I think every believer knows that the way of God is not compatible with the way of the world. In bible parlance the Spirit and the flesh are always at war. The flesh always wants to rule even in places where the Spirit of God is legitimately in control. Meanwhile the Spirit of God Is not unruly; He waits to be invited and given room to take charge but when He is in charge, He is absolutely in charge. No wonder the bible says when light comes, darkness has no choice but to leave. The truth is, darkness hates that and is consistently trying to return. Unfortunately, unlike light, darkness is not a gentleman and will go as far as it can push. It does not wait to be permitted but tries very hard to force his way into every life, space or anywhere he finds room. The life of a believer is therefore one of consistent struggle to ensure that He is permitting light into His life and exposing Himself fully to light. As we yield to light, He increases in us and impacts our life even more; but darkness is consistently trying to bring us under his control attempting to enslave us. Darkness is a mean slave master.
John 1: 4 – 5 “The word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
The last time I checked, worship service is church organized gathering of Christians and unbelievers for the sole purpose of fellowshipping with the light. It is a time when our sole focus is to worship God who is Spirit in the Spirit thereby exposing ourselves to the light who is God so that our spirit man is empowered and our flesh is brought under control of our spirit which is controlled by the Spirit of God. God clearly demands to be worshipped in the Spirit and we Pentecostals lay strong claim to doing that very well: also accusing non-Pentecostal churches of not having the Spirit of God. It is therefore getting a little confusing to me when instead of exposing our spirit man to the spirit of God, in some of our worship services we fan the flesh. The excuse we often make give for this is that we feel a need to do everything during these our worship services because that is when we catch everybody so every and anything is allowed during these services and by the time we are done, we leave church even more carnal than we came in. It is not possible to leave a worship service filled with the spirit when all we did almost through it all, was feed our flesh. Could it be that we have lost sight of the purpose for this gathering? Believers came together for a purpose which certainly did not include feeding the flesh. Is it really correct to assume that the two can flow together despite that the spirit and the flesh war against one another?
Ephesians 5: 18b “Instead be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.”
Romans 14: 17 “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Some leaders argue that congregation have very short attention span these days so they need to be engaged fully with activity during the service. It is interesting to note that we are talking about adults who should be controlled and disciplined enough to sit through these things. If this is a real problem then maybe we need to look inwards with a view to ascertaining whether or not God is still in our services. Unlike many would like us to believe, God is not boring; but if we must indeed do something to arrest the situation urgently, it would probably be wiser to spend less time in these services than to engage worldly means bearing in mind that these ways do not align with the ways of God and if anything, will make the Holy Spirit leave. If we so desperately want activities, then we must choose godly ones instead of the ones that make it difficult for the Holy Spirit to remain and definitely fan our flesh. Very often, the same people that complain about the length of worship services, sit for hours without end gossiping or doing other ungodly things feeding their flesh. Worship services must remain what they are and if we must entertain people then we must do it outside of these services. It is disheartening to see the way the church is going today even to the extent where comedians albeit Christian comedians are invited to minister. Please do not misunderstand me, I am not opposed to godly humor and have nothing against the comedians. I am only saying that they would serve their purpose in other church functions and events or Christian events. We appear to be getting everything mixed up and need to sort them out. As it is often said, the line between the flesh and the Spirit is really thin making it easy to crossover from the spirit to the flesh without really meaning to; we need to check to see if we have not crossed that line.
James 4: 4 “Ye adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: if you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.”
The traditional churches which we often refer to as worldly appear to be doing better. They even understand about creating the right atmosphere for God. One enters these churches even when there is no service and one feels the presence of God; this is no longer a common experience in our Pentecostal churches. I understand that God loves us all with all our different personalities which He would have us express, but the worship of God has not changed. It could be done with a lot of noise or solemnity but it is still worship of our God and has to be spiritual for He whom we worship demands that He will be worshipped in the Spirit. I know that churches struggle to keep people in church but the longing of man will not be satisfied carnally. He will only get worse because He will yearn for more and more and would need to be entertained with even more carnality as time goes on. Any satisfaction carnality may appear to provide is very temporary; such people soon become restless again because this craving is for something deeply spiritual and can only be satisfied by the Spirit. Worship services must remain what they are – worship service; otherwise let us call them something else. We can’t claim to worship God applying the things He hates so much.