There are at least eight manifestations of Spirit-filling in the New Testament, four of which are in our text. The first is music (Eph. 5:19a). Second, there is worship—in your in your heart to the Lord; (5:19a).
In our day, many people go to church for what they can get. That is, in fact, what most so-called church ministry is built on. The whole point of church programs is built on the idea of “giving people what they want,” “giving them a blessing” or “meeting their felt needs.” Some people go to church like they’re going to a movie—they check out the church page in their newspaper to see what’s playing and go to the church whose program appeals to them. Many shop for a church to join based on what that church can offer them. But if you go to church for what you can get out of the music, or what you can get out of the sermon, or just to get blessed, you’ve missed the point. The music and the sermon are not ends in themselves. They are means of worshiping God.
In stark contrast, when we look at Scripture alone, we are to go to church to worship God, and that’s done by giving, not getting. We go to offer something to Him, not to receive from Him. Yes, if we offer the praise He deserves, we will receive blessing from Him; there is blessing in giving, for the Lord is quoted as saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35b). But getting is not our motive or purpose. True worship is giving to God, not getting.
It is sad beyond words that as much as 90% of the church today is based on entertainment. And anyone who dares criticize it is labeled “divisive.” This trend started as far back as the 1950s. In those days A. W. Tozer wrote much about worship and its demise: I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven. . . . You know, the church started out with a Bible, then it got a hymnbook, and for years that was it—a Bible and a hymnbook. The average church now certainly wouldn’t be able to operate on just a hymnbook and the Bible. Now we have to have all kinds of truck. A lot of people couldn’t serve God at all without at least a van load of equipment to keep them happy.”
Many today don’t think they can worship without a “praise band,” a PowerPoint presentation, or an entertainer leading the “worship service.” We have abandoned the true meaning of worship. Ponder a moment: what is heaven going to be like? Well, not one of the Biblical descriptions implies that we are going to be entertained. Heaven will be a place of worship—and many today are not preparing.
Oh, how we need an attitude of worship in our churches today! How much music there is that is sung without a worshipful attitude! How many church services there are that are flippant and frivolous, having no spirit of worship! How many people today talk of Spirit-filling but never realize that true worship is an evidence! In fact, worship is one of the most misunderstood doctrines of Scripture.