Life can be stressful. Correction–life is more like a vortex of stress, busyness, joy, and difficulty all mixed together. Even the good times can be overwhelming and just darn distracting. All of these distractions can easily affect our worship.
Some distractions are mundane–social media, kids, work, and T.V. But what about the hard times? What about the giants of life such as sick family members, finals, or financial worries?
These giants can become so big, that they distract us from God even in our worship. This happens when our problems become bigger than the God of our lives.
I love to worship and praise to music, and I am blessed to be able to do that a lot with the youth group I serve. Obviously worship isn’t just singing; it’s a lifestyle. It is when we put God before ourselves in every situation.
But what about those intimate and powerful moments that often happen in corporate worship?
The perfectionist in me wants to do everything right–something I know is impossible because I am not Jesus. I must confess that this perfectionist attitude has pervaded my prayer and praise life recently. Even while singing the right songs and giving God glory, my mind couldn’t help but wonder toward my problems and getting them solved.
I would pray about these troubles, but somehow I didn’t feel as intimately connected to God as I used to. That’s when our youth pastor’s lovely wife, Mandy, gave the students this beautiful reminder:
Release your praise, and He will release His presence.
And that’s when I realized where I had been going wrong these last couple of weeks. I was letting life take over my time with Jesus. I was putting distractions, even good ones such as praying about things, ahead of just soaking in who God is.
My soul was craving quality time with my Heavenly Father.
After Mandy said this quote, the whole room broke out with students worshiping and praising God. Our focus was where it always should have been. Instead of focusing on how great our problems were, we focused on how great our God is!
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2 NKJV).
From now on I am dedicating time everyday to just bask in God’s presence and praise Him. This has actually helped my prayer life and has reduced the stress from my troubles! Now I feel more able to serve and lead where God has called me. Trust me, the more time you spend getting to know God, the more you crave His presence.
My challenge for you is that you will set aside time everyday this week–even if it’s just 15 minutes–to simply praise God and rest in His presence. If you take this time to honor God and put Him first, He will release His presence! This is the bare bones of worship, letting Jesus be the number one thing in our lives. Letting the King of Kings to be the king of our hearts.
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and share 🙂 I love hearing from you!