But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. John 4
“Open the eyes of my heart Lord. Open the eyes of my heart. Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. I want to see you. I want to see you. I want to see you. I want to see you. Holy, holy, holy, holy . Holy, holy, holy, holy.. Holy, holy, holy holy.”
I hope you read that carefully and thought about it. It sounds real good, doesn’t it. All religious and righteous and seeking the right place before God. Right? Now I’m going to challenge you to think because serving God is an intelligent choice and requires a conscious effort to grow in Grace.
I was listening to this in a recording this morning. Most of these worship recordings are good hymns but this one disturbed me on a certain level. The entire song, and it was rather lengthy, consisted of those three phrases. I haven’t come close to reproducing the number of times they were repeated. Each phrase was repeated over and over then phased into the next and then the next, until the repetition became mindless. It is so close to being a mantra that the true child of God should avoid it.
A mantra, in the East Indian religions, is a group of words, sometimes meaningless, that when spoken repeatedly raise the worshipper to an altered state of consciousness ‘creating a spiritual transformation.” They are purported to increase the spiritual insight of the individual but in reality only diminish the worshiper’s mental awareness. The words of a mantra are alleged to produce a vibration that attunes to the unconsciousness of the individual on the deepest levels. It artificially produces a spiritual state.
If you have opportunity to listen many of today’s so called “worship songs” you will find they are in exactly this mold. I heard one brother refer to them as 7/11 songs—the same seven words repeated eleven times! The mystical religions of the eastern countries are becoming more and more widespread as the chains of paganism are loosed in these last days as told in the revelation of John.
Christ was aware of this false spiritual state and warned against it in Matthew 6:7. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. The preacher said in Ecclesiastes 1:9: there is no new thing under the sun. And yet as the world has slipped farther and farther from the Lord and true worship, these old forms of pagan worship are creeping in. Even in the services of those who might be called church of God it is being heralded as the product of a new generation of song writers and a fresh new approach to worship as opposed to the out-dated hymns of praise and spiritual songs. And even when an occasional lone voice is in opposition that one is shouted down as being too traditional and critical.
My friend, Salvation is not a religion of mindless devotion to a creed. Its practices are not designed to diminish the worshipper’s mental awareness or raise him to an altered state of consciousness. Our spiritual transformation comes about by a conscious decision to accept the forgiveness God offers through Christ. It continues in our dedication to the study of God’s Word and its application to or daily life. Any spiritual transformation that is achieved is accomplished by the full application of our conscious efforts to become more Christ-like. Our prayers are intelligent verbalization of our thanks to the Father for daily blessings and help; they are earnest petitions for His Mighty Hand to move in our own lives and the lives of others. Our worship is no mindless repetition of single phrases or groups of words, no matter what the content. Our worship is that of praise for specific blessings and help in our life, it is a testimony of the Power and the Might of God as He demonstrates it to us.
If you have been worshipping, raising your hands in response to this mantra–like series of repeated phrases I encourage you to follow Christ’s direction and not to let your communication with Him be that of mindless repetition. Let your praise be specific and focused. Not all of us are blessed to be able to connect beautiful words and music to create a wonderful hymn of praise, but study the words of the old hymns. Check these sites for lyrics: http://www.geocities.com/chogrefmov/article79.html http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Select_Hymns/
See in them how the writers praise the Lord for salvation from sin and sanctification. Look how they focus on the battles fought and won through God’s grace and strength. As you sing those songs they connect in your heart to the things that the Lord has accomplished for you, and as the music dies away you will be on your feet with a testimony of worship.
When we worship, let’s focus our conscious minds on finding our words of praise, not simply be caught up in repetition and echoes. Jesus told the disciples, the Father seeketh such to worship him.