Leave your problems at the door.
It was a saying I heard a lot growing up in worship/church settings. We were encouraged to set down our issues before approaching our Heavenly Father. It was meant to be encouraging I think, letting people know that joy can be found in the presence of our Father and we don’t have to stay stuck in whatever negative thing has consumed our week up to that point, but that isn’t always what happens. In my opinion, it creates this image of a God who doesn’t want to be bothered with our problems. Who doesn’t want to know our brokenness. Who doesn’t want relationship with His children, just their worship and praise. It took me years to realize this wasn’t the truth about our God, and my heart breaks knowing that this image of a hands-off Father is something many people share.
Who is our God, then, if this isn’t the truth?
The best way to know the character of God is through His word. So what does the Bible say about what God desires from us in our worship?
“Let ALL THAT I AM wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times, POUR OUT YOUR HEART TO HIM, for God is our refuge.”
God wants us to bring everything that we have and all that we are straight to His feet. When we come in and are transparent and honest with God is when we are able to find freedom from the sin and brokenness that has held us captive. Something that may have looked way too big and hard becomes so much less when we bring it to His feet and just praise Him. This is the desire of the Father’s heart.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
While this is specifically talking about prayer, prayer is a huge part of our worship. Worshiping through song is literally prayer put to a tune, so singing out your own song and just talking to God in a time of worship is encouraged. The passage goes on to talk about how, through the act of surrendering our hearts to the Lord, we experience His peace, the greatest thing we can experience as His children, and that will in turn guard our hearts and minds and guide us in a life more reflective of His.
“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weakness, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
What a beautiful image! Nothing else needs to be said about this. We come boldly to the throne, not shamefully hiding our sin. Christ has made it so we can come to the throne and every time be greeted with mercy and love. We will find grace and guidance on how to keep moving forward in holiness and wholeness.
There are many other passages in scripture to encourage intimate relationship and worship with our Father, and I’ll list a couple more to look up on your own time below. But I really just wanted to touch on the subject and put out there that you don’t have to “leave your problems at the door”.
This isn’t the “easy route”
It’s easier to leave your problems outside to be happy for a little bit and pretend like everything is okay. Bringing things into the room gets messy. You have to be vulnerable and allow yourself to be broken. But when you do, there’s allowance for something absolutely beautiful to happen. Healing and love enter in. The Holy Spirit comes in and transforms your heart and fills you with strength and assurance.
God desires genuine, intimate, relationship with you. And we can’t experience that by only giving God the highlight reel. So bring it all in the room. Lay it at His feet. And witness your God bring healing and be glorified. Let His love filter into that brokenness and make you whole again.
Passages on this topic:
1 Timothy 2:8
1 Peter 5:6-7