Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus

I will rejoice?


The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock! May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted!—2 Samuel 22:47 (NLT)

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.—Psalm 100:4 (NLT)

Last year, I was challenged by a friend to get back into the Bible, because it was something that I had gotten away from for several years as the thorns started to choke out the seeds. While I didn’t get the consistent, daily exposure that I was hoping for, it wasn’t an entire loss, and it is back to being a part of my life again.

When I sat down at the beginning of the year and thought about an area where I could challenge myself, for this year I decided I would focus on praise and worship, both privately and corporately.

I don’t really do much private worship. Sometimes I will offer a prayer of praise in a particular moment, but I don’t just bust out “Famous One” spontaneously while I’m driving up the freeway or standing in line at Walmart.

In corporate worship, I’m even more tuned out. To me, corporate worship is like going to a baseball game and waiting through the National Anthem to get to the first pitch. You know that it should be performed, you know you’re supposed to sing along, but I’m really there to hear the pastor speak.

I am skeptical when people put their hands up in the air. When I was a new Christian and first saw that, I asked Erika if that was something you were supposed to do, because if it was, that was the last thing I was doing because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. She said I absolutely should not do it unless the Holy Spirit moves you. Well, 8 years later and nothing has happened yet. I’m still a little bit skeptical that some of that isn’t “look at me!” but I also recognize that a lot of it is genuine and that it is even something we’re told to do in the Bible.

So, like I said… work in progress. I realized one day that I was just reciting words off of a PowerPoint being shown on the wall in an exercise set to music. The words and the feeling behind them didn’t mean anything to me, so I started taking some baby steps this year on adding to the overall worship experience instead of just taking from it and singing to God instead of a wall of PowerPoint.

The Life Application Bible has some great things to think about in regards to worship:

Praising God has several aspects to it:

  1. Say thank you to him for each attribute of his divine nature
  2. Focus our hearts on him
  3. Thank him for his many gracious gifts to us
  4. Thank him for our relationship with him.

What is your attitude toward worship? Do you willingly and joyfully come into God’s presence or are you going through motions?


2 thoughts on “I will rejoice?

  1. Some days I’m zoned out, some days I’m tuned in. Depends on what’s going on. What I really like is when I’m zoned out, thinking about what I’ve got to get done, etc., and then God pulls me in to the worship and I snap out of my funk. It’s like He’s still serving me even when worshiping is all about Him.

  2. I have trouble focusing, because if I let it happen, I will think of about 60 other things during worship instead of worship.

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