The Response

The music is playing, everyone around you has their hands lifted, but you don’t feel anything! Is there anything more frustrating than sitting in the middle of a worship service and finding it so hard to enter in? I know I’ve been there, everyone seems to be riding some amazing wave of worship and I somehow missed it. We think, “there must be something wrong with me.”

It’s not that we don’t love Jesus or desire to worship Him, but sometimes we struggle to enter in. It’s ok, you can be honest about it today. There are mornings when we go to pray and we feel as though our prayers are hitting the ceiling and falling to the ground. I don’t have the magic fix or solution to make you always feel connected to God’s presence all the time, but there are some changes in our thinking that, if we can adopt, will help.

We must remember worship is never about ourselves. It is not about our feelings. It doesn’t matter if we feel connected to God or not. Worship is always a response to who God is. Always. If our worship is coming from any source other than a response to God Himself, then we’ve had a misfire.

When we realize worship is a response and cannot be conjured from some emotional state then we understand that our emotions are not a necessary component for worship. Yes, we can worship even when we’re not feeling it.

I am hugely inspired by Psalm 77. In this Psalm Asaph writes from a place of great pain and frustration. I don’t know all the historical context or the specifics of his situation, but I can absolutely relate to the frustration and feelings of abandonment that he is experiencing.

Psalm 77:1-2 (NLT) I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted.

This man is desperately seeking the Lord. He is pursuing with a passion that many times we do not possess. When was the last time you were so desperate for a touch from God that you prayed through the night, refusing to relent until you received?

He is praying, but he’s not receiving his answer, and he is dealing with some very real doubts, the kind you and I wouldn’t dare to voice.

Psalm 77:7-9 (NLT) Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me? Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion?

He is about ready to give up. There has no worship left inside of him. He has lost hope, but then he does something amazing.

Psalm 77:10-13 (NLT) And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.”  But then I recall all you have done, O LordI remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you?

He begins to remember who God is and the mighty things He has done! He begins to recount the story of God rescuing His people from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. As he dwells on God’s mighty works, all of a sudden worship springs forth from his song “your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you?”

This is something we can absolutely replicate. Instead of letting our mind build frustration due to a lack of an emotional response, let your thoughts dwell on the Lord and the victories He has brought you in your own life, or your friends and family. This is one reason why it is good to have a journal so you can look back at spiritual victories and begin to worship.

One of my favorite worship songs is “Great Are You Lord by All Sons and Daughters, it proclaims to the Lord, “It’s Your breath in my lungs, so I pour out my praise.”

When we struggle to come up with a reason to praise let us remember we have breath in our lungs. God breathed His Spirit into us! He is our very source of life!

Let us worship Him today, for He is good!

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