How do you worship through a pandemic? How do you worship through unemployment? How do you worship through sickness? How do you worship through the storm?
We have watched the world change before our very own eyes. Seasons change. Culture changes. But the real truth is we have full confidence that God is the one thing that remains steadfast. Hebrews 13 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” This is our reminder that we do not worship the season or the blessing. We worship our God who is worthy for who He is. Whose name is above every fear, every disappointment and every discouragement. He gave us the faith to cling onto when opposition that comes our way.
There is something significant that God worked through us while we found ourselves isolated at home, stripped back with no lights, no production and no congregation. It’s easy to fall into the trap of the platform, but remember the internal work matters as much as the external work. I’ve had to learn that our worth does not equal our identity on the platform. Our reason to worship doesn’t change from attending a Sunday service.
At the time we might have felt stuck, but in the lowest place we have the freedom to intimately worship our father whole-heartedly, without distractions. We have direct access to God’s presence. He our heart that we can surrender to Him. All He wants is for us to be open and available. He simply says “Come,” (Matthew 11:28-30).
What this year taught me about worship is that it’s more than the start and end of a song. Worship is deeper than a feeling. We’re exercising our faith as a lifestyle, and worship is our first response.
The power of Jesus before still lives in us today.
In Matthew 14, the disciples found themselves caught in the middle of a storm. The disciples believed they saw the Lord upon the water, but still were crippled by doubt. Sometimes we allow the storm to blur our vision from seeing what is truly in front us. Peter himself stepped out on the water and said, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” As soon as the storm began, he let fear take over his faith. But the storm does not waver our God, let the storm remind you of Who He is. Obedience is an act of worship. It is realigning our hearts with God’s true intentions. It is coming to the end of yourself to be filled with His spirit. If we quietly sit around and wait for God to make something happen, we’ll miss the moment, miss what God is speaking to us individually. James 2:26 says, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
Worship is giving honor to God. There are many ways we can use our daily lives as an offering.
Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Where our devotion is, we give our full attention. When we offer our time, treasure and talent, it’s the open door we invite the Lord into allowing Him to have the complete authority. We allow Him to do His best work, granting Him to give us the clear direction to an exceedingly and abundant life. Living a life of surrender reminds us our lives first and foremost belong to Jesus. Through our generosity, what we have to offer is being a well. (John 7:37) Jesus is our greatest example. He says, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.” In the same way we lift our hands to the Lord, we also extend our hands to bless others.
What has God placed in your hand? He designed each one of us specifically; we are His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). It says in 1 Corinthians 12, “God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!” Whether you like it or not, God has chosen YOU. He placed a calling in YOU. Yes you! Whether you are a communicator, artist, writer or entrepreneur it is pleasing to God, our creator, when we honor Him through the gifts He gave us. They give us purpose, but it wasn’t meant for only us. Be prepared to pour.
A dear friend of mine once told me, “The moment we say yes to Jesus, we are saying yes to justice.” The character of Jesus is justice. He is justice. We are made on this earth to reflect His image. The current climate does not change who He is. This is the gospel. We are called and set apart for more than a moment as this. It is our role as His sons and daughters to rise up against oppression, injustice and the evil of racism. It all starts with us. If we want to see change, we need to be the catalyst for change. Our words can fail, but may our worship never be silent. 1 Corinthians 12:24-25 says, “God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other.” Speak up for those who have no voice. Be an ear to listen to the unheard. Let us be the hands and feet of Jesus to build bridges for HIS people.
Remember that patience meets the promise.
1 Kings 19:11 says, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” This was a word spoken to Elijah many days after he traveled through the wilderness. Elijah fled from the danger he found himself in and it was in those moments he lost sight of his assignment. Right before the Lord spoke to him, he prayed that he might die. “I’ve had enough, Lord, he said. Take my life..” It’s a circumstance that can be all too familiar to us. This season we could relate to Elijah and may have seen the end of our situation or ourselves. But there was still a promise that was spoken over Elijah, and God’s word never returns void. Before Elijah could hear the voice of God, there was a wind, earthquake and fire that took place. It was then he was reminded of whom God called him to be. God can speak loud and clear, but oftentimes through a gentle whisper.
If you are unable to find the words, that’s OK too. God wants to meet with us and spend time with us where we can sit and soak in His presence. He’s not waiting for the perfect moment. Our circumstance doesn’t change our reason to worship. Let God speak, comfort you, overwhelm you with peace, love and his kindness.
Dig deep. Dig deeper wells of worship today.
Pauline Guiuan is a creative based in Los Angeles, CA. You can find her on social media at @paulineanne.