There are certain forms of worship that we gravitate towards most easily. These forms connect with our personalities and the way that we see the world. They provide the most ready avenues to both glorify our Lord and enter into His presence.
At the same time, remaining locked within one particular style can also cause our worship to stagnate. It is easy to slip into the routine and simply go through the motions when “the motions” become second nature to us. Sometimes, we need to be willing to break out of our comfort zone and connect with God from a fresh perspective.
So here are three styles of worship and the new approach they offer.
I think Donald Miller said it best:
“My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I don’t really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out there are some guys who don’t believe in God and they can prove He doesn’t exist, and there are some other guys who do believe in God and they can prove He does exist, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago and now it’s about who is smarter, and honestly I don’t care.”
Don’t misunderstand me. I firmly believe that Christianity is an internally consistent worldview that rationally explains what we encounter in our world. I also maintain that there are powerful, logical reasons for believing in the Christian God, and that there are many questions and misconceptions in our culture that need to be addressed.
Unfortunately, apologetics as a practice is rarely about those things. It is about the debate, and here are three reasons why I gave it up.
From very early on in our Christian journey, we are taught the “correct” way to do things.
Often, these are beneficial practices. Consistency is essential to any spiritual discipline, and establishing a framework for how we enter into our spiritual formation can be incredibly important in those early stages. At some point, however, these patterns transition from doorways into the spiritual life to walls which keep us hemmed in. When this happens, we need to find ways to tear these walls down and step outside our comfortable corner.
We need to rediscover our freedom in Christ.
At some point, we have all experienced our wounds. Some, we can brush off and keep moving forward. Others -- especially when they come from people whom we trust -- tend to linger. Despite our willingness, even desire, to forgive and move on, we just can't seem to let go.
Often, this is a process. It takes time to work through the emotions swirling about inside. Other times, this simply becomes something that we can't let go without God's engagement in our lives.
That's why I love this piece from Melissa Davis. Melissa has been a classroom teacher, school administrator and currently oversees quality assurance in one of the nation's largest virtual schools offering online courses for k-12 students. Along the way, she has encountered the politics of the educational system, and has had to learn how to forgive those she should have been able to trust.
It is one of the most difficult of the spiritual disciplines to retain: the daily reading of God’s word.
It is not that the exercise itself is particularly hard. You simply crack open the pages of scripture and let your eyes roam across the jots and tittles. No, it is not the mechanics of the daily devotion that is so challenging, it is the consistency.
The author of Psalm 119 understood this. Thankfully, this same Psalmist gives us three approaches to pushing through the struggle and rediscovering the face of God.