[This is part of the Experiencing Remarkable Worship devotional series]
The word “steps” in the title may have caused you to pause. God is God. He’s not a formula or a machine that runs as programmed. I can’t put Him in a box. However, a profusion of factors can either help or hinder our times of worship. We need to always be thriving in worship!
Have you ever assessed a time of worship in church (or somewhere) and thought it was boring? Not exciting? Unfulfilling?
It doesn’t have to be that way!
I’ve experienced God’s face during times of worship; words fail to describe. I’ve also experienced His hand. He has spoken to my heart, given revelation, changed me, filled me, poured out His love, and plenty more.A profusion of factors can either help or hinder our times of worship. We need to always be thriving in worship!
Thriving in Worship Through These Five Steps
Today I would like to touch on some ways to walk out of a time of worship knowing that we eradicated hindrances within our control. Through them we can begin thriving in worship.
1 – Be punctual. Strike that. Be early. I am working hard on this one; I have to start preparing the day prior. It takes a moment to clear our heads to focus on the Lord after racing into the church, and it will be more difficult to do that if we are wondering if we shut the garage, brought the sippy cup, and turned off our vehicle’s headlights. Don’t ask me how I know this.
2 – Avoid distractions. The devil likes to illuminate petty distractions, but we don’t have to let him. We could simply close our eyes and focus our hearts on God. The fashion fail of the person near us really is less interesting. Also, I’m privileged to stand on the stage every week and help lead worship. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen an individual singing his heart out, eyes closed, hands raised, when suddenly his shoulder is tapped by a latecomer that interrupted his connecting with God in worship to hold a conversation. Whatever it is, it could probably wait.
3 – Drop the burdens. When we come, we might have burdens in our hands. But it’s difficult to worship while carrying them. We can’t lift our hands easily because of the weight of them. He says that we can have an exchange. He takes the burdens, and we receive mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:16). We can “put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3) in an act of faith. Burdens are for mules, anyway.
4 – Participate. He doesn’t need our praise. He is still clothed in glory and spender whether we worship Him or not. But He has said to worship Him and Him only. By obeying that command we acknowledge that we know that He is the great I AM. (Want to know how? I covered 5 biblical ways to bring worship in a recent post of this series.)
5 – Forgive. What if we feel hurt by someone? Or even God? Wounded hearts tends to recoil against the person who hurt them. Forgiving that person is an act of obedience to God that opens the door for our heart to be healed. If we think God hurt us, then somewhere we’ve been tricked by the enemy. God is love and love doesn’t injure others.
So what do I do now?
Let’s put thriving in worship into action!
- Read. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven. Psalm 148:13 ESV
- Reflect. Is what I’m doing before or during the worship service causing God’s name to be exalted?
- Pray. Lord, help me get worship-service-ready. Help me magnify Your name above all the things of this earth, even the necessary ones. I chose to get in place, avoid distractions, drop burdens, and praise You.
- Worship. Let’s lift up the name of the Lord!
What if, after all these “steps” God still feels far away? We’ll talk about that in the next (and final) post of this series.
How else can we thrive in worship to God?
*This post might be linked up.
Don’t miss the other great posts in the Experiencing Remarkable Worship Series:
- Experiencing Remarkable Worship
- Who Do We Worship?
- 4 Reasons I Will Worship God
- When You Worship
- Worship: God Likes Noise and Demonstration
- Worship Where You Are
- 5 Steps to Thriving in Worship
- When God Feels Far Away While Worshipping