Worship from a Place of Connection

Mark Virkler's picture

This blog and journaling are from Pastor Shawna M. Diehl, a doctoral student at Christian Leadership University.

Worship is a high priority at the church where I pastor.  In fact, I served for many years as a worship leader before planting Church on Fire. We have been blessed as a church to feel a strong sense of the presence of God as we gather for worship. However, lately something has seemed off.  I thought it was just me until one of our leaders brought it up at a meeting. I know that the people in our congregation love the Lord and were worshipping Him, but maybe the Lord was trying to lead us to a deeper understanding of worship.  So I asked Him about it, “Papa, something seems off in our worship experience. Can You help me to understand what we are missing?”


And, as He often does, the Father asked me a question in response. “Do you worship for an experience? If so, are you worshipping the experience or Me? I know that you love My presence and worship can help you be more aware of My presence. However, judging the success of a worship service by whether or not you have an experience is not the way to go about it. How do you connect with My presence?”

“I just turn my heart to You,” I replied, “I don’t have to sing or dance or anything to feel Your presence.  I just say, ‘Hey Papa!’ ”

“That’s right! So worship from that place of connection. That is the experience you are seeking anyways. Worshipping to earn an experience of My presence is servant mentality and I want you to behave like My daughter.”

At this point I knew I had to repent.  I had been treating the Father like a drug dealer. I gave Him worship and He gave me the high of His presence.  I also repented to my church for judging our worship services based on what people were experiencing.

In his book On Loving God, 12th century monk, Bernard of Clairvaux wrote about the difference between loving God for what we could get from Him and loving Him for Himself. What the Lord described to me as a servant mentality, Bernard describes as a mercenary mentality. The irony of loving God because of what it gets me is that, “where there is self-interest there is isolation.” Maybe this was what I was beginning to feel in the worship setting where I wanted to have an experience rather then being satisfied with simply loving God.

Bernard also writes that reward of love is the object that one loves. If my affection is turned towards an experience all I will ever have is an experience. But if my affection is turned towards God then the reward will be intimacy with the one my heart desires. Isn’t this the way God is with us? He doesn’t love us because of what we can do for Him or even because we worship Him. He is simply head over heels in love with us!

There was one more thing the Father wanted me to know.  He reminded me of Ephesians 5:18-19 which says, “...be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit…” (NIV). The place of connection in worship isn’t just vertical. The Father wants His children to feel connected to, loved and accepted by those they are worshipping with. Worship is to include speaking to one another and encouraging each other in our connection with the Father. When we connect first with God and each other then we begin worship as sons and daughters already living from the experience of intimacy with our loving Father.


 

Add new comment

Add new comment

Results

Results 21 - 30 of 418

Pages

Corporate Communion with God

Corporate Communion with God

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 35 Pages

Bring the principles of how to hear God's voice to your prayer meetings with the ideas recommended in this guide. As your prayer group encounters the spirit world, there are no limits to where God may wish to take you. He may fill your hearts with visions and burdens of needs half-way around the world. He may take you into the heavenlies to reveal the activity of spiritual forces surrounding you. He may reveal to you a vision of His future purposes and draw you into calling them forth. The possibilities are as limitless and varied as is the Spirit of God.

Price: $$4.95

Dialogue with God

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 296 Pages

This top seller for 30 years from Bridge Logos provides a narrative, right-brain presentation of the principles of how to hear God's voice. Especially enjoyable for personal use, it makes a great gift for introducing a loved one to the voice of God. This book teaches the four keys to hearing God's voice in readable style, and also devotes two entire chapters to moving samples of people's journaling (i.e. their two-way dialogue with God).

Price: $$16.99
Dream Dreams

Dream Dreams

by Steve and Dianne Bydeley | 222 Pages

Does God speak to us today? Are dreams an agency of relationship with God? How do we understand our dreams and what do we do with them? Dream Dreams does an outstanding job at exploring these important questions, leading the reader of this book into deeper intimacy with the Father through the understanding of dreams. This book offers a biblical perspective on the importance of dreams and visions, teaching responsible use and interpretation to those wanting a more intimate relationship with the Father-God and others.

Price: $$14.99
Eden's Health Plan - Go Natural!

Eden's Health Plan - Go Natural!

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 289 Pages

Discover how you can take charge of your own health — keeping yourself young, energetic, attractive, and free of degenerative diseases! Discover the biblical injunctions on diet and health, and the amazing correlations between them and modern scientific research.

Price: $$13.99

EFT for Christians: 52 Tapping Devotions

by Sherrie Rice Smith, R.N. (Retired)

"The amazing versatility of God’s gift of EFT stands out in this fourth installment in the EFT for Christians series. Sherrie Rice Smith’s latest book EFT for Christians – 52 Tapping Devotions helps believers incorporate Emotional Freedom Techniques into their everyday lives. In these weekly devotionals Sherrie clearly demonstrates how to connect Scripture and tapping in a practical way. Don’t just read this book; apply the principles and release God’s healing power in your life today."

Price: $$15.00
EFT for Christians

Emotional Freedom Techniques - EFT for Christians: Tapping Into God's Peace and Joy

by Charity Virkler Kayembe and Sherrie Rice Smith | 208 Pages | Published 2016

Scripture tells us that we comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received (2 Corinthians 1:3–5). To the degree that we are healed and comforted, we can offer those same gifts much more freely to others

Price: $$14.95

End-Times Prophecy

by Timothy Paul Jones, PhD | 364 p. | c2011

This is an outstanding book, which clearly and simply lays out four differing views of end time prophecy, providing scriptural support for each, showing the unique approaches each view takes, and encouraging you to understand and not judge those who disagree with you. Finally we can honor and love all people (1 Pet. 2:17) as we consider various views of interpreting end time prophecy. What a gift to the body of Christ. Thank you, Timothy Paul Jones!!!

Price: $$19.95
Experiencing God Together

Experiencing God Together

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 105 Pages

This book explains how to turn small group meetings into times of dynamic sharing of revelation concerning the real life issues we face daily. It addresses how to get everyone involved, how to limit the naturally talkative, and how to keep things on track.

Price: $$10.95
Flow of Life

Flow of Life

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 102 Pages

This book guides you in doing original research in any area in which you are seeking the supernatural release of divine power through your life. For example, one sample project recorded in this book is entitled, "Healing a Chronic Illness Through Receiving and Acting Upon a Word of Knowledge." 

Price: $$5.95
Fulfill Your Financial Destiny

Fulfill Your Financial Destiny

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 66 Pages

Though the economic system (mammon) of this world is under a curse, we have received instructions for how to move out from that dominion and into the blessing of the Kingdom of God. God’s promises to His children have not changed with the whims of government or Wall Street, nor have His directions for how to walk in those promises. We can “choose not to participate” in the economic recession that is around us if we instead choose to obey the logos and rhema of the Lord and enjoy the blessings that result.

Price: $$12.95

Pages