What’s your favorite worship song? Oceans? Amazing Grace?
Now tell me something… Why do you like that song? Be honest with yourself.
Have you ever sung “A Heart of Worship”? There’s a part that goes:
“I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it…”
I’ve heard so many people sing that line with joy, with happiness, which seems kind of inappropriate for the lyrics, don’t you think?
If I’m honest, I didn’t understand what those lyrics meant until years after I learned the song.
I had literally sung a song for years that I didn’t mean.
And it hit me… how different would that be to singing gibberish? Is it really and truly worshipping if we’re just singing songs we like?
Asking around, I’ve realized that I’m not the only one facing this problem. Pastors, even worship leaders, struggle with really believing what they’re singing. Why is this? What kind of a heart should we really have?
Let’s step to the side for a moment.
One of my favorite videos of all time is by Louie Giglio: Fruitcake and Ice Cream.
If you haven’t seen it, you should totally check it out. Seriously.
It’s about a college student, Ashleigh. She a typical partying, all-that-stuff girl who happens to be going through a really tough time. She isn’t saved, and, due to a bunch of unfortunate circumstances, she ends up with a new roommate who happens to be a Christian.
Ashleigh comes home one day in a complete mess, and, walking past the Christian girl (Christa), she grabs a bucket of ice cream and then makes her way to the couch in violent tears. Christa joins her, and through this experience, she’s able to share a bit of her faith.
The rest of the story is super cool. Ashleigh, after a lot, comes to realize that, no matter what her past is like, no matter what she’s done… God is great enough, loving and powerful enough, he’s merciful enough to welcome her into his family.
It’s massive. And Ashleigh finally gets saved.
There’s a part of the story a bit later, where Ashleigh goes to a Bible study for the first time and sees people worshiping. He sees believers singing and raising their hands with joy… it’s kind of weird, so she doesn’t join in, but there’s a particular song that stands out for her. She doesn’t remember the exact lyrics, but she googles them as soon as she gets back and passionately writes them in her journal:
“Everyone needs compassion, love that’s never fading, let mercy fall on me.
Everyone needs forgiveness, the kindness of a Saviour, the hope of nations
Savior, he can move the mountains; my God is mighty to save.”
I believe that that is the heart of worship. A deep thankfulness expressed through lyric, song, or prayer.
When you’re singing in church, try adopting this attitude. Dwell on the lyrics. Perhaps even challenge yourself not to sing a song unless you really mean it. Why are you singing it in the first place?
I also really encourage you to watch Fruitcake and Ice Cream. Again, it’s one of my all-time favorites, and it’ll definitely steer you towards the passion we should have for our creator.
You can find it on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjOyuI2R9bY