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.
As I sat at the red light, a pick-up pulled up beside me in the other lane. The window was rolled down, and the driver rested his arm lazily on the door ledge. A chihuahua fur baby sat perched in the crook of the driver’s arm, yapping with all its tiny might at the pickup in front of me.
Slightly Obsessed #215: Sunday School Had It Right
A Ugandan friend once told us that growing up in Sunday school, he quickly learned how to answer the Bible questions in class. “The right answer,” he said with a smile, “is always, ‘Jesus.’" As a child, no matter what question was posed in class, he always answered, “Jesus.”
Slightly Obsessed #214: Friendly Fire
In 1788, the Austrian army turned on itself and decimated its own ranks, allowing its enemy to walk in and take the city. Are we allowing the same thing to happen on the spiritual battlefield?
Slightly Obsessed #213: God of the Mountains
While life is so uncertain, one thing is: God loves us so much, and He will never abandon us. No matter what happens in the coming days, months, or years, God is in control. And He will give us the strength to overcome any trial that comes our way.
Jordan For Jesus #039: Find the GOLD in People
Find the GOLD in people. If you only see fault, error, wrongs, sins, and what is bad, in people, then you have no time to love them. You cannot judge people and love people, at the same time, which is why the Word of God instructs us to look for what is good in people. When we look for the good, in people, we are choosing to see people through the eyes of God.
Slightly Obsessed #212: Believe
Sometimes it feels like just getting out of bed sets us up for defeat. But we shouldn’t be surprised. God clued us in thousands of years ago in the book of Job when He warned us that we are born for trouble as surely as sparks from a fire will fly up into the sky.