Worship Wednesday: Freedom

Since returning from the GROW conference (which I promise I will get around to writing about), one word has stayed constant in my mind… freedom. It’s a concept we desire to be prevalent in our lives, but it’s also something that a lot of us don’t truly experience. We miss it in our private lives, we miss it in our relationships, we miss it in our worship. Today, we’re going to talk a little about how a lack of freedom in Christ inhibits our corporate worship.

During one of our first worship experiences at Highlands, I was taken aback as I watched the sea of worshipers. The Holy Spirit was flowing freely in this place. It was so obvious. There was an incredible sense of freedom. From what I could see, there were no inhibitions. People weren’t afraid of what others thought. They were focused on Jesus.

So many times during corporate worship, I fear that we are more focused on what people think than on what God has for us that day. We are afraid to lift our hands because, well, there aren’t a lot of others raising their hands. Or maybe people will think we’re being fake. We are afraid to allow tears to flow freely because, well, people may think we’re just going on emotions. Now I’m not saying that to worship freely, you MUST raise your hands or cry. That’s not freedom either. The freedom comes when no matter if you listen silently, shed tears, pray, raise your hands, clap, sway, or just sing at the top of your lungs… you’re doing it because of an intense connection with your Master… one that started before you walked in the doors of the church.

What happens in our hearts and minds on Sunday mornings is a direct reflection of what is happening in our private prayer closets. Have you ever noticed how differently you experience corporate worship when you have spent a lot of time with your Creator that week? And what about the disconnect you experience when you haven’t met with Him a lot? Don’t blame your lack of worship on the songs or the leader or the missed notes or the words on the screen. Our worship experience comes more from our own constant (or broken) connection with Jesus than it does from anything tangible that happens in the worship center.

So, what’s the state of your worship? Do you find yourself connecting freely with God on Sunday mornings? Or do you more often hold back, worried about what those around you will think? My challenge is for all of us to seek the freedom in Christ that God is calling us to! May we experience true and free worship, both privately and corporately!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

What is God teaching you about worship? I would love to hear… Link up below or, if you don’t have a blog, leave a comment. Have a great week!


16 Comments

  1. Amen! What a great post!

    It’s funny…I’ve experimented with this recently and have come to a conclusion: Never once have I regretted worshiping freely. The way the Spirit led me. I have, however regretted doing otherwise…

    All for Him with hugs to you,
    Nikki

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    • Thanks, Nikki… It’s been on my heart for a while. We’ve got to let Him lead and control every area of our lives. Even unconsciously, we are people pleasers more than we are God pleasers. Gotta turn that around! And you’re right… the only regret we’ll have is not worshiping freely.

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  2. Paula, I love this – “What happens in our hearts and minds on Sunday mornings is a direct reflection of what is happening in our private prayer closets” I’m tweeting it!

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    • Thank you, Shannon! It’s so so true!!!

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  3. My worship varies I like to let the spirit flow but at the same time I tend to hold back a bit when it comes to music.

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Alicia!

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  4. This post hit home because I live in a country where we have ZERO religious freedom. I was chastised not long ago for wearing my cross (something I still haven’t taken off!) and right at the start of Ramadan a man pointed at the cross in our car and said “Not ALLOWED”! Needless to say, I gave him my nose up and went on about my day. It makes me even more determined to practice my worship freely. Thanks for being a great reminder!

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    • Wow! We have no idea what persecution really means in America. Worship freely, friend! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  5. I loved it and am tweeting it too. It’s amazing that no matter how close we get to God, sometimes we find ourselves wondering if/how we should express that out loud. I think if we feel the need/desire to share, it’s not a coincidence and we should let loose. God will do the rest, even if we never see it.

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    • Amen, Rosey! Thank you for stopping by… and for tweeting! :)

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  6. So true that how we live our lives says a lot about our walk with our creator!

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    • Yes, absolutely!

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  7. Oh my goodness, this really speaks to me right now. A year or so ago, I went with a friend to a Priscilla Shirer simulcast at her church. Priscilla has a way of bringing me out of my worship shell. The music her brother played during the event was AMAZING and I couldn’t help but lift my hands in praise as I sang along. I didn’t care what others thought of me. So many times in my own church worship service I feel the desire to lift my hands but stop myself because not many others are doing so. Mostly though, I stop myself because my husband doesn’t do so. He’s so conservative and I wouldn’t want to embarrass him. I don’t think he would be embarrassed, but in the moment I worry about it. So I feel the worship only in my heart as I sing. It would be nice to feel the freedom I felt at the Priscilla Shirer event. Perhaps I need to spend time meditating on Galations 5:1 :)

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    • It’s tough, Rosann. So much more I could say on this, but we’ve got to recognize that God just wants us to let go and worship Him with no inhibitions. It’s just like everything else… we try to live our lives in our own strength, so our public worship should be led by our own strength too, right? We’re people pleasers by nature, but God is calling us to something greater! A greater connection. A greater relationship. A greater life.

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  8. Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog and I love this post! I have to admit I was one that had a huge problem with this when I first began to follow Christ as an adult. I would hold my tears in because I felt like I would look funny. But one day, in the middle of a song that was really a testimony for what I was going through at the time, my aunt in-law grabbed me and just started to rock me. I just felt the Holy Spirit lift me up and allow all the tears to fall and I began to shout in front of everyone. It was such a release and after that it seemed that my fear of letting go when I needed to was gone.

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    • Hi Melissa! :) I’m so glad you ran across my blog! I’m so thankful that you have found freedom in worship! So many of us struggle with this same issue. But God is good, and He will free us if we just let it all go to Him.

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