Wired to Worship

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It was a bad night.  One of those nights where I couldn’t get the thoughts spinning over and over again in my mind to slow down.  I sat on my bed in my room with the door shut, hoping no one could hear the tears I couldn’t quite control.  I knew it’d be awhile before I’d be able to fall asleep.  Grief was gonna win the battle this time.  I turned on a Spotify playlist on my phone in an attempt to get my mind to calm down, but it wasn’t helping.  “If only I think a little harder, I might be able to figure it all out,” I told myself.  But the more I thought, the farther from an answer I got.  It was in that exact instant a song I’d never heard before started playing.  The very first three lines made me stop in my tracks.  I held my breath so I could hear the words over my tears.  I’ve never heard the voice of the Lord speak to me more audibly than I did in that very moment.  Truly, it was like he was speaking directly to my weary soul knowing exactly what was running through my head.

Lay your head down tonight
Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out

Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart
‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

(Glorious Unfolding – Steven Curtis Chapman)

It was a fight, and I wasn’t winning.  I was simply trying to figure it out on my own, using all the brainpower I had.  God knew it wasn’t going to get me very far.  The instructions spoken to me in that song held so much power.  “Don’t try to figure it out.”  If there’s a better example of the promise that God knows our hearts and deepest thoughts, I don’t know what it is.  This exact moment surprised me so much.  Really, God? You know what I’m thinking? You understand that I can’t wrap my head around this, that I want to figure it out so badly? You see me sitting here struggling? 

There was so much reassurance to those questions in the words of that song.  In that moment I simply felt understood, known, and loved.  And I knew the only answer was Jesus-whispering the exact words I needed to hear into my heart.  

Why am I telling you all this? Simply because I believe worship, no matter the form, is a powerful experience.  I don’t believe hearing a song that speaks to your heart or your specific circumstance is a simple coincidence.  I believe God uses worship and music in a powerful way; to reach our hearts in ways nothing else can.  There are obviously many different forms of worship, but I’m specifically talking about music.  I believe worship happens not only at church during worship songs, but also on your way to work in the car, in the shower, or during your workout.

Worship at church is by far my favorite part of the service.  Not saying the rest of the items on the bulletin aren’t important, but worship is my favorite.  Ever start singing a song as the band plays and you read the words come across the screen and then suddenly get really emotional? Or stop singing so you can hold the tears back as the lyrics pierce your heart with truth? Yea, me too.  Especially when I’m stressed out, or life just isn’t going well that week.  Again, I don’t think it’s a coincidence.  I feel like I connect so much more, and feel the Holy Spirit moving most when I’m standing there singing songs of praise along with my friends and the rest of the congregation.  Surrendering our power and control, and instead lifting our hands and shifting our focus upwards makes it easier for a shift change to happen on the inside.  

I did a little research to see what the Bible has to say about worship and came across a few good verses I thought I’d share with you.  (Don’t worry they’re not super long or boring 🙂 )

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!  Psalm 100:1-2

Do you see what we’ve got?  An unshakeable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. Hebrews 12:28-29

Come, let’s shout praises to God, raise the roof for the Rock who saved us!  Let’s march into his presence singing praises, lifting the rafters with our hymns!  Psalm 95:1

Sing him songs, belt out hymns, translate his wonders into music! Psalm 105:2

I feel like the psalmists writing some of those verses understood the power that worship holds.  That in our lowest places, our deepest hurts, He has the power to transform and work in our lives.  Almost that we as Christians are wired to worship from the deepest parts of our being.  Not only knowing that worship has a way of setting us free and speaking truth into our hearts, but more importantly that it’s about praising Jesus and seeking Him when we run out of strength.  It’s a two-way road.  A way of serving the Lord and being thankful for the ways He works in our lives while also holding the power to change our hearts’ perspective.    

The other thing I love about worship music is that often times the verses are filled with lines of scripture.  If reading the Bible seems a little boring some days, turn on some music-you’ll be surprised how much scripture is snuck into songs.  It’s a good little way to memorize scripture without even attempting!

I challenge you to spend a little time worshipping with music this week.  Whether that means turning on some Christian music while you shower, drive to work, tote the kiddos around, get a run in, or make dinner–give it a shot.  I can bet a song or two might just speak to your heart or whatever circumstance you’re facing in ways you can’t describe.  

Here’s some of my favorite ways to listen (I promise you they’re not slow, boring, sad songs!)

Spotify playlists:

  • KLOVE
  • Top Christian Tracks
  • Today’s Christian Hits

Spotify Albums:

  • Identity (Colton Dixon)
  • Britt Nicole (Britt Nicole)
  • One-Way Conversations (Hollyn)
  • Wonder (Hillsong United)
  • There Is a Cloud (Elevation Worship

Current Favorite Songs:

  • Hills and Valleys Remix-Tauren Wells
  • The Comeback-Danny Gokey
  • Who Says?-Joshua Micah
  • In Awe-Hollyn
  • Hard Love- NEEDTOBREATHE ft. Lauren Daigle

Do yourself a favor and check some of these out! Thanks so much for reading along.  You’re appreciated! 🙂 

-Nat 

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