of the needs or wants of those around us. From this flows abuse of every kind, and damaged, hurtful relationships. The cry of self-sufficiency is the cry of the lust of the flesh, thinking that if we gather everything that meets our needs, wants, and desires we will have need of nothing, and no one, else.
The “lust of the eyes” is the vision that fuels our own self-sufficiency. We see what others have: beautiful houses, beautiful cars, beautiful women or men, huge bank accounts. Then we begin to envy. We desire those things whether we have earned them or deserve them. This form of lust convinces us that we deserve what we see because it is available around us. The cry of deservedness is the cry of the lust of the eyes: we deserve it because we can obtain it.
The “boastful pride of life” is the resulting pride from the fulfillment of all we crave. Once we become self-sufficient and can attain anything we desire, we imagine that we are important because of “all I have accomplished.” The cry of attention (“Look at me!”) and adoration is the cry of the pride of life: we want others to feel as good about us as we do about ourselves and our accomplishments.
Maybe we can change Kermit’s song just a little bit and sing, “It’s not easy being…human!” With the triple threat of “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life” we have great obstacles. Yet, the presence of the Spirit in our lives can raise us above these things so that we might live a life that is truly one that will please our Lord. It is His work in us that will allow us to live life in a worshipful way, and then join together with others each week to worship him together in our corporate bodies.
(Original Post on August 26, 2013 at the Worldview Church: http://www.worldviewchurch.org/worshiparts/articles/20286-kermit-the-frog-on-worship)
Posted on March 24, 2014, in Christian Worldview, Content of Worship, Corporate Worship, theology, Worship Leader and tagged Mark Sooy, theology, worship, worship leader, WorshipThink. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.