State of Play #003 "Emotionally Involved" (Part 3) by Andrew Funderburk on 2015-02-13 10:19:40
For the past two weeks, I brought to our attention the way that modern worship can be more about stirring up an emotional response, rather than maintaining a focus on God. Granted, God can stir up an emotional response to Him during our times of worship; however, we must keep in mind that during worship we are directing our focus towards God, not on ourselves. Our posture should be surrender towards Him. With what I’ve said, I also believe that if an issue is presented, much of the time an answer or some sort of solution needs to be provided as well. In presenting an issue for the past two weeks, although not an exhaustive or end-all list, I would like to offer some practical ways as to our response in worship.
Surrender and Thanks: When we come into worship, many times we might be dealing with physical or emotional pain, loss of a loved one, struggles with sin, issues with our family or friends, and the list can go on for a while. It can be difficult to sit/stand during a time of worship and even try to focus. Despite the difficulty, I find that sometimes just sitting and saying, “God, I surrender this to You,” is a great first step in enabling my mind to focus on God. In doing that it helps me to move forward to know God’s heart for the situation I may be in. Also, giving God thanks for who He is in the midst of trouble can set perspective in worship.
Read the Word: Other times during worship, I feel that God is leading me to sit down and read the Word. By reading His Word, we come to know His character more. We grow to know His heart more, and in that we grow to love Him more and desire to worship Him more.
Journaling: While reading the Word, oftentimes I like to write down what I’m reading. Meditating on the Word in an atmosphere of worship can hone us in on things we may never have discovered before in Scripture. While journaling, God can also bring prayers to mind or speak to you while you’re writing through specific words or impressions.
Sitting in silence: Because of our culture’s business, it can be easy to even be distracted during worship. I find that sometimes just sitting down and closing my eyes to hone in on the song being sung can be helpful in focusing my attention on God. Other times I’m sitting not even thinking about the song, instead I am training my mind to be silent before God. It’s in times of silence that we can hear His voice much clearer than we might normally can.
In ending, please remember this is not an exhaustive list, nor is it a magical go-to cure in all situations. I hope though that it does equip you to better engage with God and possibly find a personal venue at times to connect in the way God ministers to you during worship.
Slightly Obsessed #192: Heaven Is Calling: Consider Jesus
Some days we can barely hear it. Other days it drives us to our knees. But it’s always there; that persistent tug in our souls. Whether we trudge through our days or chase the stars of fame and fortune, we can’t drown out the cry that sounds silently in the pit of our being, jarring us with its urgency and moving us with its tears.
No matter what you may be going through in life, I want you to know that God's grace is sufficient for you. You may have messed up, you may have failed, you may have gone the wrong direction, you may have gossiped, or much worse, but God wants you to know that it does not define who you are. He does. He and His grace is much more powerful than anything you might have said or done. Grace always shocks. It always amazes, and it always stuns. Grace is what we all need. It's what everyone groping around lost in the darkness needs to know.
Slightly Obsessed #191: You Can Give Others the Gift of Courage
My father lay propped up in the hospital bed, his face ashen against the white sheets. My step-mother and I huddled around him in the cramped space of the progressive care unit in which he was recuperating. He had suffered three heart attacks in the space of one month. None of us had gotten much sleep in the last few days. So far, we had seen little of either the hospitalist in charge of his care or the cardiologist on staff.
Slightly Obsessed #190: A Warbird’s Lesson
On a recent hot July day, we took in an air show in our town. Vintage planes, including a couple of impressive old warbirds, sat majestically on the tarmac for inspection as we darted from wing to wing to find relief from the withering heat.
These planes are still operable, so although some of them were open for people to walk through, the cockpits were off-limits for obvious reasons. No one wanted a tragedy to happen because an unauthorized person tampered with the controls. People who don’t know what they’re doing shouldn’t be in control.
Slightly Obsessed #189: The Calling
The sound must have been a maddening echo that haunted him at first, tormented by the rooster’s crow that mocked his empty proclamation of loyalty. For three days, his faith lay in the grave with the Savior’s body, darkened by the memory of his public desertion.
Slightly Obsessed #188: Freedom
He was shouting “Freedom” as he plowed his car at twenty-one miles an hour into the granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments.
A video posted on the suspect’s Facebook page depicted the man in his car facing the monument as a women’s voice, presumably on a car radio, asked, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?”
Release Date: July 28, 2017 Reviewer: Andrew Funderburk Rating: 4 stars
MUSIC VIDEO NF - Outro
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