I stood in the cool arena and I closed my eyes. I could feel the music vibrating in my bones, and I felt light shining even though it only beamed on the stage. I raised my arms, lifted my heart as well, and felt the heaviness of my day fall away. I could feel His Spirit, something I had prayed for in the shower that very morning, knowing my feelings opposed me. Man, feelings were the worst. I mean, they were good when they felt good, but when they felt bad… watch out.
As I stood beside my husband at a Christian concert I felt that river of joy floating through me that can only be explained by attributing it to Christ. What I mean is, if I were to go with my mood for the day, my hands certainly wouldn’t be in the air in a celebratory fashion, and my heart wouldn’t feel so light and airy. In contrast, if it was not for the spirit of Jesus in me, my heart would feel quite heavy. It was just one of those days.
I had felt short with the children. Everything they did, basically, annoyed me on this day. I had to be intentional in my kindness, persistent in my patience, and consistently in prayer for God to help me.
Yep, it was one of those “Lord, help me” days. Sound familiar?
Yet as I stood in that theater, the contentment in my soul a continent apart from how my emotions had been steering me thus far that day, I realized it was the worship that had shifted the atmosphere within me. As if in agreement the lead singer suddenly spoke along those same lines.
He said (in his adorable, thick Irish accent), “I know for many of you in here it’s not a day of celebration. You’re not feeling it today. But that’s okay. God can meet you wherever you are.”
His words rang true to my spirit, but they also complimented a recent sermon my pastor had preached.
Pastor Jason had said, “worship is your weapon,” and I knew this to be true.
If we only worshipped when we were “feeling it,” what kind of act was that really? Worship was a weapon of warfare, but it was also an act of love. It was a service to the King of My Heart. It was an expression of my commitment, a concrete example of my affection, a display of my faith in Him. You see, worship was warranted even when my circumstances were less than stellar. It was needed even when they stunk. Especially then. For in my worship I proclaimed truth. In my worship I said, “you are God, and you are good.”
In my worship I said, “no matter how I’m feeling, you are always constant, always faithful, always kind.”
In my worship I was setting up stones of remembrance, like in the Old Testament. They would create an altar of rocks placed where God had done something wonderful, miraculous, something where they didn’t deserve such goodness. It was a place where they celebrated His sovereignty, a moment they never wanted to forget. It was in these same memories, where scattered stones lay in my mind, that I could recall His kindness and miraculous hand in my life. It was this knowledge, past, present, and future that stirred me to worship Him, even if the current ground I stood on was shaky. The fact was I served a certain God in uncertain times. Worship was my way of acknowledging that.
Last night, as I stood alongside my spouse, in a public arena worshipping the One True King, I was miraculously transformed from the place where I relied on my feelings, to the place where I stood firmly on truth. In this place I could sing, dance, shout, raise my hands, or even sit silently in His presence. In this aura of worship I could praise His name, His solid name that never changed, that stood the test of time, and that remained constant despite my changing mood or circumstances. In my time of “not feeling it,” I worshipped Him still. I worshipped Him because He deserved my praise, and in that declaration of love He transformed me to a new place. A place where I realized that quite unexpectedly, I was suddenly “feeling it” after all. It wasn’t that worship was dependent on my “feeling it;” quite the opposite, in fact. It was that I worshipped in love, regardless of my feelings, but that somehow through worship He brought me the best feeling of all.