Worship No Matter What
As I was driving back up to Illinois from Nashville this past weekend I began to put my thoughts together for today's post. As a worshiper and worship leader I have had my share of hard times as I know many of you have. Over the past few weeks I had really been thinking through what it means to worship through or during hard times, what that looks like, why it is important and how it benefits us. I had a clear direction on where I wanted to go with this post, the outline, the headlines.. I had it all figured out.
Well, I had it all figured out until my drive on Friday where I really started to let my mind go beyond my neat little outline and as one of my favorite songs came on I was hit with a question that shattered my whole thought process. Should there ever be a difference in how and why we worship? Is there a circumstance that should change whether or not I am worshiping?
You see up until this point I was really focusing on why it is important to worship when we are going through a rough season and what that looks like, but as I listened to the truth coming out of this song and I began to recall scripture telling me of the incredible things God has done for us, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with emotion as God began to speak to me.
As I continued to follow where God was taking this conversation He continued to throw more questions my way. At the heart of it all was one question that fueled my whole thought process. What do we really believe? As I listened to “As It Is (In Heaven) by Hillsong I was driven to this question and began to go deeper with it. For context I want to share the first verse and pre chorus of the song.
Whether now or then,
Death is not my end,
I know heaven waits for me.
Though the road seems long,
I'll never walk alone,
I've got all I need to sing.
I know you love me.
I know you found me.
I know you saved me and your grace will never fail me.
And while I'm waiting,
I'm not waiting,
I know heaven lives in me.
As I listened to this and began to think of other worship songs that we all sing I kept asking myself, “Do I really believe the words that I am singing?”
Taking it even further I asked, “Do I really believe what the Bible says and do I know Jesus is who He says He is?” If I do believe these truths, then there is only one possible response; Worship. And if we really believe what we read and what we sing when we worship or spend time in the word then it will change us.We have to go deeper and allow the songs we sing and the scripture we read to sink in and change our way of thinking.
As all of this was going on inside me another truth bomb came to me from the Spirit. What does any of this have to do with our circumstances? If we believe Jesus loves us, and gave himself up for us and we believe in amazing grace, how sweet the sound then why do I even consider circumstances in the equation?
Romans 8:31-39 came rushing to my mind and it hit me that there is literally nothing that can separate us from Christ's love but even more than that there is no circumstance that will ever exist that will change who God is and what He has done for us, nor should it change our response to those truths.
There is no amount of trial or hardship that could ever come on us that would be so bad that God's grace, love and mercy is not far greater than. The more I allowed myself to dwell on these thoughts, the more the idea of talking about worshiping through hard times seemed the wrong focus. I believe where God was leading me was to focus on the need to truly believe in Him and what He has done for us because if we do, then circumstances don't even matter.
Where Do We Go From Here
As I said before, I have had my share of hard times as I am sure you have as well. I don't think that we should make light of our hardships or not mourn and ignore those things. I don't believe that is a biblical response and there is a lot we can learn through those moments.
What I do believe is that there is a reality that because of what Christ has done for us, He deserves all of our hearts worship. This means that it does not matter what else is going on in our lives; Our worship shouldn't change because our circumstances do. We worship because of who He is and what He has done for us and nothing else should be allowed in the equation.
As a worship leader or even as a worshiper in the congregation there are times where we would rather be somewhere else and sometimes our minds are. After my car ride this weekend I came back to a situation that isn't always easy but these truths overwhelmed me and worship this Sunday blew me away. Not because of anything I did but because I was able to worship no matter what.
I believe God has stirred something in me through this subject that has already changed me and will continue to wreck me and I pray that you will go there with me. We were made to worship and I believe we are always worshiping something.
The question is what are we going to worship? There is so much more to this conversation than I can put in a blog post so I would encourage you to join in the conversation through comments or joining the People of Freedom network. I would love to hear your thoughts on this and continue to see what God will do with it.
Co-Host of People of Freedom