We have been talking about the elements of renewal or revival in some corners of the church and one dear saint sensed a calling to pray for a holy fear of God to permeate the church. While our modern first response might be hesitancy (who wants to endorse fear), when we have a biblical context for what it means to have an abiding reverence for God, then the environment shifts and the soil is prepared for revival.
To this end, this Saint shared her thinking on what the fear of the Lord looks like in a climate of revival.
“A Climate for Revival
“Holy Fear Outside the Church:
Understanding one’s position ->Holy Fear (horror, anguish, woe) coupled w/
hope->Redemption and Salvation
“Holy Fear Inside the Church:
Understanding One’s position->Holy Fear
(humility, awe, wonder) coupled with hope->Revival and Further Sanctification”
May we inside the church understand our position, made righteous by Christ, and live in humility, wonder, and awe with a defining hope for more.
Several months ago Air1 (a national Christian radio station) tweaked its format to include mostly what is defined as “worship” music. They even added tag lines of “worship now” and the like, making sure listeners understood that this was the new place to hear worshipful music you might sing in church as you seek to glorify Christ. I think it has been a good change and I enjoy the music and the intention behind it.
The fascinating thing about the change to me however is the lack of continuity with other content on the station. While the playlist has shifted nothing else has. So the station comes out of a meaningful song with trite banter. The hosts talk about funny text messages they have received, the tragedy of lost food, or anything else they think will entertain you.
This morning as I dropped a kid off at camp I was struck that the song was raising a hallelujah but the conversation was laughing about things spouses have to put in storage when they get married.
Is this the church? We sing a few songs because after all that is “worship” then we move into entertainment mode. Incongruent and missing the point. I get the challenge and have been guilty of allowing elements in the service that detract from our corporate worship. It has me wanting the reverence meant to accompany worship.
Perhaps this is one reason I prefer Spotify to the radio and why people are finding their entertainment in places other than a church on Sunday…