God Is On the Throne, Not On Stage
God is On the Throne, Not On Stage October 22, 2023
The God we serve is an august, spiritual being both deserving and desirous of our deepest respect. Though describes in Scripture as a friend to man (Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23), He is not some sort of “good buddy” to joke with or about.
Our God is still on the throne (Psalms 45:6); His ways remain higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9), and His authoritative Word still promises to judge us in the Last Day (Revelation 20:12).
No measure of self-appointed, flippant familiarity with the God of heaven detracts one bit or whit from His inherent majesty. Our God is eminently worthy of our reverence; thus we must serve Him “acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28). Truly, reverence is the ‘very first element of religion.’
Moreover, our periods of public worship should express this spirit of reverence. “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all about Him” (Psalms 89:7). Worship performed “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24) suggests a demeanor of awe and reverence.
We agree that our worship services should be permeated with expressions of joy and thanksgiving – they should not come to resemble a congregational visit to the dentist, but neither should the reverent worship of our heavenly Father be confused for a carnival or rock concert. Regardless of where, when, or by whom the worship is performed – it must be characterized by reverence and decorum. “Let all things be done decently and in order ” (I Corinthians 14:40).
The worship assembly is not the proper setting for screaming, whistling, clapping, and stomping the feet in response to a speaker’s message. We do not gather to pay homage to men but to worship God. We do not come together as we would at a football game or a band concert; we come to worship God. We do not assemble with the intent of being entertained; we come to worship God. Any assembly of saints with the intent of worshipping and praising the God of heaven should reject that which emphasizes the carnal emotions and minimizes the spiritual man. An outsider should be able to attend one of our assemblies and see a marked difference between the worship of God and a stage show performance.
In the realm of worship, zeal without knowledge (Romans 10:2) paves a dangerous road toward pagan, fleshly-oriented, and riotous assemblies. Most of our denominational neighbors have long gone this route, with services geared more toward entertaining man than worshipping God. May we learn to temper our joy in Christ with a Christ-like reverence for things holy. And may we teach our children so.
Remember, our God is on the throne – not on stage.
By Dalton Key