Have you ever been to a worship gathering and gave it you all? I mean yelling at the top of your lungs, jumping around the building, weeping at the altar, or any other act you deemed appropriate in your worship expression only to feel worn out and disengaged even though you just finished giving your best worship. I’m all for radical and exuberant worship, but the tears and sweat are unfruitful if you never connect with His heart.
There has been a culture established in the Church that says, “If I do more I get more.” This idea comes from the principle of sowing and reaping, but is not congruent with the love relationship that has been established between God and His children. This idea has cultivated a performance mentality within the body. This often leads frustration, confusion, and feelings of rejection when what they hoped to manifest from their labors doesn’t materialize.
It has been often in gatherings where what was being released in a moment was missed because we have been to busy trying to condition our Father to greet us with His presence. You don’t have to condition the Father to get His presence. The earth is filled with His presence. There is nowhere that we can go where His presence is not. You can make your bed in hell and He will be there (Psalm 139:8). I say that to say this. Physical manifestations of worship is an awesome way to pour our love back upon the Father but they become unhealthy when done from the wrong posture. Improper view of our relationship with God causes burnout, indifference, and predictability in our worship.
How Does One Avoid Burnout in Worship
1. Kiss From the Heart
The primitive Greek word for worship is proskuneó. This word is made up of two other Greek words (prós and kyneo) which means to “kiss towards.” The initial stage of worship truly begins in the heart. The weighty Presence of God can be experienced by passively (in an accepting manner, without active response or resistance) turning our gaze upon Him. Upon turning our gaze in His direction, we are turning our soul towards Him. Our spirit is perfectly harmonized with the Lord. Our soul is often clouded with noise from the cares of life and we often project that noise into our worship. There is something uniquely powerful about being still and knowing that He is God (Psalm 46:10). It’s from the place of stillness that we can began to sense the flow of the river of God and instead of us trying to make something happen, He begins to orchestrate and navigate the encounter.
Life demands so much of our efforts and energy. Life’s daily tasks teaches us to strive and exhaust all that we have to attain goals. This same assumption is often carried over into what we imagine God is demanding. Indeed, David praised the Lord with radical expression, but his radical expression was an overflow of what he experienced in stillness. David, the man known for his praise and worship states this:
“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.” Psalm 27:4
There is the good, and then there is the better. While God delights in every expression of worship that we offer, His desire is for deep communion with His family. A glass isn’t filled with water by shaking it all over the place. In order for the glass to be filled it must become still. The tree don’t roll around to catch the breeze, they are planted and the wind blows upon them in their planted place. The ocean rocks don’t leap to catch the wave, they stand still. You get the point of what I am saying. Rest is the flavor of faith. It says, “Father I trust You with me. I know that you are good and that you delight in me.” You don’t have to be anxious when it comes to worship, rest and let Him carry you.
I come from a Pentecostal/Charismatic background, so I love the wild expressions and to give radical expressions of adoration to Him, but it’s not because I believe that it pleases Him more, but because of the pleasure that I have experienced by resting in Him.
3. Sing Your Song
Worship has become so programmed and uniform that the spontaneity and individual personality has been stripped from something that is meant to be intimate. When you are communing with someone it would be awkward to do so rigidly and in a rehearsed manner. That is a time to be vulnerable and honest. In our communion with the Father we get to be open and honest. Honesty in worship is liberating and powerful. This is where you get to sing your song. I love when those who lead worship forget about the script and began to sing from their heart. It releases a something unique and refreshing into the atmosphere. This is something that can be practiced throughout the day. As my heart is gazed upon the Lord throughout my day and receiving from His presence, it creates a song of adoration in my heart that He hears. This song doesn’t have to be sung aloud. While you’re at your desk you can experience His presence as your heart recites your song to Him.
4. Knowing Your Identity in Christ
Everything we do as believers flows from what we believe to be true about how God views us. The way we perceive Him to view us defines how we view Him. There is so much to be said about worship, but I’ll focus on a few truths that I believe are paramount to worship.
- You are righteous. (2 Cor. 5:21)
- You’re present in the Throne Room with Him at the very moment. (Eph. 2:6)
- You have been made one with Him. (Eph. 2:13)
- You are a saint. (Col. 1:12)
- You have been given free access. (Eph. 2:18).
Worship was designed by God for consistent intimate communion between Him and His creation. Worship should be a place of bliss and delight. This happens the moment you turn your heart to gaze upon Him. Lay down the anxiety that comes with performance and enter into the rest of His presence.
Thanks for reading this week’s post. Please share with your friends if this was a blessing to you and let’s chat about worship below!