Engaging with God through Worship
We don't worship because we feel good and everything in life is perfect. We worship God because He is worthy of being worshiped.

Engaging with God through Worship

by Fia Curley
9/13/16 Christian Living

When the word worship is mentioned, an array of ideas can fill the mind. Some may envision lifted hands, loud music, smoke machines, and lights. Others may think of an upright piano or an organ, hymns, and a full choir. Given the diversity of cultures, our idea of how a worship experience can be expressed using music varies.

Rarely do we hear the word worship and think of sacrificing our desires, relinquishing the answers to our prayers, or even killing the future success we worked so hard to achieve. And yet, when we review the lives of Abraham, Jesus, or Jonah, we see these servants of God Almighty do just that, trade in the possibilities of what they could have, attain, or achieve, for the greater desire of pleasing their Heavenly Father.

We often think of the expressions worship can take instead of what it actually is, the conforming of our will to God’s will, our agreement with God.

That’s why Abraham was able to pack his belongings and lead his son and his servants on a journey and say, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5).

When we outwardly express the inward conforming of our will, we choose words of surrender, submission, and agreement. We lift our hands and declare truth to be greater than the brokenness of our own souls, the disappointing actions of loved ones, the hurtful statements from those we’ve trusted, or the injustices filling everyday life.

This is not easy, especially in a world in which the impact of sin is evident on a daily basis in the form of hatred, lies, and violence.

But the truth remains: God is greater.

In a world marked by war, famine, injustice, and fear, He is great and greatly to be praised.

We don’t worship because we feel good and everything in life is perfect. We worship God because He is worthy of being worshiped.

Engaging Practically in Times of Worship

In atmospheres of corporate worship, we are often able to more easily agree with truth that God speaks over us through those leading worship. As we draw near to God, He faithfully draws nears to us. Although our God is always present, the One who is so near becomes noticeably tangible, making us aware of how close He has always been. This simple act of thinking upon truth, particularly during times of corporate worship, can help ease the weight of burdens and everyday life.

Timely Tips:

1. Remember, you’re interacting with a living being with thoughts and opinions.
God is not some idol. He is living and active. He has thoughts and feelings and greatly desires to interact with the ones He has created. Our Gods speaks, moves, and enjoys working with His children to bring about His plans and purposes in the earth. He even has thoughts about everyone He has made! He is not stagnant nor is He slow.

2. The One you’re worshiping is holy, perfect, and good.
Many times we find ourselves overwhelmed not because of what’s going on in life, but because of the accusations we secretly believe about God’s character. We serve a God who delights to call Himself our Father. He is not just wise, but everything He does is right, good, and just. Our King is sinless and perfect and has shown that He can be trusted.

3. Know that regardless of what you feel God is working.
Even during times when we actively want to engage in worship, we can get distracted by how we feel. Although feelings are important and God blessed us with emotions, they aren’t always the most accurate indicator of a situation. After an hour of worshiping with friends, you might not feel like you’ve experienced some significant breakthrough. But more happens than we can see when we align ourselves with truth. Even the simple act of lifting our hands toward heaven wordlessly proclaims our surrender and dependence on a God who is great and powerful. This is a massive statement, particularly in today’s culture. Even when we don’t see (or even feel) anything has changed, we can have faith, like Abraham, in the God who can bring the dead back to life and make new things out of nothing.

Worship allows us to have a clear perspective about who God is and who we are in Him. Whether it’s in the quiet of our own homes or in a massive convention center with thousands of other believers, the power of worship impacts us more than we know.

Onething is our annual conference for young adults that takes place in December. During this time our trained worship leaders facilitate powerful times of encounter with God and minister through song.

In worship, we sacrifice how we’re feeling and lay down the weight of worry, current priorities, and even distractions in order to agree with all of Heaven—He is holy, holy, holy, and in Him we have everything we need. And He draws us to that place where we are somehow able to declare that, even in the midst of our storm, God’s ways are greater, that He is higher, that He is all-knowing, and He is good to all.

At this point, we do what we were made to do: we worship and, once again, encounter the living God.

Fia Curley

position

Fia Curley serves on the NightWatch at IHOPKC, participating in prayer, worship, and intercession from midnight to 6am. She enjoys blending her passion for prayer, worship, and journalism as she labors with the Lord to see His goodness revealed to families, government leaders, and immigrants from non-Christian nations.

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