Further Up and Further In

Joe Missionary has a new Theology Thursday today: Making out with Jesus. In it, he says:

..it’s hard to sit through a contemporary worship session without feeling like you’re in a touchy-feely mushfest. And sometimes, in my opinion, it gets out of control.

Basically, his point is that modern worship songs today that talk about “Falling in love with Jesus” are too focused on “romantic”, intimate, love relationship with Jesus. Is this type of relationship valid?

I’d first like to say, worship is another area of my life where balance is needed. I am not (quite) there yet. 😉 I think that we do need to have to have a reverent fear of God. We need to give praise to God for all His qualities: His Holiness, His Righteousness, His Faithfulness, and His Unfailing Love for us (to name just a few). However, I also think that we need to worship God as part of a passionate love relationship with Him. One definition of worship is “to kiss” or “to fawn over” If that isn’t a “touchy-feely mushfest”, I don’t know what is.

God created us to be emotional, and what better way to use our emotions than to express our love for God? That doesn’t mean, however, that we are driven by our emotions. Sometimes, I don’t feel like worshiping, and yet God still calls me to worship Him.

(As an aside here, I would like to say that modern worship songs are not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people get more out of hymns. I, personally, enjoy the songs. But I would like to propose that the vehicle for worship is a cultural thing and is based on your personal experience. However, God looks at the heart –1 Sam 16:7. Let’s not get caught up with whether or not certain songs/hymns are right or not.)

I am reminded of CS Lewis’s book, The Last Battle. At the end, the characters enter into the real Narnia and are encouraged to go “Further up and further in! Don’t stop!” As they get further up and further in, the land seems to get bigger and wider as they go. That is what my relationship with God is like: As I get closer to Him, my view of Him gets larger and wider.

Just because “we haven’t ever seen it done that way before”, doesn’t mean God isn’t in it. He just doesn’t seem to have the same limitations that my feeble mind places on Him. And I think that God loves us passionately and wants to relate to us in a way that we can receive from Him. But just because we are comfortable with a certain type of relationship with God, I say: “Further up and further in! Don’t stop!”