It happens. Even believers struggle sometimes with worshipping. Life gets hard. Problems get in the way. We go to church, but leave our heart at home. What should you do if you expect to find worship hard this weekend?
- Be honest with God. He already knows your struggle. He’s big enough to handle your questions . . . and even your complaints. Admit your battle to worship even as you go to the worship service.
- Don’t back away from the people of God. Avoiding church is not the answer when we don’t feel like worshiping. That disobedience will only compound the problem.
- Evaluate your own life. Sometimes our own sin is the problem. If you know that sin’s in the way of your worship, confess it. Get real with yourself and with God.
- Confess your feelings to somebody. We’ve all been where you are today. Find somebody who can pray with you from experience – and out of a position of victory.
- Remember that God’s carried you through in the past. You, too, have probably been here before. The same God that restored your worship in the past can do it again.
- Ask God to give you a new song, and patiently trust Him to do it. That’s what David did in Psalm 40:1-3. Follow his lead.
- Think future tense. Worship is tougher when we’re focused on present-tense difficulties. Don’t ignore your struggles, but keep in mind that God’s already on the other side of them. He—and His people—win the war.
- Quietly let others worship around you. This idea is tied to #2 above. Join with the people of God, and let them worship on your behalf. As they experience God, you might surprisingly want to join them.
- Do love for God even if you don’t feel love. Love is intentional obedience, even when our heart is in a wrestling match. Sing the worship songs anyway. Listen for a single word from God in the sermon. Let your heart catch up with your head.
- Thank God for worship. Even if you don’t fully experience God this weekend in worship, be sure to thank Him for the opportunity you have to gather with His people and focus on Him. Billions of people will have no such opportunity.
This article was originally posted on chucklawless.com on April 22, 2016.
Chuck Lawless is Dean and Vice-President of Graduate Studies and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, where he also serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions. In addition, he is Global Theological Education Consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Dr. Lawless was awarded an MDiv and a PhD in Evangelism/Church Growth from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, where he also served as professor and dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism. Prior to that, he was pastor of two Ohio churches. A conference leader and author of several books, including Discipled Warriors, Putting on the Armor, Mentor, and Nobodies for Jesus, Dr. Lawless has a strong interest in discipleship and mentoring.
Dr. Lawless is also president of the Lawless Group, a church consulting firm (www.thelawlessgroup.com). He and his wife, Pam, have been married for more than 20 years, and they live in Wake Forest, NC. Feel free to visit www.chucklawless.com to learn more about Dr. Chuck Lawless.