I think that many of our so-called worship times on Sundays are no more than a concert. I prefer not to attend a lot of concerts.
However, authentic worship that creates space for God and hosts His presence attracts me.
Danielle and I attended a Bethel Worship Night last weekend. Some would call it a concert. I understand why.
However, one of the first things the worship leader said was that there was no agenda or set list to “get through”. He alerted us to the fact that there would be times of waiting which could be awkward for some.
The only agenda was to create space for God and host His presence.
Even though the title of this blog post is how to do that, I really don’t know of a formula to do that.
Our home church is going through a transition in its worship ministry. The leadership formed focus groups to discuss what worship should look like for our church. Danielle attended one meeting and shared her thoughts about hosting God’s presence. I love what she shared. (I wanted her to write this blog!)
The focus on God is so intense that you forget about everything and everyone around you. I believe the experience is deeper if there is a listening ear for what God requires of you. Does he require repentance? Will he ask you to do something undignified? It takes much surrender to listen and obey in corporate worship. What if he asks you to step into the aisle and kneel before Him? Or even more embarrassing, to come to the altar and sacrifice your pride?
There are times His Presence requires you to walk away from sin, mend broken relationships, and there are lovely times of healing and joy. And just when this extreme surrender seems to be the thing that invites God presence, He does something outside the box and simply showers with His presence for no reason.
I believe amazing worship leaders are those rarely gifted people who have God-given talent, yet they aspire to worship God above all else. They desire to model and teach worship so their congregation has deeper levels of intimacy and experiences with God’s Presence.Danielle Camp
Some call this kind of worship “Sacred Space”. Creating sacred space to meet with God is not dependent on a type of song, environment or even a worship leader.
When I am in that kind of worship setting, I find freedom to just be with God. As Danielle said, I forget about everything and everyone around me. What usually happens for me is a flood of thoughts that I want to write. Many times I just sit and write.
Here are a few things I wrote down at the Bethel Worship Night. Some are things I heard said. Some are my own thoughts.
- Pure worship doesn’t need a program or a set. It is an outflow of our hearts. We don’t need a worship leader. We need hearts hungry for God.
- God is our melody. Our hearts, when overflowing with praise, harmonize with His heart. Corporate worship produces a symphony of praise. When we are in the presence of such worship, we have no desire to leave.
- Pure worship calls us to abandon our agendas surrendering not only our will to Him but also our dignity, our pride, our arrogance. We recognize that we are nothing without Him.
I don’t think I really told you how to create space for God and host His presence. Instead I rambled about what I long for.
I know this—I hunger for His presence and when I am there, nothing else matters. His presence changes me. My heart becomes more like His heart.
Do you long for the same thing? Will you share a time when you were in God’s presence? How did you respond?