Should We Worship God In Our Own Way?

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Years ago, I served in my church as a worship leader; and one thing I would often hear people say in their defense as to why they didn’t actively participate in worship is, “I worship God in my own way”.

This raises some very important questions.

Should we worship God in our own way? Is God okay with that? Do we really have to sing and raise our hands; do we have to clap or kneel in worship? Can we just worship in our own hearts privately?

Do we even really have to attend church?

This question has been raised repeatedly since the pandemic. Churches were closed down and some never reopened. Believers attended church online, and many have never physically gone back to church since.

They worship God from their homes, they attend “church” by walking in the forest and communing with God in nature.

Is it really necessary that we actually show up at a building with other Christians and attend church? Or is God okay with us just having our own private worship at home or in nature?

Even more questions come to mind about church, when we look at reasons why some believers have become disenchanted with church, why they found it so easy to not go back after the pandemic.

Many found that church had no measurable impact in their life.

It was more like attending a concert or a huge entertainment event than what church used to or should be.

To make church more appealing to people, many churches have turned to huge stage productions with professional worship complete with light shows and dancers, and sermons with great one-liners.

Is God okay with us turning church into more of a concert-like atmosphere so we get more people to come?

We may not think that the Bible has anything to say about this; or we might be led to believe that God doesn’t really care how we worship him, as long as he is worshiped.

However, an event took place in the Old Testament that gives us reason to believe that God, in fact, cares very much about this.

In 1 Chronicles 13, David and his men are bringing the Ark of the Covenant, that had been captured by the Philistines during Saul’s reign, back to Israel.

An attempt had been made to return the Ark back to Israel, but it made it only as far as Kirjath Jearim where it had been abandoned until now.

There was great rejoicing by all, because the Ark was a physical representation of God’s presence and an important part of their worship.

And while David had consulted with his men about whether or not to bring the Ark of the Covenant back, he failed to consult God’s instructions on how it should be done.

When the Philistines had attempted to return the ark to Israel, they had hitched two cows up to a cart and drove it over, so David hitched oxen to a cart, placed the Ark on the cart and began to drive it into the city.

David and all of Israel danced and sang “with all their might”; playing their stringed instruments, tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets…

It was a great time of worship before God – as they accompanied the physical representation of God’s presence back to their city.

You would think that God would have been pleased, and perhaps overlooked the minor flaw in how the Ark was being transported.

But the unthinkable happened. The oxen stumbled, the cart was tilted, and in fear that the Ark would be damaged, Uzza put out his hand to steady the Ark – violating yet another command of God to never touch the Ark, and was killed instantly.

David was angry with God. He was disillusioned by God’s response to Uzza.

God should have been so pleased with their efforts to return the Ark to it’s rightful place. Why couldn’t he have just overlooked their ignorance?

David abandoned the project, left the Ark at the house of Obed-Edom where it brought great blessing to that family, until it was later successfully brought to Jerusalem in the way God had commanded Moses when the Law was written.

If there is anything I have learned while reading the Bible, it is that while God may leave a lot of things to our discretion, there are times when he is very specific and in those times he expects us to follow his instructions carefully.

When God gave Moses the instructions for the Tabernacle and building the Ark, he specifically laid out how the Ark was supposed to be transported.

Rings were built onto the Ark in which poles were threaded that were to rest on the shoulders of the Levites, who were to be the ones to carry the Ark.

The manner in which the Ark was transported showed the level of respect that they had for God’s presence.

The Philistines were ignorant. They didn’t have God’s Law and so they transported the Ark the only way they knew how. They weren’t even sure that God’s presence was with the Ark.

But the Israelites knew better.

They had the Law of God, they knew God’s presence was with the Ark, which is why they wanted to bring it back to Jerusalem in the first place, but instead of researching God’s instructions and following them, they just copied what the pagans did.

And there were grave consequences.

Dear sisters, God cares about how we worship him.

We don’t worship God in our own way. All throughout the Bible, God has told us how he wants us to worship him.

The book of Psalms is filled with instructions on how to worship.

We are commanded to play our instruments, sing, lift up holy hands, clap our hands, kneel in reverence, and even dance before the Lord.

In Hebrews 10:25, we are commanded to not abandon the practice of gathering together.

Throughout the first five books of the Bible, we read repeated warnings to not worship God the way the pagan nations worship their gods.

Sadly, in our churches today we see too much of the world’s influence in our worship: making man the center focus of our worship and exalting him as a figurehead.

Some churches even promote eastern religious practices such as mindfulness, meditation, and yoga.

And while these things may not result in immediate physical death, like in Uzza’s case in 1 Chronicles 13, it does result in spiritual dullness because we cannot ignore God’s commands and not suffer the consequence.

Just as it was the case in David’s day, we are without excuse when it comes to fulfilling God’s commands.

His word is more available to us now than ever before in history. It is free on our devices in more translations than most of us are aware.

Reading plans to help keep us accountable are available everywhere, from church websites to blogs and

Commentaries on the Word and other tools such as concordances and dictionaries for deeper study are available for free online.

We have every available tool to help us in biblical and theological literacy, so that we are without excuse when it comes to understanding what God expects of us and our worship.

Dear sister, the answer is no – we should not worship God our own way.

God has clearly prescribed through his Word how he expects to be worshiped, and he did not leave this part of our Christian walk to our own discretion or desire.

The story of David in 1 Chronicles 13 is a clear example of how seriously God takes our worship.

A Little More About Good Morning Girls and My Groups

Good Morning Girls is an online Bible study for women. Began by Courtney Joseph in her church, she took the Bible study to the Internet in 2009 and invited ladies all over America to join her in keeping each other accountable to their daily time with the Lord.

Little did she know that this Bible study would extend beyond the borders of America to literally every region of the world!!

In 2014 I joined Courtney, together with my dear friends Misty, Mandy and Bridget, in helping to lead Good Morning Girls. It has been an amazing journey as we’ve watched Good Morning Girls not only grow beyond what we could have dreamed or imagine, but we’ve had the amazing honor to see women’s lives changed by daily digging into God’s Word!

Good Morning Girls is a simple study – we simply read the Bible.

We believe that there is power in the Word of God and the Word of God alone can defeat the enemy. So we read one chapter a day 5 days a week. And we will continue this method until we’ve read through the entire Bible!!

All the materials are free and are available at Women Living Well!

In the summer of 2012 I opened the very first Good Morning Girls group in Croatia.

12 women, all members of my church.

I had no idea where it would lead. But by the following summer it exploded to cover the countries of Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia.

You can read the story here

How to join us

If you’d like more information about Good Morning Girls Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, you can find our blog here, follow us on Facebook. Learn about our leaders and join one of their groups here.

In 2017, my dear friend Mary and I opened up our first International study group in English. You can find us at:

Good Morning Girls in the Word on Facebook
GMG in the Word on Whatsapp
Good Morning Girls in the Word on Telegram
Or join the email group at [email protected]

Here are the posts for this study in 1 Chronicles:

How the Prayer of Jabez Changes Our Identity

Should We Worship God In Our Own Way?

Who Are Your Giants?

Stop Living in Your Defeat

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