“If you search for a feeling, a feeling you just might get. Rather, if you seek out relationship, relationship is what you may embrace.”
I’ve read so many books and articles trying to define what worshiping Jesus should, or maybe more often, should not be. Some talk about seeking out feelings in worship. Others say that feelings are worthless, but cerebral engagement is what matters. Others still say that we don’t matter in the equation, it’s all about God and he-alone. If you’ve read all of these materials like I have, you’ll be exhausted and you may still not have a definitive answer.
If you’d like to skip some of these books and head to the front of the line, I think this sums up all that I’ve read: worship is about relationship. I think that is worship 101. That is the basic building block that all time spent honoring God is about: relationship. Here are worship basics you need to know.
When we think about relationship (in any form) it’s about time spent in two way communication. When there is only one way communication it’s called lecture. Just the word lecture makes me want to yawn. While it is important, it never promotes both parties. One party always has more information and therefore gives that information to another party. One side was edified while the other was left in a neutral state. The result is often boring.
When two sides play a role, however, relationship occurs. If my friend comes to me asking what time it is and I tell him the time, then in return I ask him where the closest bus stop is and he tells me, we’ve both benefited from our time together. What is not present in that discourse is a high level of value. It’s nice to the know the time or where the bus stop is, but my friend is not the only one who knows where the bus stop is, nor I the only to know the time. That brings us to the doorstep of one of the fundamentals in order for worship to occur.
Worship is about two way, high value communication. While I may not be able to teach God something I can, however, give him something he wants: me. As a good, good father, he longs for his children to adore him. I adore my kids, but boy-oh-boy is it amazing when they adore me in return. It lights up my mind and my heart. As we worship, he receives delight. It’s who God is. Again, he is a good, good father. On our end, as in a previous article Worship Refines Me, we are changed for the better. There is mutual edification. No, God doesn’t need me. He doesn’t need me anymore than I need my children, but he certainly wants me. And I definitely want more of him.
So, if worship is about relationship, can there be feelings? Yes! Some of the best relationships in my life produce great feelings. They aren’t constant, but they are there. So, worship most certainly can create good feelings, tears and emotion. Where we go wrong is when we chase after it like a high. Highs are so temporary. Maybe more importantly, highs are immature. When I please my wife and it’s for both our betterment it is incredible. When I try to get something for myself and she receives nothing in return or is left damaged it’s called abuse and manipulation. Those things are not foundational. They are cheap and light weight. No, worship that is mature and mutual is pleasant for both and it’s plain to see. We need to run after that type of relationship.
Now, what if I never, ever have a feeling in worship? My answer there would be similar to if you said you’ve never ever had a feeling in life: it’s time to get help. Having a true relationship with Jesus Christ will yield emotive response. He is alive and His Spirit lives inside of you! It’s time to get in touch with that still, small voice. Seek out a worship pastor who clearly and maturely is passionate for Jesus. You may also seek out your pastor or youth pastor. I’m a firm believer that if you want something (like passion) that someone else has, go spend time with them. Iron sharpens iron ladies and gentlemen. It’s strongly important that we find our internal abilities to emote before Jesus. You don’t have to become the loudest and one who dances the most (yet), but you do have to push yourself. I bring it back to the father/son scenario. I want nothing more for my son to engage with me on all levels. This importantly includes his emotions.
Fundamentally, emotions are a part of relationship. They aren’t the be-all-end-all, but they aren’t nonexistent either. It’s a balance. Life is a balance. 4+4=8. If you’re at a point where 4+4=7, then you’re missing an additional “1” somewhere and you need to get that back in place.
Worship God in spirit and in truth [John 4:24]. As we engage Him with both we will find that the Lord is pleased and we are satisfied. It’s amazing!
While there are other foundations that will be added to the first: relationship, how have you been considering your relationship with Jesus? Do you tend to be really outspoken or much more reserved? Should you be more or less of one of those? Perhaps there are members on your team that could use some coaching on this point. I would love to hear from you! Comment or private message…