Do we try to put God in a box?
I believe at times we do, well at least we try! However, let me clarify this statement by saying we can NEVER put Him in a box.
So what do I mean? I bet that most of you can tell me exactly what order of service your church has every Sunday. For you worship leaders out there, I bet you can tell me at least by Wednesday what songs you are going to sing next Sunday morning. I bet you even have your ushers come down for offering around the same order of service each Sunday, and how about if you want to meet someone from a different church at a restaurant, every give someone a time to meet? Is this not all putting God in a box?
Do we really believe in our minds that what we call church service is anything like what He calls church? Do we really believe God is so uncreative and predictable? We will be touched in ways we cannot even grasp when we are in His house and in His present.
Below is somewhat of an exaggeration, but I think you will get what I am trying to say.
Dear God; Here is our bulletin
We of the church called (insert name) will be having our regular weekly meeting this coming Sunday.
We cordially invite you to attend this meeting, providing you could possibly consider the following:
From 9:00 – 10:00 we have small worship (Sunday School) classes. This is where we discuss our lesson and talk about the Bible.
From 10:00 – 10:30 we will be singing praises to You and your Son. Perhaps the Holy Spirit too. So during this time please join in, but do not interrupt the program so lovingly prepared by our worship team.
From 10:30 – 10:40 we will be collecting our gift which we offer to you. (It really is the minister’s salary some would say).
From 10:40-11:15 we will be listening to the well prepared sermon our Pastor will deliver this week, so please sit quietly and listen to what he has worked so hard to prepare.
From 11:20-11:35 we will probably be offering some more singing and perhaps silent prayer or what some call an invitation.
From 11:40 -11:50 ? we will possibly have to listen to some important announcements to do with church activities or programs.
From 11:55 – 12:15 so then the important and main topic of the day is where we want to go eat
You are welcome to make Your Presence known anytime during this service providing you follow our carefully laid out agenda.
OK, again I know this is an exaggeration, but does it not fit into at least many of the models we see for a church service?
What would happen if the worship leader actually came into service without prepared songs and only played what God laid on his heart at the moment? How about the same with the pastor, let him speak from his heart about what God just placed on it because of maybe a need he heard that morning or something? What if we did offering at the beginning instead of the end? What about doing worship and praise at the end of service after being fed his word from the pastor? What if we just threw away the clock and ended when God said it was time?
My point in all of this is that we focus so much on the service, songs, praise, and time that we try to limit what God can do. We try and put him in a box. Our God is so much bigger than any order or program, bigger than any song or message. What would really happen if we just simply let God take control over our services? I think it would be bigger than anything we have ever seen!!!