Freedom in Worship


Over the weekend I went back and forth as to whether I should share something that was on my heart during Sunset’s services on Sunday or not. In the end I decided to only share it in the 11 because it tied in very well with the first 2 songs. Here is basically what I said:

I don’t often think of Sunset being a place where I experience freedom in worship. Last weekend I came to one of the services at Sunset. And I remember this overwhelming voice within me saying “this place is too big, don’t engage, don’t stand up, don’t close your eyes, don’t raise your hands.” Sadly it isn’t all that uncommon for thoughts like that to be running around in my head on Sunday mornings. You might be standing out there right now and having those same thoughts go through your head. And I have to be honest, I think those thoughts and voices are straight from the Devil. I know that God desires that we would be able to experience freedom in Him during worship and that Sunset would be a place where freedom in worship happens.

I then prayed against Satan’s schemes and over everyone in the room. I’ve had a few people contact me since I said that, so I wanted to clarify a little of what I meant.

  • First and foremost I think it must be said that the Bible specifically says that God is freedom (2 Cor. 3:17). So when I say that those voices in my head are from the Devil I’m not really guessing, I know they are because they are decidedly opposite of who God is.
  • What freedom in worship looks like for each person is different. So for some it might be raising their hands, for others it might be singing with their eyes closed, for some it might be engaging their heart with the lyric of a song. Freedom in worship does not necessarily mean an outward response. But just because it isn’t necessarily an outward response doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t respond to God with our outward emotions in worship.
  • David talked about becoming more undignified than dancing naked before God. That is freedom in worship (though I’d prefer people keep their clothes on in church).
  • We bind ourselves with our cultural idea of what worship should look like and by allowing those voices to control how we worship. This is a total contradiction with the freedom God offers us in His presence.

Hopefully this clears up any questions you may have had.

If not, feel free to ask me any question/concerns you have about this.

(Photo: Jonathan Kendall)