Miranda dragged the heavy van door shut as the last of her siblings tumbled out of the car. Together the family walked up the pathway to church. That is, until someone had to go back to get their Bible. Miranda followed her dad into the building, stopping to say hello to some friends, and be hugged by her elderly neighbor, who was just a bit deaf, and Miranda reaped her greeting several times before moving on. She glanced through the people surrounding her, and hurried to catch up with her family. As the worship band began playing she deposited her stuff in her seat and straightened to see what song was playing. Ah, it was ‘My Lighthouse’ by Rend Collective, one of her favorite bands. Miranda subconsciously looked around her. Her mom had her eyes closed, and hand out. Her dad was singing loudly, nicely. And the women in front of her was was clearly praying out loud, her voice lost in the music. Miranda began singing quietly, after a few lines, she tentatively closed her eyes. Immediately she felt very aware of all the voices around her. Sure that someone was looking at her she peeked out… and of course, no one else was paying attention to her. She noticed a few more people this time, though, off down the row to her right there were two girls who were whispering together. Miranda closed her eyes again and enjoyed worshiping, but a few minutes later she felt unexplainedly compelled to kneel. Immediately, she started getting fearful and arguing with herself.
“Just do it!”
“But what will those girls think? What will my parents think?”
“Does it matter what they think?”
“Logically I should say no, it doesn’t matter. But-”
“But what? Aren’t you supposed to fear God, not man?!”
“It isn’t going to be a sin if I don’t kneel would it?”
“That is what you are going for? The least you can do without sinning? How about the best you can do to honor God?”
“But people will think I’m being dramatic and making things up.”
“Well, you’re not, so who cares? Besides, no one will notice, they are all worshiping”
- Does your extreme consciousness of everyone around you ever hinder your ability to focus in God and worship in a group? Well, it did for me for a long time. But God arranged circumstances in my situation so that I could really learn to worship- finally! Anyways, you are not alone in that seemingly little struggle. But that doesn’t mean it is okay. It all comes down to our fear of God. Or our lack of it. Are we focused on worshiping the all-powerful, awe-worthy, God who loves us and died for us? Or are we concerned about the human to our left that we don’t even know very well, and definitely doesn’t deserve our worship? We’ve talked about fearing God many times before in Th!nk magazine, and I could write pages and pages on it (I actually started a book about it once), so I won’t go into it all here. But it is the foundation on what we do in life. If we don’t fear God enough to simply worship Him in a room full of other believers in church, how will we ever be able to fear Him enough to much harder things? Our motivation will be really quite pitiful. So, I challenge you: go back, read our pasts articles on fearing God, search Scripture yourself, and then quote it to yourself when you struggle to fear Him, and not humans.
*Specifically, check out May 2016 Th!nk magazine.
(We do not post the full magazine here on this blog. To read the entire magazine each month, subscribe for free be emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org)