We’ve all been there at some point - in the middle of a worship service where people are engaged with God, and we are not. Our doubts, fears, and sorrows of life are overpowering our souls.
So what do we do?
How we do engage ourselves when we’ve had a pretty awful week, and just don’t feel like singing along with the worship leader’s songs that are too high for us to sing along with anyway? Stand quietly and wait for an emotion to hit us in the face?
Wait until we feel like worshipping? Wait for God’s manifest presence to slap us into acknowledgement of His goodness?
Let’s look at the example in Psalm 42 for guidance:
Psalm 42 takes us into the heart of a man desperate for God’s presence. His enemies taunt him daily and are constantly trying to belittle his faith in God. Verse 5 shows the Psalmist talking to himself:
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.
The psalmist is confronting himself here. Calling himself out in front of the mirror almost, shaking himself into remembrance of God’s goodness and love. He continues in to say:
My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember You
The psalmist doesn’t wait for the band to play a song he likes. He doesn’t wait until the music hits a chord that stirs his soul in an unexplainable way. He doesn’t wait for his emotions to guide him. The psalmist reminds himself of what God has done. When his emotional state is down and overcome by darkness, he makes a conscious decision to start remembering who God is and what He has done.
So when you come into a service and you’re not ‘feeling’ it that day, or you’re struggling to engage, don’t feel guilty or like you are a bad Christian. You’re in good company with the author of Psalm 42, David!
Remind yourself of what God has done. Remember that He is a loving God, and that he is our all sufficient provider, El Shaddai. Remember that we worship because we have been invited to worship by an Almighty God in Psalm 117. The heart is a fickle thing, and worship tunes our hearts to be more like God’s.
Don’t wait. Engage your heart.
Don’t wait. Worship.