When we say ‘worship’, what comes to mind first is to play instruments and sing praises for God. Which is not fully wrong. Singing to God is an act of worship which we usually do in church buildings along with the other Christians.
It’s a great part of worship where we get to center our hearts to Jesus through music and worship Him together with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
But sometimes, we kinda feel like we’re not in the mood to sing. We merely stand, go along with the lyrics displayed on the projector, periodically glancing at the music team, observing others sing, how high their hands are raised, and the list goes on.
And our hearts’ attention weren’t to the Lord. We’re physically present but mentally absent. And we’re singing “Jesus”, the Name above all names, the King of all kings, the Lord of Lords, the one who died to save us from our sins, halfheartedly.
As I was reading Rick Warren’s What On Earth Am I Here For and from an online article, I realized that Satan must be doing his best in using a lot of things (even those we think as good things) to steal our attention from God as we sing during the Sunday worship.
It is on our advantage if we get to realize them and make a move to defeat Satan’s goal. So I listed 5 of the many common reasons why we sing halfheartedly during Sunday worship.
- The music is so good to hear.
As someone who is surrounded by a lot of musicians, and who has a bit of a background on music, I can say that I have an ear for great music. Honestly, listening to some great songs with Christian lyrics gets me more amazed to the ones who played it.
While singing songs of praise, there are times that when the music team is too good, I can’t help it but observe them, how they play, how they sing, how good they are. And I forgot that I was worshiping.
- The music team has a lot of errors.
That’s right. While we get distracted when the music is too good, we get distracted more when their errors are so audible.
As what I’ve told you, I have a lot of experience on music and so I am a bit sensitive to mistakes.
When I got whole heart already offered to God, while I sing my lungs out, and suddenly the bassist get to tick an off-note. Or when the guitarist get to hit that flat chord, my reflex immediately takes me away from the emotion I’ve already built in.
- You’re thinking of something else.
And probably about your problems.
Let me tell you that you can sing the ABC song while your mind is all about your exam tomorrow. I mean, if you’re too familiarized with the lyrics of the song, your mind can wander without you even getting a mistake on the lyrics.
And that sometimes happen to us during Sunday worships. We sing the classic “Shout to the Lord” while thinking how to resolve our financial problem, reconcile with our family members, or when will God’s best come.
There is actually an endless list of predicaments that could distract us from focusing on God.
- Our emotions aren’t touched.
There are also sometimes that even when the music team is leading the congregation successfully, when we don’t feel the tune and lyrics ourselves, it’s hard to be in the presence of God.
We just don’t feel it inside.
We can’t relate to the music, and we don’t feel great about it. Our hearts aren’t touched or maybe we’re looking for something else that might satisfy our music lover soul.
- Jesus is not visible in the lives of the ones leading the worship.
Don’t get me wrong in this. We can’t judge people by a piece of knowledge we have about them. We don’t know everything about every person.
However, by interacting with them, we will get a hint about their personality and their lives. And when we can’t see Jesus working in their personal lives, it’s difficult to give in and follow their lead into worship.
Sometimes, we think that it doesn’t make any sense—following somebody who isn’t qualified to lead.
Yet, it’s not about us.
Sunday worship, even the whole of Sunday service is NOT about us. Our whole lives even is not about us!
It’s not about how good we feel on singing, it’s not about satisfying our souls with good music, it’s not about getting emotional while worshiping, and not about benefiting ourselves.
It is all about God.
Worship is not for your benefit. If you have ever said, “I didn’t get anything out of worship today,” you worshiped for the wrong reason. Worship isn’t for you. It’s for God. Of course, most ‘worship’ service also include elements of fellowship, edification, and evangelism, and there are benefits to worship but we don’t worship to please ourselves. Our motive is to bring glory and pleasure to our Creator.
—Rick Warren, What On Earth Am I Here For: Day 8
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10 ESV
We go to church to honor God, in the first place, not someone else, and definitely not ourselves.
Either the music is so great or not, we should choose to focus on to God and worship Him. Either we are facing problems or just living by, our minds should tell us to focus unto God. He knows what He’s doing in our lives and He offers salvation, peace and joy in every circumstance (Romans 8:28).
Either we see Jesus in the one leading the songs or not, we should be able to see Jesus and experience His presence as we sing His name.
Remember, you’re singing the Name above all names, the King of all kings, the Lord of Lords. You wouldn’t want to offer half of your mind and heart, do you?
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
[Src: (1) Day 8 of What On Earth Am I Here For by Rick Warren; (2) https://churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/322504-reasons-church-isnt-engaging-worship-david-santistevan.html%5D