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.
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.
Slightly Obsessed #211: Can a Worm Fly?
Darkness is God’s secret place, where He fashions a new creation away from the prying eyes of His enemies. In the chrysalis of the closet, He plans and weaves and forms His beloved into something that will burst forth with joy at the proper season.
Slightly Obsessed #210: Arise
A few short moments taken to restore a woman to health had kept Jesus from the bedside of a girl who lay dying. Messengers arrived with the news that Jairus’ little daughter was dead, striking fear in his heart as they destroyed the hope to which he clung.
Slightly Obsessed #209: Look Up
An ancient king faced certain destruction as enemy warriors amassed before him in a surprise attack. His response is our answer for the trials that threaten to destroy us today.
Slightly Obsessed #208: Scorched by Trial
In the gray dawn of another day, I am spent. I can pray no more. There are no more words I can say, no entreaty with which to reach my Master. As the night shadows fade before the rising sun, I open my Bible. In the space between darkness and light, I need to hear His voice.