Worship should be an intimate experience between us and God, yet we don’t always experience that intimacy. You see worship is so much more than a song; it is much more than whether it moves you or not and it is certainly deeper than feelings.
There are times I don’t want to worship, and I am a worship leader! Can you believe that? It is normal for believers to not feel like worshiping at times. I had an opportunity to speak to someone the other day who was having difficulty connecting during worship so yes, it does happen, but we must understand we don’t have to stay that way. It is dangerous.
We worship God based on who He is, not how we feel. I think our being unable to connect with God is because we lose confidence in Him and we lose confidence because we forget what He’s done for us. This is a deep rabbit hole into the very things that take us away from His presence.
How do you worship God in confidence?
Only one answer comes to mind and it is one I’ve come to understand more and more; it is ‘know God for yourself.’ I want to ask you ‘what experiences have you had so far in the entirety of your life that has made Him more real to you? I have too many to count and that is the basis I worship from whether I am by myself or when I lead worship.
The other day I had to write a mission statement for a new Facebook group(shameless plug) I am starting and something my pastor said to me a couple of years ago came back in my memory. The summary of it is that when I lead worship, I introduce people to the God behind these songs.
And for me to do that I have to have experienced God in such a way that I am bold to declare His goodness because I have tasted of it. I can boldly sing of His protection, love, provision, rest, peace, and sustenance only because I have experienced them. Now, that is my confidence!
There are a variety of reasons for ‘spiritual disconnection’. At times, we simply cannot connect with God simply because we allow ‘our feelings’ to determine what we do. You don’t feel like lifting your hands in worship when that is the very thing that will lift that depression.
It’s important to remember that our emotions have no impact on our existence or our relationship with God. Feelings are fickle and can be changed by seemingly insignificant incidents.
From my own personal experience, you can get the feeling that God is far away at times. You have the impression that you aren’t hearing Him or that you aren’t from hearing Him. Here’s what I’ve discovered: God has never changed, so the distance you perceive is not from Him. And He’s still talking, so you’re the one who can’t hear what He’s saying.
The various reasons for feeling a distance or a loss of hearing don’t happen all at once; they can be gradual to the point that you don’t know you’ve drifted away from God until you start to feel ‘disconnected.’
Faith and trust in God, as well as other practical steps, lead to confident worship. Note, we worship God because of who he is, not because of how we feel.
Steps to Connecting with God in a Practical Way
You have access to a number of services. I’ll go over five of my favorites.
Prayer is nothing more than a dialogue with God. If you ever feel like there’s a chasm between you and God, I suggest starting there. You don’t even have to start with an hour of prayer; 10 minutes every four hours will suffice. That’s what I did last year when I felt a sense of separation. I used to set prayer alarms and pray for 10 minutes four times a day. It was incredibly helpful.
This has been a huge help to me, particularly now that I’m in the habit of writing down my prayers or thoughts as soon as I wake up in the morning. I write down what I believe the Lord is teaching me, directions for particular items in which I have faith.
Every day, you can read the Bible! Joshua instructs us to meditate on the word at all times of the day and night. Devotionals have proven to be extremely beneficial to me. I use the Youversion App, which has many devotionals for whatever stage of life you are in. I really like that you can read the devotionals alone or in a community, which is a great way to stay accountable.
I’ve also recently been involved in parallel Bibles. The Essential Evangelical Parallel Bible (affiliate link warning!) is what I use. I like that it allows me to read not only traditional writing but also contemporary interpretations. It’s great to be able to compare a passage written in four separate translations on the same page!!
The Youversion App also has Bible versions with Audio options, so you can listen to the Bible being read to you. I’ve done this a few times, and there’s something soothing about hearing the Bible read to you.
I’d have to say this is my favorite as a worship leader. You can do this using YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, and other similar services. All you have to do is build playlists of songs that you love and link to the season you’re in. This greatly aided my prayer life because there were moments when all I wanted to do was listen to it in the car on the 35-minute drive home. This isn’t all about songs, you can do prayers too.
Worship With Confidence
Doing these on a regular basis has been extremely beneficial to my spiritual growth, and I believe it would be beneficial to you as well. Only by reflecting on God’s characteristics can we worship or communicate with Him with faith. Examine God’s existence and note who He claims to be and what He has done for you. Has He ever let you down? True trust does not come from feelings; instead, you must see yourself as God sees you!
Finally, the place of worship, in my experience, is a place of trade. A place where we can trade our sorrow for His joy and our weakness for His courage. I am persuaded that you cannot stand before God and be put to shame and that this comes from understanding God for yourself. That’s what you get when you have a God-connection!