"Come, now is the time to worship.
Come, now is the time to give your heart.
Come, just as you are to worship.
Come, just as you are before your God.
Some people interpret this to mean that you can show up for worship in your shorts and flip flops - you know, just as you are when you were out mowing the lawn.
This is bad theology. Our great, holy God deserves and requires our best in worship. If you look at the Old Testament worship the singers were paid like the priests were so they could devote themselves to worship and preparing to lead in worship. They washed themselves and put on clean clothes before they entered the temple to show that they were coming before God with pure and clean hearts.
What "come as you are" means is that you don't have to be sinless and "good enough" to come to God. He takes us as we are then makes us "new creations." 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Many people use the excuse "I can't come to church, you don't know what all I have done" or "I'm not good enough." This is exactly what this song is speaking about. Don't use not being ready or good or smart or holy or whatever as an excuse. Come as you are to worship. God is the one who will change you and make you into the person you need to be.
What this doesn't mean is that you show up to Sunday morning worship with a cup of coffee and the morning paper in your bathrobe and house shoes. The God of the universe, the great I AM deserves better from you.
Does this mean you need to show up in a three piece suit and a $100 silk tie every week? I don't think so. What would you wear to see the President of the United States? You might be a little more casual if he were a personal friend, but you still wouldn't present yourself at the White House in ratty jeans and a holey t-shirt. The attitude of the heart is what is important, but the attitude of the heart is often reflected in outward appearance. Only you and God can judge your heart, but our casual, try to be sloppier than your neighbor culture shouldn't carry over into sloppy flipant attitudes in worship.
I'm not going to tell you how you should present yourself before God when you come to Him in a corporate worship service. I think if you are honest with yourself and with God you'll know. Obviously there is considerable more that could be - and perhaps should be said about this, but I like to get my readers started thinking and let them sort through things themselves. I'd be interested in your comments.
My original thought for this post was to list Sunday's order of worship for you. So, here it is.
September 27, 2009 AM
Come, Now Is the Time to Worship
Crown Him with Many Crowns
Fellowship song – Your Grace Is Enough
Choir – My Offering
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Made Me Glad
Special Music – Shannon Jones
Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson
Invitation – Change My Heart, O God
Baptism – (9:45)
Closing & Announcements – Bro. Tony Lewis