Hindrances to worship

Some hindrances to the spiritual worship of God that I have encountered in my own experience.

1. After my conversion my primary hindrance was undoubtedly my relative ignorance of Scripture. You simply cannot worship meaningfully if your knowledge of God is sparse. And we come to know God in the mirror of his Testimony.

2. As a married man, whenever my relationship with my wife is not on a high level, this rubs off in my spiritual life. (1 Peter says that if we do not dwell with them with understanding, then our prayers will be hindered: how true it is.)

3. Hidden and unconfessed sin mars our worship. Our relationship with the Father cools down. We MUST learn to confess sin immediately and seek grace to abandon it.

4. Because of expectations from others, I have found that occasionally I have pretended to be other than I actually was (hypocrisy). Such an attitude brings sterility to our worship, both private and public.

5. Unbelief; fearing to stand on the promises of God for all provision and need in our daily life.

6. Lack of orderliness in time and place. I have now found it to be very helpful to have set times to meet with God in private prayer.

In giving directions for worship Paul laid it down as a principle: “God is not the author of confusion but of peace...Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:33,40).

Cases of disorderly worship widely accepted among professing Christians today:

1. Starting the worship service at a later time than stipulated. Christians should understand that they gather to worship the Most High. If we are careful to be punctual for an interview, etc., how much more when we are to appear before the King of all the earth?

2. Clapping, dancing, hallooing in church, common among charismatic groups. This gives free rein to sentimentalism, and what's more, the people would be indulging in unscriptural practices. "Let us have grace, whereby we may serve (lit. worship: latreuô) God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." Joviality is not spirituality.

3. Sitting in church idly during the sermon. It is disorderly because we should seek to fellowship together, anticipating God's presence among us and his speaking to us through the exposition of the Word. In church Christians should be alert. "You should love the Lord thy God with all thine...understanding (mind)." An effort should be exercised.

4. Not participating in the Lord's Supper. This ordinance if for all Christians, a communion in the body and blood of Christ. If someone abstains from partaking, then he is creating disorder. Whatever the reason he must repent and approach the Table with gratitude, together with the brethren.