Monday, 2 July 2018

[GUEST POST] Worshipping God Where You Least Expect It




A few weeks ago I asked my friend Janet to share her story on what she has learned about the heart of worship. Janet has worshipped God in places you would not ordinarily think to sing his praises. Below is her story in her own words about seeking and praising God at all times, in all settings. 


Should our surrounding or circumstances effect worship? Can church be anywhere that we are, or does it need to be inside an actual church building?  

I had an opportunity to go to Guatemala last year. While I was there I had the privilege to join in with a few small groups, school chapels, a community outreach, hospital visits, and a Sunday morning church service. Their worship and church is drastically different than here at home. They approach worship with an excited attitude of, “I get to worship the Lord”. When they were worshipping God, their whole hearts were in it. You could tell they were not thinking about the days events or what was going to be happening later that night. No one was worried about the size of the building we were in, or if the roof would keep all the rain out. Everyone was thankful to be there and squeezed closer together to make room for any new friends who may join in.

Worship is not meant to be complicated, it is a state of heart. 

I know this is a big statement; there are times that I feel consumed by my circumstance and a heart of worship does not always come easily.  When I am being peppered by questions and requests from my kids, or I am knee deep in homework, laundry, and other tasks that life throws at us, it can be easy to feel dragged down. However, when I stop and take a moment to focus on God and his goodness it changes my perspective on the events of the day, and lightens the heaviness of the situation.  

God is willing to meet us wherever we are at, eager to love us in that moment. God only wants good for us, when we are hurting God is hurting too.  I know that for me on a Sunday morning when we are trying to get our family out the door on time it can feel like an uphill battle.  I have to stop and give thanks for the opportunity to go to church with my family.  In the past when I neglected to take the time to refocus on God or the reason we were going to church I would find myself half heartedly joining in. My mind would be thinking about the craziness of the morning and the things that need to be done later that day.

I feel like the church can be anywhere that we gather and enjoy God’s presence, and share his love with others. I got to see this while in Guatemala. We hosted an outreach in a grassy field at a remote village where we worshipped God in a sink hole that is primary used for witchcraft.  

I have recently had the opportunity to join a team of ladies serving in an outreach ministry with the Salvation Army for women working the streets. We get together and make lunches and stock the Salvation Army’s van with a variety of things the ladies may be in need of and head out on a Thursday night. The van is known to the ladies as a safe place, so they wave us down. When we stop for theses ladies they are thankful to be greeted with a kind smile as they get on the van with us.  Most of the ladies that I had an opportunity to meet were happy to list their prayer requests when I asked them if I could pray for them. They were very thankful for the kindness we showed them with our prayers and the items we gave them. Being part of this team has given me new opportunities to connect with God.  Before going out we spend time in prayer, asking for boldness when speaking with these ladies, and safety.  God totally show up! I felt comfortable and safe all night, he blessed me with words (praying out loud with strangers is a bit outside my comfort zone), and a thankful heart for the opportunity.  

I think when we serve others God can use these small moments to have big effects in the lives of the people being served and the ones doing the serving. When we are feeling overwhelmed by our surrounding we need to choose to speak life, our words are so powerful.  

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”  (Proverbs 18:21) 

It can be easy to speak death and list off the things that seem to be going wrong or the stuff we do not have. By focusing on the negative we are killing our hope.  We need to take time to give thanks even if it feels like it is something minuscule, the more we give thanks the easier it will become to spot the good things in our lives.  

The love of God is fiercer than we will ever have the capacity to understand this side of eternity. I think we can be the church and worship God anywhere we are. God hears our praise and cries no matter if we are in a deep dark pit or in a beautiful church. I encourage you to worship God wherever it feels comfortable to you.

~Janet

In response to Janet's encouragement to praise God in all circumstances, leave a message and let us know a time you found yourself worshipping God in a strange place or time in your life. 

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