"For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7)
"The accent in the Church today," says Leonard Ravenhill, the English evangelist, "is not on devotion, but on commotion." Religious extroversion has been carried to such an extreme in evangelical circles that hardly anyone has the desire, to say nothing of the courage, to question the soundness of it. Externalism has taken over, God now speaks by the wind and the earthquake only, the still small voice can be heard no more. The whole religious machine has become a noisemaker. The adolescent taste which loves the loud horn and the thundering exhaust has gotten into the activities of modern Christians. The old question, "What is the chief end of man?" is now answered, "To dash about the world and add to the din thereof."
We must begin the needed reform by challenging the spiritual validity of externalism. What a man is must be shown to be more important than what he does. While the moral quality of any act is imparted by the condition of the heart, there may be a world of religious activity which arises not from within but from without and which would seem to have little or no moral content.
Lord, yesterday I saw the need for loud exaltation at times; today I am reminded of the importance of internal meditation, and of guarding myself from mere external noise. Give me the right balance in my worship, I pray. Amen
The One Thing Missing
Christian churches have come to the dangerous time predicted long ago. It is a time when we can pat one another on the back, congratulate ourselves and join in the glad refrain, "We are rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing!"
It certainly is true that hardly anything is missing from our churches these days - except the most important thing. We are missing the genuine and sacred offering of ourselves and our worship to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have been surging forward. We are building great churches and large congregations. We are boasting about high standards and we are talking a lot about revival.
But I have a question and it is not just rhetoric: What has happened to our worship?
Lord, may we not become caught up in all we have and yet be found wanting in the most important element in our church life! May we understand that true success comes from the intimacy with You that we experience in true worship. Amen
~A. W. Tozer~