During corporate worship, God works by His Spirit in a special way, which is why gathering to sing and worship together is so important. But then the gathered body of Christ represents an incredible array of experiences. Different people, different hopes and dreams, different fears and insecurities, different struggles and temptations. No two people in those pews are exactly the same. Every one is unique, and in the same manner we must all yearn for personal encounters when it comes to worship —corporate worship will be of no value to you if you do not have an individual understanding and encounter of worship,
The apostle Paul described the corporate singing of God’s people as one of the primary ways the Spirit of God works in our hearts: “18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to reckless indiscretion. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord…” (Ephesians 5:18-19). Our worship life should be filled with the Holy Spirit. You’d agree with me that as little children our interest in the things of God is worth admiring (mine was to always hide in closets and under beds to cry whenever I came back from Sunday school because my teacher told me Jesus was nailed to the cross and there was blood and he died for me) whenever my mum or any one caught me there I’d say I am crying for Jesus — but that changes as we grow. Personally I’ll admit that at a point, I hesitated to treat manifestations as being the result of encountering the Holy Spirit.
I was part of the youth choir at Perez chapel a few years back(then known as world miracle international) I’d sit somewhere in the congregation instead of joining the choir on stage to minister, during worship, I’ll hold myself from lifting my hands or expressing myself because there’s probably a cute guy sitting close to me and I don’t want him to think I am too Holy (lol I doubt I am the only culprit) there was something missing about my worship. However, when I joined the Harvest Gospel Choir back on campus I made a conscious effort by asking God to help me and also telling myself “I wasn’t going to repeat those naive mistakes again” (I started taking my worship life seriously). Where am I getting with this?
We see the exact things happening all around us especially in church — and this is because most people resist the move of the Holy spirit because it may mean losing control and doing things like swooning, shaking, growling or fainting. It’s like saying, “God, I hope no one from my neighborhood (that particular guy or lady you have a crush on) sees me here, cause of the fear of they telling everyone how weird or what kind of a wacko I’ve become — they might even end up thinking I am a witch or probably being delivered”
Well, thank God for grace I am no longer fazed by all that — to worship is my safe place, a place where I can lay my vulnerability at his feet without holding back. In an encounter with God, the only reaction worth having is one of breaking down and surrendering to God. In fact, it would be hard to picture how it would happen. Given the rank of the One (God) we’re talking about (some do it with tears, some kneeling, some rolling, some just lying prostrate), anyway who cares what they say about your worship? Bottom line is our emotions must go crazy in such an encounter.
“Our worship on Sunday morning doesn’t meet a need in God. It meets a need in us.” — God Does not need you or me in order for Him to be God, because if we choose not to worship God, He will still be God. It is beneficial for us to worship him. We must learn to stop approaching worship as if we are doing Him a favor.
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” (Acts 17:24–25)
Simply put, God does not need you or me to be God. He is not insecure that he created you and I to worship rather He is altogether self-sufficient, dependent on no one. He is, in fact, the one who is responsible for the existence and preservation of all life, yours and mine. Therefore, he cannot be “served” as if he were needy or exhausted or weak or lacking something that only you and I or the people of your church or choir can supply. To worship God is to give Him our love, reverence, service, and devotion. The Lord commanded Moses;
“Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve” (Moses 1:15) He has also commanded,
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him” (Deu 6:5).
Worship not only shows our love for God (genuinely based on how we feel) and our commitment to Him, it gives us strength to keep His commandments. Through worship we grow in knowledge and faithfulness. If we place any person or thing above the love of God, we worship that thing or person. This is called idolatry (Exodus 20:3-6). I pray this helps someone make a decision not to be distracted in his/her worship life
(My thoughts on) How to Worship
- I love music a lot (there’s always some music playing no matter what I am doing) and that is one of the ways to worship. Listening to worship songs
- Prayer is one way to worship (Sometimes the music is playing, yet all you can do is pray and speak in the language of the spirit and that is equally worship)
- You can also worship by studying the word and meditating on them. Also by listening to recorded messages or sermons (Personally I listen to sermons from the Archbishop N. Duncan Williams, Rev. Eastwood-Anaba, Pastor Prince, TD Jakes, Heather Lindsey, Toure Roberts, etc)
- Another way of worshiping is through fellowship (“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst” Matthew 18:20)
True worship is not limited to one day of the week, it is a daily habit. Most importantly there should be a personal desire to worship and with this desire God will enable you through the move of the Holy Spirit.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your grace and mercies that we share in day in and day out. We come before you admitting that we can not worship you based on our own understanding, hence grant unto us grace that there may be a renewal of hearts and minds with regards to how we worship, we ask that you send forth your Holy spirit to transform and enable us through grace to willingly let ourselves go and focus more on you during worship be it corporately and individually, Let our Love for worship grow more and more in you in Jesus name. Amen