May you be strengthened in your faith unto God, and be powerful witnesses filled with His compassion!
Revelation 12:11 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."
Something recently happened during our time on Sunday service. The question of whether or not we can have food during worship came up. Even though I do think that it would be good to not eat during worship, we should also not deduct it as a sin automatically if someone does eat during worship. It is our natural expression to not eat during worship because we want to honor God; however, we also know that worship goes beyond the form of worship, which is playing instruments and singing. If worship is just about the form of worship (playing instruments or singing), then we shouldn't be eating in our lives in general. We know that is just crazy because man does not live by bread ALONE. Coming back to the simplicity of the faith in God, I believe He spoke to me saying that we cannot make the fruits the new law.
For example, within the first Great Awakening, many people encountered the weighty presence of God. Their expression/fruit/form looked like bowing down in reverential awe of God. No one was dancing around because JESUS WAS IN THE HOUSE. No one really would make much noises because they are encountering King Jesus. What became an awesome natural expression of their fruits of worship slowly became the new law of worshiping God. It's not just geared toward the churches within the Great Awakening but I think this is applicable to the whole Church. So the new standard of worshiping God looked like how they worshiped God and anything outside of that, including dancing and making joyful noises unto God, seen as a disrespect/dishonor - which is synonymous with sin - toward God. The Church in our generation, I believe, is in the midst of the next Great Awakening and we are encountering the revelation that God is the Bridegroom and also He is our Father. Some of our natural expressions of worship now looks like dancing and being in the freedom of loving on our Father in many times with a smile. haha.
I think that if we want to be able to discern the move of God from one generation to the next, we need to come back to the simplicity of the Gospel and the foundation of our faith. Love God, and love one another as we love ourselves. We cannot make the fruits the new laws nor add upon the law what is not sin. If anything, we need to check our hearts if we do respond in condemnation and self-righteousness to those who do things that are outside of our norms of expressing our love toward God.
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation." For another example, back then in the Old Testament, circumcision was a way of expressing of what was going on in the hearts of men and also God. It was to show that we are set apart in our worship toward God, and it was a sign that God will multiply them exceedingly because of their faith in God. That was the same reason that Paul states to the Church in that time that it wasn't so much about the form of their expression of what was going on in the heart, but the new creation of the heart. So, that's why the men in the church today don't have to circumcise when they come to God. Thank God! But I do know an older man that did it a few years ago because he wanted to show his devotion to God. "So Tammy, are you saying that eating can be a form of worship?" Yes. I have a friend I used to share a hotel-room with for a short time that had a difficult time in eating, but she can eat easily when JESUS IS IN THE HOUSE! Eating to her became the way of placing her faith in God to help her swallow her food. What kind of stewards would we be if we come up to her and JUST say, "Don't eat in this place," without asking why? We no longer become good stewards of a healthy church-community that allows other to grow in their faith in God, but we become a hindrance and a stumbling block.
I think there is a way to help understand each other better, and learn how to love one another in this diversity of the forms of worship. There are times where people are just plainly rude toward everyone, but we don't want to assume things too quickly either. I think a good way is to ask the person in a loving way why they're eating, dancing, painting, smiling, and other forms. Then we can go from there. If there needs to be the words of correction, then address it in love. If we just place the rule up without addressing the "why," we won't have an opportunity to address the root of the heart and help each other grow in faith. Coming back to the simplicity of your faith in God, let it be natural to the way you express your love and devotion to Him, remember to love one another in the process, and do not condemn others if theirs is different but embrace the diversity of the forms of worship.