Happy Wednesday! I hope your week has been filled with God’s rich blessings so far. As I was thinking and praying about this month’s worship set, the song that first came to mind was today’s song feature. It is the song around which this month’s worship theme is built and is a declaration of faith and trust in the powerful name of Jesus. It declares God’s power over darkness and the fact that at the name of Jesus the enemy can be defeated.
October is here and with it, shorter days and darker nights. It’s also that time of year during which the powers of darkness are celebrated. As I watch Halloween decorations appear and witness the chaos our world is in between COVID, natural disasters, racial discord, and political tension, I have been impressed with the need to declare God’s power over darkness.
While this is Satan’s temporary domain over which he exercises some control, Jesus broke Satan’s power and conquered the enemy. God is still on the throne and ultimately in control of all that transpires on planet earth. Therefore, this month as our country continues to get pulled apart by disunity and as evil is celebrated, let us, as God’s people, lift up a song of victory, a declaration of God’s power, and an anthem that tells the world and our own hearts that Jesus has defeated darkness and that celebrates the mighty, all-powerful name of the King of kings.
Today, we are going to conclude our worship set focusing on God’s faithfulness through the storms of life and the fact that even in the fire and life’s hardest moments, God is always with us. Over the last seven months, we have watched our nation spiral into chaos and division. The increased pressure caused by COVID-19 brought to light points of high tension across our country. Therefore, in the midst of all the unrest, tragedy, conflict, polarization, and loss, I believe that today’s song is especially appropriate for us to focus on and declare to ourselves, our families, and our communities.
Do you feel alone?
One of the biggest lies Satan tries to get us to believe is that we’re all alone in life. Despair, depression, anxiety, and fear can come crashing into our lives if we believe this lie from the enemy, and he’d like nothing better than to ruin our day. Therefore, he whispers this deception into our souls and impresses it on our minds and heart, and all too often we start to believe the lies he’s feeding us.
Over the last several years, it has felt like tragedy upon tragedy has hit mankind. Violence and natural disasters are yearly occurrences; now add COVID into the mix, and it’s been an extra difficult year. As a northern California resident, I am reminded daily of the trials people face as I look out onto a smoky world and watch ash swirl around in the air. Fires, floods, storms, tornados, pandemics, illness, financial loss, death. Life is difficult. Our world is mired with difficulty, and trials come on every side. However, we don’t have to navigate life’s hardships on our own, and today’s song is a great reminder that there is always someone beside us as we face the hardships in life.
Anxiety is a really big thing in this broken world, and this year has been riddled with this uneasy feeling. While some people experience anxiety and stress to different degrees, from major panic attacks to a slight unsettled feeling, we’ve all had moments with lack of peace. A lack of calm assurance and trust to step out of the boat and onto the water in the midst of the storm with our eyes fixed on Jesus.
Fall is in the air! Kids are back to school and everyone is starting to get COVID fatigue. With the reality of a new season approaching and another semester of distance learning, many are feeling despair about how long this pandemic will alter their lives. Add to this natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes and the pressure becomes too much. Uncertainty and ambivalence is high along with feelings of anxiety and stress. And Christians are not immune to these feelings. We also are trying to plan for the future in a world that is changing on an almost daily basis. So how can we navigate this season? How can we refocus our attention on truth? How can we ease the loneliness, stress, anxiety, and fear that we feel?
After a year and a half of worship posts, I believe it’s time to circle back and discuss the reason why we worship and, ultimately, what worship is. It is so easy to get caught up singing songs on Sunday or listening to music and lose sight of the reason why we do these things. Our brains are smart and can sing along with a song without having to be consciously involved. But in order for our songs to truly be worship, our hearts must be involved. It is not merely a singing exercise but an opportunity to praise and extol our Savior. Therefore, let’s re-examine what worship is and why we do it.
As we close out the month of July, I would like to give you a gentle call to worship. Sometimes life gets so busy and overwhelming that we forget how much God has given us, done for us, and won for us and so we forget to just stop and worship. Worship Him for who He is, what He’s done, and His great faithfulness. So today, would you take a moment to quiet your heart and mind and let the words of this song flood your soul and become a song in your heart?
Once in a while, I like to highlight a song I would use for communion in a service. These songs are special to me because they exalt Jesus, remind us of His great sacrifice, and fill our hearts with gratitude. Therefore, today’s song feature will be one of these “communion” songs.
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