Somewhere along the way, I may have lost my worship. I used to lead worship and I was not hesitant to call myself a worshipper, for I loved it. I used to feel free to worship at any church and with any denomination. Although it was something intimate that others were often privy to, I did not mind sharing it. But somewhere along the way, I lost my freedom to worship God lavishly and with abandonment. Because of that, my flow is blocked and my joy is not quite what it used to be. Who took my worship? Or why did it put it away?
I ask the question, but I already know the answer. I gave up my own worship to conform – not to the world, but to the church. I buckled under the pressure to conform to the style, beat and manner of those around me. Oh, that style worked for them and I respect their ability to feel the presence of God that way. But for me, I cannot. Lately, I have been living a lie and I think it is high time to come out of it. It is time to pull the way I worship and the person that I am back out of the closet.
The Father God was the one who sought my worship. So why did I give it up? I got tired of feeling condemned and I buckled under the cracking of their verbal whip to conform to their version of praise and worship. I got tired of the guilt trips and the “if you really love Him, you ought to…” or the “if He has been good to you, you ought to…” and others gimmicks to generate a certain atmosphere in church. I tried to be myself and be the real me, but I began to feel condemned and grieved. Not for sin, but for being different. It seemed I could never stand long enough, or clap enough or dance enough. It was never enough for them. But was God pleased? That was the only thing that should have mattered.
In the words of that famous song, “My worship – my worship is for real”. It is not for critique. It is something personal offered up to God from my heart and my body. My prayers and my praise should be as personal and distinct as is my voice and personality. My praise for God is not quantified by what I do within a church service. It is what I do overall with my life that glorifies and praises The Lord. Those who seek to control or choreograph your worship may not even have a clue as to what true worship is. Intimacy cannot be ordered or programmed. Any wife can tell you that. Intimacy begins with the day and goes throughout it. It flows from the love one has for their Beloved. Do we take someone else’s playbook into our bedroom? If not, then we should not take on someone else’s style of praise and worship. It takes too much time and effort to pattern ourselves after someone else’s dance moves or vocal styling. We have to find our own voice so we can be real and open with God at all times in order to pray and praise our way through.
If I get MY praise and worship back, I will not shove it back in the close again for anyone. God is too precious to me and worship is too vital to my life.