Over the years, I’ve been in many worship experiences, public and private, from concerts, church services, retreats, and Bible studies to car drives, rehearsals, hangouts with friends, and more. I’ve learned about worship and “how it works” per say for various kinds of people. From perceiving congregational cultures, discerning atmospheres, conversing with individuals, to even analyzing my own heart, I’ve learned that although “worship” may be happening, it does not mean that God is the focus of it. My goal in this blog is to direct your attention to God as the center of your worship by addressing some things that could be a hidden distraction.
You may be wondering, “If God is not the focus of worship for some, who or what is?” I’m glad you asked. Here are four of the most common things I’ve seen people unintentionally make the focus of their worship:
Sometimes, there’s so much focus on the sound, the music, and the overall presentation in efforts to “set the atmosphere” that the focus shifts from the Holy Spirit Himself to everything else, causing people settle for natural energy instead the authentic presence of God. If we focus on God filling us, we don’t have to be concerned with God filling the room.
Often, people become the focus of worship because whoever is leading is operating based on the preference of the congregation or the congregation only responds based on the leader. People even get focused on each other sometimes. Jesus is the “Chief Worship Leader”, so we should follow His lead and example, lest the whole experience becomes about us, not Him.
Have you ever met someone who is a worshipper of “worship”? I have. They tend to be obsessed with everything surrounding worship, but they never actually do it. Instead, they fall in love with the emotions they feel or perhaps the methods of worship. They may idolize their favorite songs or singers, or ways of expressions, but find it challenging to expand beyond that. You can listen to worship music, read worship books (or blogs), discuss worship, attend worship services and more, but be sure to never love the way more than the One…Christ.
The most commonly denied is self-worship. This happens whenever someone puts God’s worship in a box called the comfort zone. Essentially, one is saying, “I know what You desire God, but I’m just not comfortable” or “I just don’t feel like it”. At that point, the person is no longer prioritizing pleasing the Lord, but choosing to do what feels good.
That being said, I hope this enlightens you to examine your heart. When you worship, is your mind really on Christ? Is He really the object of your affection and the focus of your attention? Are you moved by the music and possibly the rituals, or by the true presence of the Living God? If so, that’s awesome! If not, dig deeper until everything fades and all that matters is Him. As the Father is seeking for true worshippers (John 4:23), we must always be mindful to seek the True God in our worship.