worshipin’ part 1

Worship.

Extol.

Exalt.

Praise.

Adore.

There are countless ways to describe worship. The most dictionary being, “The feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity”.

A deity. An all-powerful being. God, the Creator. It took me a long time before I realized the complexities and depth that accompany the name, “God”. It took even more after that before I began to comprehend what I now know as simply a fact of His existence; He is so much more than just “all-powerful”.

It says in Exodus 34:5-7, ‘Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord . And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord , the Lord , the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. […]”

God is described as compassionate, gracious, and abounding in love; in short, a God that is more than just a puppeteer in the clouds maneuvering his puppets. When I read that, I begin to wonder; why do i give Him anything less than my all when I worship?

To worship is to proclaim love. I worship when I spend  hours watching Netflix; I worship when I devote my entire day to day life to Jordan. I love these things, my people, my life, and there’s nothing wrong with that in the slightest; until they begin to take precedence over worship of Who truly deserves it.

When we break it down, worship isn’t as complicated as we like to believe. There isn’t always a flashy, dramatic encounter that brings you down to your knees, speaking in tongues, and crying your eyes out. Worship is simply a call to God. It’s a call and a cry that is meant to be a lifestyle — and that can look like many things. Worship isn’t strictly confined to singing in a pew; it isn’t always a night with a good band, coffee, and good friends. Worship can be just taking time to talk to Him. Worship can be working out, taking care of your body, and mentally fueling your mind by studying.

We cannot worship Him on a stage into a mic if we are not worshipping Him behind closed doors and in our quiet place with Him. There won’t be moments with the Spirit on stage if there aren’t moments with the Spirit off stage, and my entire life up until this point and for the rest of my life will be learning that, over and over.

This post is going to be the first of a series devoted to songs I consider worship, but aren’t technically worship songs – odd, I know. This one will have two, the others may have only one, I’m not sure. But I want to share with you some of my personal experiences with worship, some of my favorite worship songs, and what worship is to me – how my tastes have changed from what I like to what honors God, how that isn’t limited to Hillsong, and all my mess in between.

Let’s hit it. (Disclaimer: I still love Hillsong.)


Song #1: On Becoming Willing by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

“I’m not asleep but I need to wake up
It’s never enough, I have depth to my cup
This is no joke, don’t want to fight
Maybe I’ll end it all on this night

Father, can you feel me?
I’m on my knees, I’m reaching out
And I need you now
‘Cause the light in my heart’s burned out

Maybe there’s still time to find a way out
I just need something, I need it right now
Feeling so weak, I’m in pain
Tell me there has to be a better way

Father, can you feel me?
I’m on my knees, I’m reaching out
And I need you now
‘Cause the light in my heart’s burned out

Father, can you hear me?
I think I might be freaking out
And I need you now
‘Cause the light in my heart’s burned out

Father, can you hear me?
I think I might be freaking out
And I need you now
‘Cause the light in my heart’s burned out.”

As said in the lyrics, life hurts so much sometimes. Hell is everywhere, because y’all, Satan is still fighting his futile battles. He’s still stalking the earth, seeking someone to wound, shred to pieces, and bring down to his level. He’s angry, because he lost. He lost the chance to worship God in heaven forever. He lost his position as the first worship leader in heaven, forever. He lost his place, his home, and his dignity when he let pride consume his heart and fell face first into the planet God is going to take back one day.

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’” –Isaiah 14:12‭-‬14

The enemy is evil, pure and simple – and I have no sympathy for him. But he’s an example to us, nailed to the door of Hell for us to look at and see that hurt and pride destroys. Our pride likes to blame the church, the unsaved, and the people around us more than it likes to suck it up and face the pain honesty brings, and it’s only when we ask God to hit our pride between the eyes that we’re able to be pulled from the grave we dig ourselves.

I face the most pride in my worship, and this song reminds me that I’m truly nothing without God. In Him, my smallness is beautiful, and without Him, I collapse in on myself. I struggle SO STINKIN’ much with caring what people think when I worship. I’m either wanting to impress the worship mentors in my life, the congregation around or in front of me, or I’m just plain overthinking and wanting to sound good. Here I’m laughing, because God DOES NOT care what I sound like, y’all (and thank goodness for that!). And that brings me to the second song in this lil’ wordy playlist.

Song #2: Saul to Paul by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

“For all the times you told me
Not to jump ’cause I might fall
I said “Thank you, thank you”
But I’m the kind of guy that
Has to fall to learn to fly
Still I say “Thank you, thank you”

For all the times I looked into your eyes
And said ‘You lie’, oh, I’m sorry
For all the times I looked into the sky
And said I’d hated you, I’m sorry
God, forgive me

Lord, please help me change from Saul to Paul
Before it’s too late (Before it’s too late)
Oh Lord guide me to see that I can still be useful
That I can still serve thee
That I can still serve thee

For all the times you told me
Not to scream ’cause I might bleed
I said “Thank you, thank you”
But I’m the kind of guy that
Has to scream to learn to sing
Still I say “Thank you, thank you”

For all the times I looked into the sky
And said I’d hated you, I’m sorry
For all the times I looked into your eyes
And said “You lie”, oh I’m sorry
God, forgive me (God, forgive me)

Lord, please help me change from Saul to Paul
Before it’s too late (Before it’s too late)
Oh Lord guide me to see that I can still be useful
That I can still serve thee
That I can still serve thee

I built my house on sand
I had to crawl to land to stand
And still you loved me
I blamed it all on you
I was just hiding from the truth
And still you loved me

And still you loved me.”

First of all, CRYING. Big kudos to The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and their absolute boldness.

Second of all – this is it. This is the epitome of everything. In every moment of prideful worship, the King of Kings looks at me, hears my pain, and desires only to hug the ever lovin’ mess out of me. He looks at you, hears your pain, and only wants to hold you close for all of LITERAL ETERNITY. THIS IS MIND BLOWING STUFF, GUYS, OKAY? OKAY.

“O Lord , you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.” – Isaiah 25:1

“Praise the Lord ! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord ! Praise the Lord !” – Psalms 150:1-6

I’m never enough, and that’s what fuels and defines my worship. God is more. (UNDERSTATEMENT!). God is so beyond me, and beyond my situation. He can take every single tear, scream, and angry word I throw at the sky. Worship reignites my walk with God every time, because it’s a moment only He and I can live in. Without learning to worship in any moment, to any song, I would not only have missed so many melodies of worship, but I would have continued to drift; from church, from God, from peace, and from confidence in who God made me.

So I keep singing, but I close my eyes tighter than ever. I let the music take me with the angels. And I keep trying, because the King of the Universe, the Spirit in my soul, and the man who cast himself as the scapegoat, the sacrifice, the offering – He died for me. So I sing to Him. I sing my stinkin’ heart out.

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