In the highs and lows of a pandemic, we stand as a defeated people at times- confused and at a loss for answers with what will happen next. Everyone has had to adjust in some way, especially in our churches and how we worship.
I don’t know about you, but my heart for worship desires so much more than just an online presentation. I yearn to be fully submersed in this culture of reverence and adoration to our Heavenly Father. Thinking about that last few years, my heart was challenged to go back and reflect on the true heart of worship and why our souls long to cry out in praise.
What is worship?
Worship is a deep desire to put Jesus above everything else in your life. It’s essentially a prayer in song form. It’s not an online performance but a part of who God created us to be. It’s engraved into every fiber of our being to cry out to the one who created us.
I miss hearing the voices of my brothers and sisters’ next to me in church, singing like a choir of thousands to Jesus. I have gotten lost while watching a screen, singing the lyrics half-heartedly and commenting on the poor sound quality of an online service. I have begun to lose the intimacy and connection of the sacred act of worship between me and my Jesus!
Cultivating a lifestyle of worship when corporate worship is taken away
Worship is beautiful. It’s a lifestyle that we shouldn’t have to wait until Sunday for. This has been especially true in the last couple years. I should be able to drop to my knees on a Monday afternoon whatever the circumstance, whether I’m praising Jesus for a new day or crying out when my life feels like it’s falling apart.
Worship is true thankfulness even when we feel like there’s nothing to be thankful for.
Gathering in the church for this kind of worship is powerful, like it says in Ecclesiastes 4:9 “two are better than one…” When we are joined together, we are uplifted and strengthened as the body of Christ.
However, when life is inconsistent, as life will be at times, I don’t want to wait around for a specific time and place to give praise to my Heavenly Father. We can cultivate an attitude of thankfulness and worship no matter our location. I want my first waking breath and the last thing I do before going to bed to be praise to my Jesus.
Because no matter my circumstance, God’s faithfulness and presence is always consistent, and He deserves nothing less of me. I want to worship in expectation of what he will do and praise him for what he has already done.
Worship no matter the circumstance
The Bible tells us in Acts 16:25-26, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.”
THIS is the kind of worship my heart desires!
I want the kind of praise that acknowledges no matter what situation I’m in or what this world throws at me, my God can break chains and prison doors WILL fly open! Whatever sickness or circumstance is thrown my way and whatever voices are the loudest in my head, my praises to my Jesus are so much louder!
Worship is the most selfless emotion. It leaves no room for self-focus because your gaze, heart, mind, and soul are enamored by Jesus. Our emotions are so enraptured by His beauty that we literally can’t hold back our need to lift our voices to the one who created us. If all of creation is prompted to worship, think of the depth and intimacy it creates for us with our Heavenly Father.
Psalm 42:2 says, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” We can meet him in worship; he is waiting with open arms!
Our circumstances don’t define who we were created to be and how we praise our Heavenly Father! Just because our church services may be more restricted or our gatherings may be less, our hearts are just as alive and free!
Reflect on where your heart for worship is at. Have you let this world and your circumstances define your heart for worship? I challenge you to dive deeper into what your worship life looks like. I know I need a daily reminder to let go of my self-focus and turn my eyes toward Jesus.
Turn your favorite worship music on with the volume at full capacity and praise! Praise without limitations. Worship in expectancy that the Lord is going to break chains and shake whatever circumstances are weighing you down right now.
At the end of the day, it’s you and Jesus, how are you choosing to worship?