Hearts on Fire
Recently I attended one of our church wide worship nights. It was an amazing time of worship and lifting our voices together. This particular night I was helping out with our youth group. Our youth group was a huge percentage of the attendance, so as youth leaders we strategically positioned ourselves amidst the many rows of teenagers.
At one point during our time together I remember being struck and moved to tears by the observation of these young people as they worshipped. The verse John 4:23 came to my mind: “But the hour is coming and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” Not only is my faith in the next generation restored in these tender moments but a realness of their worship made me stop and observe the sweet and tender souls that surrounded me. Their hearts appeared to be on fire and come to life as they worshipped.
There was a young man standing in front of us that wasn’t singing but was completely engaged with what was happening. Every so often the young man would shoot one arm straight up in the air in worship with such sincerity and intentionality without a lyric or tune sung from his lips. In the next section several rows to the front, was a young man that with every word of every song, his body, his face, mouth, eyes and posture were immersed with the worship team and at the same time his Heavenly Father. I couldn’t help but feel moved to smile and worship in response to his contagious joy of worship.
A few rows to the left was a line of middle school girls that looked very similar in their worship styles. They were singing at the top of their lungs every word and at times would raise their hands in unison at the same part of the same songs. Even though this age group of girls tend to do all things together and in similar style, their countenances showed that their hearts were connecting in a deep way with the Lord and a sense of realness and innocence exuded from the beauty of their worship.
I remembered in that moment making a mental note to think about this sweet time of worship if our writing team ever had a worship topic to ponder. My take away from this evening was that no matter how we worship, what we do during our times of worship, or whether we engage in the same way as those around us, our hearts are on display to the Father. It can look different or similar to those that we may be surrounded with or that are in our circles of friends. But no matter the appearance of our outward bodies, our heart is truly what matters to the one we are worshipping. He sees the sincerity and genuineness of our worship.
Obviously the definition of worship entails many things, not just worship with music and song. But the Father has allowed gifts and talents of many individuals to help lead us into a deeper place of worship to Him with lyrics and melodies that are divinely inspired. This is not the only way we worship, but I believe in these times our hearts can connect in ways that carry out our worship to the Father in other areas of our daily lives.
Each of these young people this night had their own unique style of worship in which they connected with the Father. The common denominator I saw in each of them was that their hearts were genuine and real in their outward expressions of worship. It was inspiring to look upon this next generation and seeing their hearts connecting to their Creator and Savior without care of those around them. Their passion and exuberance expressed a sense that they were engulfed in this moment of worship and that their hearts were on fire for their Savior.
During times of worship are you engaging with the Father in a genuine and unique expression of your heart? When you worship do you care more about those around you and your appearance of worship as much as you are focused on your heart and the one in which you are worshipping?
Prayer: O Lord, I pray that I would come to you in a spirit of abandon in times or worship. Help me to put myself, my circumstances, and all distractions around me away and truly focus on you. Help me to be more concerned with connecting with you than what other than my perception of what others may think. Set my heart on fire for you during these times and grow me closer to you. In Jesus’ name Amen.
Meredith is wife to Bryan, mama to Carson, Elijah, Luke, Kaylyn and Joel. She has served alongside her husband Bryan (who is the College and Missions Pastor) here at the River for 16 years. She also works at the Cookeville Pregnancy Center as a nurse and loves ministering to women and their unborn babies. She enjoys pouring into young women, camping and being outdoors with her family, cooking, reading a good book (whenever she has time) and bird watching from her kitchen window.