Desire or obligation
Have you ever thought about what it is that motivates you to serve in church? I mean, really thought hard about it, looked into your heart, and given it serious consideration?
It should be the same as what motivates you to spend time with your friends and family because you love them, and spending time with them somehow makes you more complete. That’s what relationship does, and was always God’s plan for church, for it to be relationship-based, and for it to grow out of love and not obligation. Interestingly, the word ‘religion’ comes from the Latin word ‘religio’, which is influenced (according to the World Book Dictionary) by the verb ‘religare’ which means to bind, in the sense of ‘place an obligation on’. Religion will only cause you to do things out of obligation, but relationship motivates from love.
Although our style of worship is not religious, in the traditional sense, and even though we preach freedom and relationship from our congregational pulpits, it doesn’t stop religion seeping into our own walk with God, and causing us to be defined and obligated by what we do. It happens without noticing, little by little, affecting over time our perspective and attitude, wearing away at our passion and vision, crumbling our relationships.
How do we stop this from happening? We keep the main thing the main thing – seek God first, pursue Him, be hungry for Him; love Him, love His people, love His house. Out of that comes the desire and motivation to serve no matter what circumstances or changes come our way, no matter what other people do or say. Living like that is living a worship life.