My husband, Kyle, was in the back audio video room at church a few months ago when one of his new colleagues watching the monitor said, “Oh, man, look at that girl. She’s really into worship.” Kyle looked up at the screen, laughed, and said, “Oh, yeah. That’s my wife,” and continued on with his work.
It seems I’ve developed quite the reputation for the way I worship. I don’t know why, really, since to me it’s completely normal. Without intention, I guess I sometime stand out. I blame my big blonde mane for making me easy to spot, especially at our church, which is predominately black & shades of brown. However, I’ll be the first to admit there is definitely no other environment that makes me feel as free, peaceful, energized, and in love as when I am in worship in the presence of God.
Since my entire life with Jesus was redefined at 18, I have absolutely loved to worship. I’ve always loved music so when I discovered that the Presence of God actually existed and was tangible, the love of music just evolved into the love of worship. I attended Belmont University in Nashville so naturally, I was surrounded my amazing musicians, many of whom were Jesus followers. We would gather in dorm rooms, music practice rooms, hallways…anywhere, really. We (they) brought instruments and came together with no agenda, no set list, no rehearsals. We came together, invited Jesus, and just worshiped. Looking back, those times really planted the love of worship in my heart & spirit. Now, worship is a part of my daily life & regimen and without it, well, let’s just say I’m less than desirable.
When I was first diagnosed with melanoma, I began to pursue Jesus with a new tenacity, praying for life changing revelation. What followed was an understanding of this amazing triad–the body, the mind, and the spirit. I suddenly understood that the divine purpose was for the Spirit to reign over the body & mind. We spend so much time trying to perfect (or destroy) our bodies and strengthen our minds. Our spirits remain neglected when in fact, they should be our priority–indeed, they are the only part of us that will live forever. I realized that to live effectively–alive, healthy, and impactful–my spirit must be stronger than my mind and body. A few years into this pursuit, I can attest that this is not a get there, stay there kind of thing. Just like trying to get your physical body in shape, it’s a process, a series of every day decisions.
For me, worship plays an integral role in this pursuit, allowing my mind to go free while my spirit is connecting to God. It’s like a shot of wheat grass for the spirit and before I know it, I really am lost in His presence. I never want to give more of myself to anyone or anything other than God so when entering into worship, nothing else matters than giving him all I am.
Don’t get me wrong, there are days and times when I’m just not feeling it. I’m tired, I’m scared, or maybe just feeling the symptoms of dealing with all the junk. However, worship is not based on what I’m feeling–it’s based on who He is and who He is never changes. His goodness never ends and his love never fails. Knowing Him and remaining in his love is my only purpose so when I’m not there emotionally, I simply open my mouth and declare who I know He is. Truth always creates freedom and as I declare truth over myself, chains are broken and I find my spirit breaking through.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “I love worship, too, but I’m not a good singer and I don’t want to embarrass myself,” let me tell you something. I have absolutely no musical ability and I could care less. I sing loud and unashamedly because again, worship isn’t about me. If you’re still not convinced, worship doesn’t have to be done in the company of others. Like I said, worship is an essential part of my day and most of the time, happens at home, just me and God.
I thought I’d end by including some of my favorite worship sites. If I’m at home, it’s likely I’m streaming from one of these places:
1. Grace Center: GC is my Nashville church where worship and pursuing the presence of God is a core value. You can find current & back videos of all their services here.
2. Bethel: Bethel is the sister church of Grace Center and most well-known for Jesus Culture, a worship band that was started in Bethel’s School of Worship. Their channel is subscription based but they also offer free content, including their latest Sunday services.
3. Julie True: Julie is a long-time friend who has anointed soaking music. Get on your face with Jesus and allow the streaming music to just resonate in your spirit.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
O magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together
Psalm 34: 1-3