By His hand we stand in victory. By His name we overcome.

 

For months, it’s gotten harder and harder to pray, to worship, and even to sit through an entire church service. Fear, discouragement, guilt, feelings of worthlessness… Instead of songs of praise or prayers for help, these were my song, these were the thoughts I rehearsed.

I knew why. I knew exactly why, but I felt powerless to fight against it. I was exhausted. I felt completely alone. And no one can fight a battle exhausted and alone. So I gave in and let these evils wash over me like a hurricane-driven wave. And in doing so, I ended up exactly where Satan wanted me: Powerless, crushed, silent.

At a time when I needed to rely on and worship God the most, at a time when we were in the midst of building a new ministry at work and my pastors were preparing for a couple of pretty powerful series, I had willingly surrendered to all the wrong things. I handed myself over, not to the will and direction of my God who speaks Truth, but to the will and direction of the one who only speaks lies.

While I should have been gearing up for battle months ago, I was working too hard, not resting, really at all, and not dedicating myself to prayer, worship, Scripture or daily examination. I was completely undisciplined in the spiritual disciplines I knew I needed. I let my guard down. I invited my Enemy to walk right in, and he happily obliged.

So as usually happens in these cases, I had a little bit of a breakdown this week. I blamed it on things happening with my job, but the truth is that those things were merely the symptoms of the infection I’d allowed to fester. It was no one’s fault but mine, and I knew it, but God is unendingly faithful, gracious and merciful. I never should have allowed myself to get so run down and far away from my Lifeline, but when I did, He provided exactly the weapon I needed to begin to fight my way back.

After some chats with some people who, it turns out, care about me a whole lot more than I’ve ever given them credit for, I’ve spent some time today doing some spiritual surgery, immersing myself in confession, writing, and for the first time in a long time, in worship.

Through worship, I’ve begun to speak truths to my heart that it’s been unwilling to hear or accept:

  • In Christ I have victory over fear, insecurity, discouragement, guilt, and feelings of worthlessness.
  • God really does love me.
  • I do matter, and in Christ I have purpose, meaning and a calling for which He specifically equips me every day.
  • The promises found in God’s word aren’t just for other people – they’re for me too.

Worship is a powerful weapon. It’s light and easy to wield. It’s readily available anytime – day, night, at home, at work, in the car, at the gym. It takes many forms, whether songs, psalms, prayers, art, dance, or even just silent awe. We often think of worship as our gift to God, but really, it’s one of His greatest gifts to us.

So, how about taking a few minutes to worship? 🙂

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