I love to worship! I love to use music in my worship experiences. I’m so thankful that we have the kind of worship music we do today—I totally love most of the music that the leading worship songwriters are putting out these days.
However, there is a good reason I say we should “stop the music” so we can “start to worship.” God has blessed some incredible people with a gift to write worship music (I am still praying that He’ll give that gift to me—I so want to write some worship music to use in our services). Don’t get me wrong, I believe God is using the songwriters of today, He is anointing them to write songs that honor and exalt God. But when we sing the songs they have written, we are singing words that come from the heart of someone other than ourselves.
When we “stop the music” and “start to worship,” we begin the process of using words and thoughts that come from our own heart—praise that is based out of the place you are in life, the good places and the bad. As we begin to worship, without music (I’m speaking of music that others have written), with thoughts and words from deep in out own heart, I believe it’s there where God finds the worship that He speaks of in John 4:23-24, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (ESV)
I challenge you, in your personal worship experiences, to not only worship along with songs that others have written, but to dare to “stop the music” and “start to worship” with words, thoughts, and melodies that are birthed in your heart.