E X P R E S S I O N S:
L I V E S F U L L O F W O R S H I P
Whether you are a believer or not, worship is an innate part of the human DNA, one of the most natural responses we can have. We worship everything from our our jobs and money, to our relationships or the Lord. For this series, various members of the worship team will be discussing what it looks like to live dedicated to worshiping God in our every day lives.
Before we are even born, we are designed with some kind of talent or gift.
For me, my gift was music, and by the time I was seven, I started to learn how to play guitar, already becoming responsible for giving that talent back to God. Although I didn’t know much about worship, I knew when I was at church and watching the worship leaders on stage, that I was meant to be up there. I would tell my parents and others of the church, “That’s going to be me up there someday.” God planted the innate desire in my heart for worship at a young age, and by the time I was in seventh grade, I was playing bass for the Sunday morning worship team and leading worship for my youth group with just my acoustic guitar and another vocalist.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. // 1 Peter 4:10
As a worship leader, I've learned that it’s my responsibility to be authentic in worship on and off the stage. When I’m leading a group of people into worship, they are trusting me to help lead them to a vulnerable place with the Lord, and as someone on a platform, I think it is imperative that we are authentic in the way that we worship because we are setting the atmosphere for the rest of the Body. In our day to day lives, we as leaders, should be authentic in ourselves, in our relationships with God, when we worship, when we serve others, and in the way that we carry ourselves throughout our day. Sometimes, I get recognized in public or at my job for being, "that girl that plays guitar at Crossroads,” and while, it’s nice and refreshing, it’s also a good reminder that we never know who’s around and who’s watching the examples we set.
Worship is the purest form of glorifying God. It's the most natural response a human can have.
When we worship, we are lifting up praises to the Father who has given us this beautiful life and magnifying the amazing sacrifice He made by allowing His Son to die for us. When we worship, we should be awestruck that we have the opportunity to sit in the Presence of our Savior, at the feet of Jesus, and praise Him for all that He's done and is doing for us. At the same time, however, we must recognize that worship is more than just a feeling.
The most common mistake Christians make in worship today is seeking an experience rather than seeking God. They look for a feeling, and if it happens, they conclude that they have worshiped. Wrong! In fact, God often removes our feelings so we won't depend on them. Seeking a feeling, even the feeling of closeness to Christ, is not worship. // Pastor Rick Warren
We should not be worshiping to chase some kind of feelings, instead, worship is about giving all we have and placing it at the feet of Jesus. It’s about making our Father feel feelings of happiness, peace, and goodness for all He’s done for us. Sometimes, worship is most effective when we push through our emotions and we urge ourselves to worship God when we really don’t feel like it.
Something changes in the atmosphere when we persevere, throw our faith out ahead of us and worship the Lord even when it doesn’t feel good or make sense.
It’s not about always feeling God’s presence, but lifting Him up in the places you need Him to be present in your life. As Christians, it is our job to walk in the church and leave our brokenness and insecurities at the altar, giving it all to Him. This is worship. "Even when when it hurts like hell, I’ll praise you.” Despite what's weighing on our shoulders when we walk into church or even when we are driving to work in our cars, God wants our hearts to be authentic, raw and vulnerable with Him. It's in that place of authenticity that we discover new layers of His love and encounter deep and total healing for our brokenness.
I worship simply because I love to give God glory for what he’s done in my life - He truly saved my life by bringing me back to His heart and getting me involved in the family of Crossroads. When I was baptized by Pastor Dave last year, it was the best day of my life and I haven’t looked back since. It’s moment like these we should try to remember before we dive into worship.
Being intentional to cultivate a heart of gratitude and remembering the goodness God has poured into our lives, automatically sets the tone of our hearts to worship out of an authentic place.
My prayer is that we will always engage in worship despite what our emotions may be telling us and that we will experience the wonder of God's presence when we praise Him with authenticity and vulnerability.