Matt Redman has a classic song called “The Heart of Worship”. The song came to be one day when the church was going through spiritual apathy.
“There was a dynamic missing, so the pastor did a pretty brave thing, He decided to get rid of the sound system and band for a season, and we gathered together with just our voices. His point was that we’d lost our way in worship, and the way to get back to the heart would be to strip everything away.” says Redman
The lyrics to the song, written right after that, really express what was going on there.
“When the music fades, all is stripped away, and I simply come / Longing just to bring something that’s of worth that will bless your heart… / I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about You, Jesus”
Understanding the context of which the song was written adds to our own worship experience while singing it.
Many churches are very music focused, which is fine, but we can be going through the motions of worship and miss God. Worship tends to be about what we are getting. A very selfish type of worship. Did we get a good feeling from the service this week? Was it loud enough or soft enough? Did I get warm and tingly? When worship is focused inward we end up missing the true focus, “It’s all about you Jesus”.
I think we can almost become “feeling junkies”. We are always looking to duplicate that special feeling we had during a service or song. We tend to scale how good worship was based on how good we felt and if it matched up with other times.
We come to worship Him because He is worthy of our praise, because He deserves our honor. We are not worthy, yet He gave us life and we need to come before Him with thankful hearts.
There are times when we will worship and feel nothing. Times when we don’t even feel like worshiping. In the Bible, Paul most likely went through this daily while being stoned, beaten, mocked, and jailed. I found it interesting though that even through all of that he till made it a priority to worship. He was not looking for a feeling. He was just communicating with his King.
When I was in retail management I used to tell people to leave their problems at the door so when they came into work their attitude didn’t affect their ability to do their job. I suggest that we leave our problems at the altar. Lay them at the cross and meditate on the grace of God. Sometimes our problem is life. Sometimes it is our lack of expectation. And other times it is us expecting too much.
I’ll leave you with my favorite Mark Batterson quote:
“Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with Him.”