When a phrase or an opinion is overused, it loses originality and becomes what is referred to as a cliché. Now, for the regular Christian Church-goer, certain phrases no longer carry weight and can drive some of us to boredom. A perfect example, is the “Offering time! – Blessing time!” chant. It reigned in the ‘90s and in the early parts of the new millennium. But that’s where it stopped. The “offering time” phrase has lost its magic. Another example of a cliché gone sour, is the phrase, ‘God is good!’ and the response, “All the time!”
But, in reality, God is actually good, and He Is good all the time. This is a fundamental and empirical truth that never loses its potency or validity for genuine believers in Christ Jesus.
In Judges 1: 1-2, we are reminded of a principle with so much potential, which sometimes remains untapped. It is a story that chronicles the experiences of the children of Israel after the death of their second leader, Joshua. After his demise, Israel was left in a quandary over the needed strategy to possess the gates and lands promised to them by God. Naturally, they went back to the Lord to inquire and find out what the next step was, and which among the tribes was to go first. The answer came instantly:
“Send Judah first!”
Judah is the ultimate representation of gratitude, thanksgiving and praise. When Leah discovered her marriage to Jacob was loveless and void of romance, all her attempts to overshadow Rachael who was loved and spoilt by Jacob, ended up in futility. While Rachael, in the early days of their polygamous marriage to Jacob was barren, Leah bore him three sons and never for once gave thanks or showed gratitude to God. This changed after the birth of her 4th son, Judah. She conceded that, on the 4th occasion, rather than focus on trying to impress man, she would instead praise God.
From that day, Judah became a reminder to God, to Leah and to the rest of us that God should be appreciated, worshipped and praised in all circumstances and at all times.
By endorsing Judah, God was showing Israel and every follower of Jesus the way to go. Meaning that, praise worship and thanksgiving should always be our starting point. When we do it any other way, we risk being under-productive, in-effective and in-efficient. For those who read the latter parts of the first chapter in Judges, we discover that Judah and Simeon were the only two tribes who succeeded in possessing the land in the prescribed format. All others failed, and Simeon only succeeded by partnering with Judah.
Even today, as you embark on that journey and before you start that project, try to begin with thanksgiving. Our motive for starting the service with worship, is not to while away time, and sort out issues of administration at the Church Office. It is a time to be thankful, and remains an aspect of the service which is dear to God’s heart. In fact, it is the only aspect of service that is directed at him from a selfless place. We are the beneficiaries of answered prayers, the beneficiaries of a good sermon, the beneficiaries of the rewards from the offering, the beneficiaries of the offering announcements, etc. The only time, God stands to benefit from the gathering of his people, is during the Worship.
So, if you find that you have joined the bandwagon of those who know the routine, and use the time of worship to sort out other things instead of worshipping, God reminds you today to repent from dead works.
Silas Omoha is an anointed and gifted minister who draws from God, with focus in Christian genre.
He accepted the call to repentance and salvation at an early age, and has tuned himself to sanctified worship ever since.