Can I worship God beyond the music?

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So.. why do we sing songs every week at church again?

Here’s what I know a lot of people would define worship as: a time when everyone gathers together to sing songs before or after a pastor gives a sermon. This is the common thought when worship is mentioned, but I have learned that worship is so much more than a song.

Here’s my definition of worship: acknowledging God’s presence by expressing great love, high respect, and deep gratitude towards Him. I’ve learned that this is the truest way to describe in easy terms what God desires to receive from us. He didn’t appear to Moses as a burning bush and ask him to sing a song for Him. No! God asked Moses to take off his sandals. Why did God ask Moses to take off his sandals? Seems weird, right? He asked him to take them off because He wanted Moses to acknowledge with his physical body that He was standing before the presence of God Himself. How was taking off his shoes going to signify that he was honoring God’s presence? Well, have you ever thought about how many things your shoes have touched that your feet haven’t? Shoes are there to protect your feet from all kinds of dirt and disease that they could be walking on. For Moses to take off his shoes it was almost a message that said “I realize I’m sinful (or “dirty”, if you will) and I don’t deserve to be standing before You, God.” God desired for Moses to give Him the honor He was due by acknowledging that he was just a man, blemished and imperfect. It says in Exodus 3 that Moses not only took off his shoes, he hid his face too because he became afraid when he realized he was looking at the One and Only, Incredible and Awesome, God, in the form of a burning bush.

If worship is much more than just a song, but instead it’s about the way you think of God in your heart and how you respond to knowing who He is.. what do you think your worship would look like then?

I’ll be the first to say that there are some days I wake up, go to church, and I struggle to connect to God in the first song because I’m too busy wondering if my friends are around.

Is it still worship if I passively sang that “He has done great things” when my heart wasn’t actually engaged in that truth? I would venture to say that’s not really worship.

In the same way, when I get into a conversation with my sister about the Bible, but I start to be rude about it, I have totally missed an opportunity to acknowledge what the Bible is all about by worshipping God with my words and deciding to be gentle towards my sister. God desires for us to respond to Him in our spirits and in truth. He wants us to become aware of who He is and respond to it like we can’t help but sing or be nice to people because we KNOW who He is. When we know who He is, want to tell Him again and again and express to Him what that means to us!

Let me use another example.. has someone in your family or friend group ever told you that they love you and why they love you? How did it make you feel? I can answer that question.. it made me feel like I was worth a million bucks. There’s just something about someone looking you in the face and telling you why you mean so much to them.

God desires this same thing from us.. a true relationship where when we say or sing things to or about Him, we really mean it because we are willing to engage in a heart-conversation with Him.

I would encourage you to start pondering how you can worship God beyond the music that you sing at church. How can you tell Him you love Him right when you wake up? How can you tell Him you love Him when your sibling, parent, or guardian just made you upset? Your response in any situation can become worship to Him if you will tune your heart to recognition of His presence that never leaves you.

As well, in worship at church maybe ask yourself “Am I responding to who I know God to be or am I distracted?” If you’re distracted, try to move away from any other thoughts other than who you know God is. He is so good and He is so worthy of our attention and true worship!

WRITTEN BY: MALLORY GILLEY
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Love Tells the Truth

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Hi, I’m Bri! I’m a 23 year old  graduate from Hardin-Simmons University and I’m a lifegroup leader and volunteer at BSM South.

Oh, and I’ve never dated anybody.


WAIT, WHAT DID SHE SAY?

Yes, I, in all my 23 years have never had a boyfriend. Not a single one. And, yes, I’m still alive.

By now you’re either about to stop reading because there’s obviously something wrong with me or you don’t want to read another blog about how being single is the BEST and it’s way better than being in a relationship and God is my boyfriend and blah, blah, blah.


I’m not going to tell you any of those things, mostly because I think they’re a load of poo. Being single, especially in a culture where you’re expected to be married and have two kids and a white picket fence by the time you’re my age, is really, really hard. Especially when you believe the lies about love that are all around you like billboards on a highway. They scream, “You’re not where you should be! You don’t know the fullness of God because you don’t know romantic love! If you changed this and this and this and looked like her, maybe you’d find love!” Or even, “ Maybe the reason you can’t is because you don’t deserve it.”

Those. Are. Lies. But they can be really convincing.


You may be wondering what right I have to talk about love or tell you how it should be when I’ve never been in it. But there’s where you’re wrong. I know Love.

Love is the crown of thorns that pierced a sinless head and spotless hands that now bear scars from taking nails that were meant to be mine. Love is a blood that runs deep red and leaves things spotless as it washes over. Love wears the red letter on their sleeve for the crimes you committed like a badge of honor.

All the things we think are love are just glimpses of real Love. Gifts that we get to have because of Love. But they, in all their wonder and magic and the ways they make us feel are not love. I’m  not anti-love, I’m so pro-Love it hurts.

My heart hurts when I see people scrambling and scraping for love, jumping from relationship to relationship. It’s like picking up crumbs from the floor to eat and going to bed with empty bellies, unsatisfied,  because we didn’t look up and see the feast that was on the table all along. Not only was it there, but it was there FOR you. And it’s not just people that date that do this. My heart hurts when I do it too. It looks different, but it produces the same result. I let daydreams get away from me, allow my heart to go places it shouldn’t, feel envy or jealousy or even hatred towards those that have what I don’t. And at the end of the day I go to bed, with the same empty stomach if you will, all because I forgot about the feast.

Singleness isn’t the answer to finding Love, but neither are relationships. The answer is found in accepting it. The hardest part about Love is that you have to choose it, in times of singleness and times of relationship alike. Jesus is never going to force His love on you because then that wouldn't be Love. He’s not going to force-feed the Feast waiting on His table to you. You have to choose to look up. You have to swallow your pride and accept it. Put down the burden of deciding if you’re worthy or deserving of it because He already says you are.

We’ve been lied to about what Love is. But there’s no shame or condemnation here for believing it. No, this Love that is older than time reveals itself with new mercies every day. He is patient. He is kind. He is not angry, He does not boast. He keeps no record of wrongs. He’s not selfish or passive. He is all that we need to be fully satisfied. He is so much more than what we only get little pictures of in our daydreams or even in our spouses, our life-partners that we’ve been told will make us whole. We’ve confined Love to a person-sized box when it’s been God-sized all along.

You’ve been inside the person-sized glass box for so long, looking out and wondering why you still feel empty. Good news for you, there’s a hammer called Grace that will smash through those walls and allow the God-sized fullness of Love to wash over you.

There’s a Feast waiting, there are boxes to be shattered. Will you eat from the table? Will you take the hammer?

WRITTEN BY: BRIANNA BREWER
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