“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 42:11
Sometimes I lead myself in worship. A lot of times, actually.
My soul seems to have chronic amnesia. It doesn’t take much for it to forget how incredible God is. Sure, my mind knows how great God is. But caught up in the circumstances of life, I find my perception of God shrinking down to the size of my own fleeting existence. Pretty soon, I don’t even want to worship.
But God is much greater than what I see or feel. He is eternal, incomprehensible, majestic and omnipotent. He is gracious, forgiving, faithful and true. He is worthy of much greater worship than I know how to give.
So why can’t my soul seem to remember who God really is?
I should be able to easily worship Him any time, any day – much less during a worship service! Why is it difficult sometimes?
Apparently, David has the same problem I do. In the Psalms, he repeatedly cries out, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” David talks to himself, reminding his soul of God’s goodness. David leads himself in worship.
If David, whom the Bible labels “a man after God’s own heart,” had to lead himself in worship, we probably do too.
We have to consistently, intentionally remind ourselves of God’s character.
Sometimes, I simply worship – even when I don’t want to. Declaring Biblical truths out loud and singing them is a great way to wake my soul out of its forgetful sleep.
Sometimes I preach the Gospel to myself. Remembering the cross, remembering the empty grave, and remembering who I was before Jesus changed my life motivates my soul to worship God.
Sometimes I just think about God’s goodness. God has never failed anyone. Ever. In all of human history, He has been perfectly good. The bible is full of stories of His goodness trumping the odds. And He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He’s never failed anyone, and He won’t start now.
This is just the beginning. Regardless of how we do it, we must consistently motivate ourselves to worship God in spirit and truth whether we feel like it or not. He is always worthy; we simply forget.
What is one way you have had a hard time worshiping God recently? Ask God to reveal a truth about His character you need to remember, and then respond by leading yourself in worship.
By Thomas J. Wilson