(Photo by Scott Broome on Unsplash)
A few months ago, the phrase "worship is our weapon" popped into my heart. I have always loved worship. Music in particular always moved me as a young boy. From the age of 8 I started being part of church bands, starting from the kids church band, and over time being part of youth then main service bands. And I have always loved being part of them. But I have not always known why worship through song is important. Or how it could be a weapon.
It was a while ago that I realised that when I worshipped through song, a large part of what was being engaged in me was my emotions. I could feel the song. It moved me. That is the power of music. It is not neutral. It engages us at a deep, emotional level. Often in worship I would wait to be moved. If I wasn't moved, then I would be rather disengaged. This is very different to the way that my wife engages in worship. She gets lost in worship. Every time. The quality of the music didn't bother her. The atmosphere didn't distract her. She would wholeheartedly engage in worship no matter what.
I realised that the reason I wasn't fully engaged in worship wasn't because of any external factor, but rather the position of my heart. In that way worship was only a weapon for me when I positioned myself to engage in worship. But too often I didn't worship deeply or powerfully because I wasn't placing my emotions in a place where it was engaged.
See, worship cannot be an emotional experience alone. Our emotions definitely help make the engagement, but it is not the be all and end all of worship. In fact, worship should be more of a choice. A choice to magnify God above the circumstances. A choice to express devotion and love toward God. A choice to value God no matter how I feel. In that way worship is much like love in a marriage. Love in a marriage isn't about waiting for the emotions before taking action. Love is expressed mainly through our choices no matter what the situation.
When we worship in such a way, our heart's perspective switches. It moves from focussing on the situation at hand, and begins to gaze upon God. When we focus on God, that's when worship can become our weapon.
Why? Because there is always an abundance of grace available to us in God. Often we are not receiving that grace for our time of need because we haven't accessed it. It isn't because God is withholding, but rather we just haven't said, "Yes, please!" to it! But as we take our eyes of our earthly circumstances and turn to our heavenly Father, we recognise His outstretched arms and the grace He makes available.
This grace doesn't always change our situation. Sometimes the change is more personal and internal. It is a realisation that God isn't taking me out of the valley of the shadow of death, but rather He is teaching me that I can walk through it without fearing it. It is knowing that no matter what happens, God is able to make good come out of it. The fear disappears. The anxiety dissipates. I am secure in God. My hope remains firm. This is how worship becomes our weapon.