Worship and Emotion

Last week I started talking about worship. Today I want to take the thoughts a little further.

It is a fairly common usage for people to refer to the music portion of the service as the worship. As you saw last week I defined worship as the living out of your personal relationship with God. Music invokes emotions, and many people have mistaken the emotions as the worship.

Once you begin equating the emotions, the feeling of God’s presence, with worship, you also begin expecting worship leaders to take you there. No doubt a skilled music leader can do that, in fact a good sermon can do the same. So the next step in the progression is to put the responsibility for your worship emotions on the worship leaders, and therefore you have someone to blame for the quality of your personal worship.

There is more than one problem with this, but the one I want you to see is, the emotions are valued more highly than the relationship with God. The most important parts of a relationship are non-emotional, things like commitment and trust. The best worship will include a worshipper who trusts God to be present and working in them whether they feel it or not. The best worship will include a worshipper who has lived in obedience without expectation of an emotional payoff.

This is not to imply we should attempt to drive emotions out of worship. God made us with an emotional component, and having emotions is not a mistake. When the connection with God in worship touches our heart it is a moment worth celebrating. But let me encourage you not to be dependent upon those emotions, but rather consider them an additional blessing of the relationship with God. During those times when you are not feeling it, continue living it. Your obedience will glorify God, and strengthen your faith.

 

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2 thoughts on “Worship and Emotion

  1. Great comments to ponder. I think a lot of worship today fits into the entertainment industry and is like going to a concert where, yes, emotions are involved.Not all emotional worship is wrong. We as Christians need to get back to basics, salvation, discipleship, evangelism, etc. as priorities. Then our worship can be fulfilled in Spirit and in truth. Blessings.

    • Thanks for your comments. I agree not all emotion in worship is wrong. Actually I would lean the other way, saying that in general these emotions are God-given. I am desiring to help people associate worship with relationship. This does not mean removing the emotional components, but only to not be dependent upon them. There is a good chance I will edit the post to try and clarify this.

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