Baal’s ministers had a banging, lively, and energetic worship service with many at the altar. Elijah had a watered down worship service. Don’t confuse energy with Fire (1).
Every week millions of houses of worship across the globe engage in praise and worship services on varying days. Some will engage in varying traditional Byzantine and Gregorian chants. Some will sing lightly, hymns of worship. Others will shout to the tops of their lungs in varying genres of traditional and contemporary Christian and Gospel melodies and harmonies.
In addition to the genres of praise and worship music across houses of worship, there will be just as many styles and genres of delivery for sermons, messages, and scripture presentations for congregants across the globe – from the lecturer, to the academic; from the practical presenter, to the charismatic. There is no lack of style, brand, or genre for parishioners to pursue, shop for, and to consume.
The challenge is discerning what is entertainment verses what is genuine worship. There are many people that are great entertainers. They are great at drawing a crowd. They are great at moving onlookers to emotional ecstasy.
Yet, there are those worshipers who are not moved by the ebb and flow of musical methods or pulpit presentation styles. They simply are interested in the word and how they can live out what is being preached, taught, or presented. They are worshiping God in their hearts and because they do not generate the desired response they are presumed to not be serious about their worship (2).
Baal’s ministers had everything and the energy they needed to have a great service and they did. They had people at the altar and there was a great outcry. However, there was no fire. There was no move of God. There was only sacrifice. Elijah watered everything down, had little to no response by onlookers, and Fire from Heaven changed the entire service.
- 1 Kings 18:20-40
- 1 Samuel 1:12