A New Kind of Worship
by Sarah Rowan
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neale Donald Walsch
Recently, I spoke at a ladies’ event in a local church. I have given my testimony many times. I keep thinking it will get easier. It hasn’t yet. Before I spoke, I prayed, “Lord, I can feel You here. Your Spirit is swirling around this room like an invisible wind. No one can see Him, but every one of us can feel Him, as He comes close to us in a personal and intimate way. He is reminding us that You are very real and You are present here. He is pleased with what He hears, as we worship You. Lord, the only reason we are here is because of You. I know I am right where I am supposed to be. I know You have called me here to speak. You have given me the words to say. Lord, if all of this is true, then why am I still so nervous?”
It was as if the Lord were sitting next to me in a chair and there was no one else in the room. He whispered gently to my spirit, “Child, you speaking here tonight and all the other times you have spoken on My behalf is nothing more than a new kind of worship of Me. You are just not used to it. You have been content in your own style of worship of Me all of your Christian life, but I am calling you to a new kind of worship now, one that is all in My comfort zone and far outside of yours. Nothing much happens when you stay in your own comfort. You cannot be spiritually stretched if you only do what is comfortable to your own flesh. When you are in My comfort zone, you touch other people for Me. I can’t use you to your fullest potential when you are unwilling to venture too far from what is comfortable. You will not experience Me to the fullest if you stay where it feels good. Your flesh seeks comfort, but your spirit seeks freshness and growth. If you allow it, your flesh will tie your spirit down like a ship is tied down to a simple pier. Something so big and great is being held down by something so small and insignificant. That is the power of the flesh. I will never untie you from your comfort zone; only you can. But if you are willing, I can set your life a sail to really experience Me in a new kind of worship.”
Every time the Lord speaks, not one word is wasted. The words that He speaks are truth sandwiched between more truths. I have never considered my writings and now the sharing of my testimony as a new kind of worship of the Lord. I worship the Lord by praying, reading the Bible, teaching Sunday school, singing along with my other brothers and sisters at church, and by my tithes. Every single way I have worshipped the Lord is no different than I did last year or the year before that. While all these things are acceptable worship to the Lord, I have done every one of them in my comfort zone. The Lord is telling me that there are more kinds of worship than those that are only comfortable.
If my manager at work never challenged me, would I become a better professional? If my marital problems never challenged me, would I have sought counseling to make my marriage stronger? If my son’s being diagnosed with ADHD never challenged me, would I have learned about my own ADHD to make a difference in my life and his? No, to all of these.
If we are not challenged by some outside force greater than ourselves, we can become stagnant. We mentally and spiritually stay where we have always mentally and spiritually been. Why? We want to remain comfortable. If challenged, then we can be guided by something greater than us to cause us to move, so we will not be the same people in the end. God does not want us to be the same people we were a year ago or 10 years ago. He seeks to spiritually stretch us so we can experience Him in a greater and fresh way. Anything you do for the Lord is a type of worship of Him. The question is, “Is your current kind of worship challenging you to grow?” Let me give you a way to tell.
Are you comfortable in your current kinds of worship? If you say yes, then you are not challenging yourself or stepping outside of your spiritual comfort zone. I’m not saying go to the churches and give your testimony. That may not be what the Lord leads you to do as your new kind of worship. I have a friend who said that she felt the Lord was leading her to simply raise her hand during the worship time in a church that did not typically raise hands. It was a struggle for her to obey, as it was hard to step out of the accepted norm. The Lord was trying to spiritually stretch her in a new kind of worship of Him. She was obedient in starting to raise her hand in praise and was blessed by the Lord in a new kind of worship of Him. If by chance you are not a daily Bible reader, then your new kind of worship could be rearranging your busy life to meet God in His Word consistently. It could be teaching Sunday school, starting a new ministry, or stepping outside of the group of people you would normally associate with at work or even at church. Here’s a big one….actually witnessing about Christ. There’s a novel idea! Ninety-five percent of confessing Christians have never witnessed about Christ. Why? They are comfortable in their own kind of worship. As you see, it doesn’t take much to have a new kind of worship, but I am learning it will initially be outside of your comfort zone.
We need to spiritually challenge ourselves to add a new kind of worship to our current kinds of worship. Christians act like worship is for them. Worship is never about us, but always about God. The problem with some Christians is they worship in their own strength. God’s strength manifests through your weakness. The only way to be weak and vulnerable is to be outside of your comfort zone. God will be honored in your new kind of worship of Him, because you will have to fully rely on Him and not at all on yourself. Do you want to experience God Almighty in a fresh way? Add one new kind of worship to your life, then trust Him that He will meet you in a mighty way. Remember the rule of thumb for your new kind of worship. If you are uncomfortable doing it, then you have just entered God’s comfort zone. Amazing things happen there!
Sarah Rowan lives in Albany, Georgia. She is the author of Authentic Happiness Devotions for the Slumbering Believer. Her website is www.sarahrowan.com.
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