Posts Tagged ‘Praise’

I recently came out of a Sunday service feeling as though my soul had not been moved by anything put out during the service.  And it wasn’t the first time that I had felt that way, more like the 4th or 5th time straight.  The songs weren’t doing it, the prayers weren’t uplifting, and the message from the pastor seemed convoluted and all over the place, leaving me with more questions than answers, more doubt than inspiration.  I wondered to myself what’s really going on because service just did not feel the same way as it had in the past, and I do not like feeling as though I’m not getting filled when I go to church.

As I thought about the topic I wrote previously on in “What’s My Motivation,” I pondered if my worship was consistent, that I was in worship to God out of love and not out of habit or ritual, especially considering that things at my church have changed slightly, but not enough to say that the ritualism and traditionalism has shifted completely.  Still confused, God sent my brother and sister over to the crib to help me flesh this out.  And what God showed me humbled me so much that I wished I could take back everything I had thought about prior to the conversation we had, because I realized just how selfish I was.

God revealed to us that when I’m in a period of stagnation (where nothing good nor bad is happening, and worship to God APPEARS futile), it is not an opportunity to go searching for the next big FIX, that next big HIGH, or that next big, dare I say it, SPIRITUAL ORGASM in which I feel so alive in God.  Because when I go in search of a fix, I’m saying to God that my relationship with Him is not good enough or satisfying enough to wait on Him to move in my life and give me what I need and desire when the time is appropriate.  Every time I’ve hit a period of stagnation, I’ve always tried to cut and run to the next church, or the next choir, or the next thing, in search of a spiritual high that I should be able to have despite where I am, especially in a period of stagnation, where I have the opportunity to store up praises and thanksgiving to God in preparation for the eventual trial or trials to come.

But more importantly, while I’m in a period of stagnation, God revealed to me that OTHERS are in periods of spiritual highs, ah-ha’s, and inspiration all around me.  And as I considered this, I realized that while I wasn’t necessarily feeling the message or the worship service every now and then, other people in the church WERE.  They got the message they were supposed to receive, they got the miracle they needed from a song that was sung, and they got the inspiration they needed to move forward in God and in life.  So although the message wasn’t for me, or the song wasn’t for me, someone in the service got the message.  Someone got the inspiration from the songs and the prayers.  And because we are ONE BODY (1 Corinthians 12), when one person rejoices, all should rejoice.  Because we are ONE BODY, when one is inspired, all should be inspired.  Because we are ONE BODY, when one feels the move of the spirit, all should feel moved by the spirit, if nothing more than just because that person, who is part of the Body of Christ, felt the spirit.

I realized that I have been so selfish, saying that God must have not been in this place, or God is trying to shift and people aren’t getting it, or that change needs to happen or people need to get out of the way.  I realized that instead of having a selfish attitude, I need to be there to rejoice with those who are where they are in God, for that is the sign of spiritual maturity:  the ability to recognize where I am in God and where others are in God, and not judge them for where they are, but instead encourage us all to build upon where we are in God together.  Furthermore, I need to be patient enough to wait on others to see what God has shown me so that we can worship on the same level together, if that is God’s will.  Until then, I must be willing to worship with others, even when I can’t feel what they are feeling.  For as my siblings said to me, “It might just not be my Sunday to feel it.  It doesn’t mean I won’t feel moved the next Sunday.”

😀

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(I lost the first iteration of this thought, so I can only hope that it comes out the way God intended it to the second time around.  Maybe this is a sign…?)

I often think about why I worship God less diligently when times are going well in my life.  I would expect my worship to God to be better when I’m not going through, because I’m so HAPPY that I’m not going through anything, thereby doling out public displays of affection to my God because I’m not going through tough times.  However, I’ve discovered that when times are not hard, my worship to God is not as authentic and bold as it is when I’m going through something.

In pondering this, God asked me a question:  “Why do you worship me?  What is your motivation to worshiping me?”  And I realized that most of the time, when I’m worshiping God, my motivation for worshiping Him, though it ought not be, is linked to my current situation.  And I’m worshiping God so that I can escape the jaws of my enemy, deliverance from myself, or assistance with a project.  Once I’ve come out of that situation, my motivation for worshiping God no longer exists, and thereby my worship to God lessens.  If my worship is linked to achieving one task, and not from pure love and devotion to God, once it is complete, the motivation is lost, and my worship to God either wanes, dwindles, or just outright disappears.

I’ve seen this far too often in the Scriptures, when the Israelites would worship idol gods when times were good, or how Samson fell for Delilah’s snares when times were good, or when Solomon married all those women and eventually worshiped other gods AFTER building the temple for God.  It seems that I’m worshiping God hard, like my life depends on it (which it does), when I’m going through something.  But after I’m delivered, or the task is complete, my worship to God dissipates, as if worshiping God is over.  I get now why Paul’s thorns were not taken away, because God realizes that without the thorns, I might just stop worshiping God altogether.  My motivation, then, for worship should not be dicated by situations, which change like the weather.  My motivation should be the fact that I love a God who, despite my flaws and shortcomings, loved me enough to send His Son to die in my place so that I could be called a Child of God.

My motivation should be like Joseph’s, who despite being placed in the pit, sold into slavery, wrongfully accused and placed in prison, and altogether forgotten about, consistenly worshiped and praised God.  It should be like Job’s, who despite losing just about everything, consistenly worshiped God, knowing that God “gives and takes away.”  My motivation should be like Christ’s, who despite the trials and tribulations of being chosen, used His love for God and His Will to place Himself on the Cross.  I should love God and worship Him, whether it’s sunny and 73°, or pouring rain and flooding the streets.  I should worship God “through the good and the bad…whether happy or sad…in all that I go through, because praise is what I do, because I owe it all to [Him].”