(Originally published 10/25/12 on “Positive Mornings”. I am working on transferring everything over to “More of Positive Mornings”)
Author: Lori Carter
I am not a seasoned Christian, or at least I do not consider myself one. I am not perfect. I make mistakes, I get angry, I get depressed and sometimes, more often than I would like to admit, I let my tongue override my brain. Even though I was married to a Pastor for a short time, before God took him home, I do not know all there is to know about God either.
I have struggled during the early years of my “Christianity” on the right way to worship. I have attended many churches during my 18 years as a Christian, and even though some of them follow the same general belief system, each church has its own ideas on the way to worship. Over the years I have discovered that true worship comes from the heart. It is a personal experience with God and different for each person.
Sadly, I have seen pastors change their services to try to match those of other churches that may be going through a great time of the outpouring of the spirit. I saw one pastor couple, who took over a church that had been used, abused and beaten up by former leaders, try to change the way the congregation worshiped overnight. It was obvious in the services, even though many were willing to follow their suggestions that the worship was forced and did not come from the heart.
When you stand on the stage, as I did because I handled the overheads for the worship songs, and look out at the congregation, seeing older men profusely sweating, having trouble breathing and turning red in the face from trying to hop around or dance, because the pastor says to, then you know immediately that the worship is not from the heart, but more from people wanting to please their pastor, wanting to be part of whatever is happening in the service.
It is the same when it comes to the outpouring of the spirit in speaking in tongues. I have been blessed many times, but I wasn’t boisterous about it, nor did I, in any want to draw attention to myself, but have observed others who have. I was even asked by a woman one day if I practiced speaking in tongues, and when I told her “no” she was adamant that I needed to practice every day.
I was taught, and even the bible indicates, that speaking in tongues is a spur of the moment blessing. It is not something you practice or study for like you do French, German or Spanish. It is instantaneous when the Holy Spirit decides it is to be. I know many people who have never had the blessing of speaking in tongues, but this does not make them any less a Christian. It is not a requirement, but a blessing being poured out when the Holy Ghost decides.
Just as God made each one of us different, so our worship is different. I have been blessed as many times in a quiet service as I have in a louder service. I have felt Gods hand on me in silence, and in open, verbal prayer. True worship comes from deep within us, within our hearts, whether we choose to do it quietly or less than quietly.
Unfortunately many people do not understand this. Many people want so badly to be accepted and be part of those around them that they feel they need to “follow” the pack, act like others, and worship like others, that they actually end up losing out on blessings God has for them.
True worship comes from the heart. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to dance in the spirit, wave your arms in the air or talk loudly in tongues to truly worship God. This will happen instantaneously, without any effort if it is the way that God wants you to worship.
It doesn’t matter what the person standing next you, the woman in the front row or that guy across the room is doing. All that matters is that your heart and soul truly holds worship for God. When you are truly worshiping God, everyone around you disappears and you are alone with him. You won’t notice the woman jumping up and down next to you, or the man crying at the altar or the person in the back row who is trying to be heard over everyone else.
True Worship Comes from the Heart
Be Blessed, Lori