Worship is so much more than simply singing songs on a Sunday morning. As worship leader Bob Kauflin puts it, “Christian worship is the response of God’s redeemed people to His self-revelation that exalts God’s glory in Christ in our minds, affections, and wills, in the power of the Holy Spirit.” I love this frame of thought because it acknowledges worship as a logical (minds), emotional (affections), and purposeful (wills) response to God that comes from receiving revelation about who He is. This is not something for which we have to strive or manufacture, but is instead fueled by the Holy Spirit’s power within each of us. As Jesus says in John’s gospel, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:24).
The purpose of this exercise is to provide you a way to engage your mind, affection, and will on Jesus during your times of personal worship.
1. The first step is to ask the Holy Spirit for his leading during this time, remembering that true worship only comes through the Holy Spirit’s stirring within us. Take 2 minutes in the quiet to ask the Holy Spirit to help lead, guide, and equip you to be fully engaged in this time of worship. Ask for his help to remove all distractions and the need to strive or perform. Focus on fully surrendering your will to his, centering and surrendering yourself fully to him.
2. Listen to “I Belong to Jesus” by Bethel Music. Don’t worry about singing along to the music. Don’t worry about comprehending everything that is being sung. Close your eyes and just allow the song to play over you as you continue to center yourself on God’s Spirit.
3. Once you’ve completed the song, read through the lyrics of the song (below). Pay special attention to the words in bold. Out of the bold section, pick one of the names for Jesus that stands out to you personally (i.e. shepherd, keeper, provider, etc.). Spend 5 minutes journaling about the word that stands out to you. Why does that word stand out? What does that word mean personally to you? What does that word tell you about God’s character? Are there Scriptures that back up the meaning of that word that come to mind? Is there a recent experience in your life where you have witnessed Jesus be that word to you? Don’t worry about writing correctly…write whatever comes to your mind and heart.
4. Once you finish journaling, spend 2 minutes in the quiet reflecting on what you’ve written. How do you feel? What would you say or do in response to God based on what you just wrote about him? Take 2-3 more minutes, and journal a letter of response to God, telling him how you feel knowing that he is that word to you.
5. Finish by listening to the song again. As you listen, put into action the letter of response you just wrote to God. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and don’t be shy. If you’re feeling gratitude, give God thanks as you listen. If you feel happy or excited, clap/raise your hands and sing out. If you feel pain because you were reminded of a difficult season or are currently in a difficult season, sit and listen to the song knowing that God is sitting and present right next to you. If you feel victory, shout out your praise! If you’re feeling loved, wrap your arms around yourself and picture that God is embracing you. There is no single, correct way to respond, but stay engaged during the entire song by reflecting on the word you chose.
I Belong to Jesus by Paul and Hannah McClure
When I feel the fear come, I won't run away
Even in valleys, Your presence is enough
When I feel the shaking, oh I will stand my ground
Oh Your presence is enough
You are with me Father You're for me
Fear will never conquer me I belong to Jesus
I'm never alone I'm never abandoned
Oh fear you'll never conquer me I belong to Jesus
When I feel the pressure, I won't run away
Even in tension, Your presence is enough
When I'm in the mystery, oh I will stand my ground
My God You are enough
When the rain fell, when the floods came
When the wind blew, I was ok
'Cause You were right there, You're in every step I take
When the night falls, when my heart aches
If I stumble, I will not break
You'll be right there, You're in every step I take
You're my shepherd, You're my keeper
My provider, my protector
You surround me, You're in every step I take
You're the goodness, You're the constant
You're my first love, and my future
You surround me, You're in every step I take
Even though I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil